Game 46 Preview: Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton

Saturday, January 30, 2016
Cole Bardreau (left) has five goals and one assist in three games this week for Lehigh Valley. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms look to extend their season-high four-game win streak to five games tonight when they take on rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:05 p.m. ET in the conclusion of a home and home series before the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic Sunday and Monday in Syracuse, New York.
Tonight marks the eighth meeting between the two teams. The Penguins have won four of the seven previous meetings, but their five straight over Lehigh Valley at the PPL Center dating back to last season was snapped last night. The last meeting between these two teams last night in Allentown saw the Penguins take a 2-0 lead into the third period, only to surrender three straight goals before the Phantoms pulled off the comeback with a thrilling overtime win.

I'll have full coverage of Phantoms-Penguins tonight live from Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA. For all the latest in-game updates and information, make sure you're following me on Twitter both at @TonyAndrock for Phantoms news/notes and @H_P_Hockey for Penguins news/notes. I'll have a recap of the action here online shortly following the game complete with reaction from the players and head coach Scott Gordon.

Some great follows for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coverage are their two daily beat reporters Tom Venesky (@TLTomVenesky) and Seth Lasko (@CVSethLasko). Two of the best in the business.

News, notes, stats, numbers and a whole bunch more after the jump.

By The Numbers

LV: 45 games played, 21-21-2-1 = 43 points
7th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 5-5-0-0
Streak: 4-0-0

WBS: 43 games played, 29-12-1-1 = 59 points
1st Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1-0
Streak: Losses in five of last six games (1-4-1-0)

Special Teams

Power Play

LV: 16.2% - 18th in AHL
WBS: 20.2% - 6th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV: 83.2% - 17th in AHL
WBS: 86.3% - 4th in AHL

Leading Scorers (Active)

LV: Nick Cousins (37GP, 12G-25A), Andrew MacDonald (38GP, 5G-22A), Taylor Leier (40GP, 11G-15A), Chris Conner (28GP, 9G-17A)

WBS: Scott Wilson (33GP, 20G-14A), Conor Sheary (29GP, 7G-27A), Tom Kostopoulos (42GP, 12G-12A), Will O'Neill (41GP, 5G-19A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Anthony Stolarz (14-10-3, 2.43 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO)
WBS: Tristan Jarry (11-1-1, 1.81 GAA, .935 SV%, 3 SO)

Season Series

This is the eighth of 12 scheduled meetings between Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. The Penguins lead the season series with a 4-2-1-0 record against the Phantoms entering tonight's game.

Head to Head Scoring Leaders

LV: Nick Cousins (6GP, 1G-5A), Andrew MacDonald (4GP, 1G-3A), Mark Alt (6GP, 1G-2A), Taylor Leier (7GP, 2G-1A)

WBS: Dominik Simon (6GP, 2G-4A), Tom Kostopoulos (7GP, 3G-3A), Conor Sheary (5GP, 1G-5A), Scott Wilson (6GP, 3G-2A)

Goalies Head to Head Stats

LV: Jason LaBarbera (5GP, 2-2-0, 2.52 GAA, .910 SV%, 1 SO)
       Anthony Stolarz (3GP, 1-2-0, 3.99 GAA, .866 SV%, 0 SO)

WBS: Tristan Jarry (2GP, 1-1-0, 1.93 GAA, .921 SV%, 1 SO)
           Brian Foster (1GP, 0-1-0, 3.09 GAA, .842 SV% 0 SO)

Season Series Schedule

Sat. 10/17, Lehigh Valley - 4 at W-B/Scranton - 6
Fri. 12/4, Lehigh Valley - 3 at W-B/Scranton - 1
Fri. 12/11, W-B/Scranton - 4 at Lehigh Valley - 0
Wed. 12/16, W-B/Scranton - 3 at Lehigh Valley - 0
Sun. 12/27, Lehigh Valley - 3 at W-B/Scranton - 0
Fri. 1/8, W-B/Scranton - 4 at Lehigh Valley - 3
Fri. 1/29, W-B/Scranton - 3 at Lehigh Valley - 4
Sat. 1/30, Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Fri. 3/4, W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Wed. 3/9, Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Fri. 4/8, Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Fri. 4/15. W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Jason LaBarbera is back after he was called up to Philadelphia to back up Michal Neuvirth against the Washington Capitals Wednesday night.

Robert Hagg sat out Friday night's game as a healthy scratch and appears to be in Scott Gordon's doghouse. Quite frankly, Hagg hasn't been sharp lately going pointless in January with a minus five rating.

Tim Brent is going to be out long term after having surgery today to repair his injured hand. The Home News first reported the unfortunate news Wednesday morning.

Aaron Palushaj didn't play Friday for Lehigh Valley, still recovering from a slew foot hit from Liam O'Brien in the third period of Monday's game in Hershey. He was a full participant in Phantoms' practice Thursday and should be back in the lineup soon.

Pavel Padakin is back with Lehigh Valley after a 17-game stint in the ECHL with Reading. I caught up with Padakin and head coach Scott Gordon, who said he was pleased with Padakin's play Wednesday night against Binghamton.

Phantoms Injured List: Kevin Sundher (lower body), Michael Parks (upper body), Petr Straka (lower body), Tim Brent (hand/wrist surgery), Jay Rosehill (undisclosed) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines from Wednesday's Game:

Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald (C)
Tyrell Goulbourne - Philip DeSimone - Pavel Padakin
Kevin Goumas - Joe Rehkamp

Andrew MacDonald (A) - Maxim Lamarche
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Davis Drewiske (A) - Adam Comrie
Christian Marti

Jason LaBarbera - Anthony Stolarz

Recent Transactions

1/28: G Jason LaBarbera returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL)
1/28: G Martin Ouellette loaned to Reading (ECHL)
1/27: RW Pavel Padakin recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/22: C Phil DeSimone signed to standard player contract (SPC)
1/21: D Adam Comrie recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/21: D Matt Lashoff released from PTO
1/21: C Sam Gagner recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Roster Notes

The Penguins' All-Star representatives are dropping like flies as the league has already replaced Derrick Pouliot (in the NHL with Pittsburgh) and Matt Murray (minor injury). Now, Dominik Simon is injured after taking a heavy slash in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Hartford.

Luckily for the Penguins, they will still have representation at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse, NY on Sunday and Monday nights as defenseman Will O'Neill has replaced Simon as the WBS representative.

Tyler Biggs and Barry Goers have been injured most of the season for the Penguins and will be out of action tonight against Lehigh Valley.

With the Pittsburgh Penguins on break for the NHL All-Star festivities, they returned forwards Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

As of this afternoon, those were the only reinforcements from the NHL as Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kevin Porter and Derrick Pouliot all remain in the NHL.

Penguins Injured List: Matt Murray, Tyler Biggs, Sahir Gill, Barry Goers and Dominik Simon

Lines from Friday's Game:

Scott Wilson - Kael Mouillierat - Conor Sheary
Ty Loney - Carter Rowney - Jean-Sebastien Dea
Dominik Uher - Oskar Sundqvist - Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito - Matia Marcantuoni - Josh Archibald

Reid McNeill - Steve Oleksy
Will O'Neill - Clark Seymour
Tim Erixon - Niclas Andersen

Tristan Jarry - Brian Foster

Recent Transactions

1/29: D Harrison Ruopp reassigned to Wheeling (ECHL)
1/27: LW Conor Sheary reassigned to W-B/Scranton (AHL)
1/27: LW Scott Wilson reassigned to W-B/Scranton (AHL)
1/27: RW John McCarron recalled on loan from Wheeling (ECHL)
1/21: G Brian Foster recalled on loan from Wheeling (ECHL)


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