Saturday's Morning Skate 1/2

Saturday, January 2, 2016
The Phantoms and Penguins are trending in opposite directions entering the weekend, Photo: Nina Weiss

Welcome to 2016 from Portland, Maine! I drove 430 miles to bring live coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this weekend as they take on the Portland Pirates in a pair of important games this weekend to finish off their five-game road trip.

You can follow all the action this weekend both online here and on Twitter - @TonyAndrock_TCG

I'll have full coverage of both games in Portland both tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Recaps of the games here with exclusive player reaction and live in-game updates every step of the way on Twitter.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are in the midst of a season-high three game losing streak that they will look to end tonight at home against last place Springfield, who beat Bridgeport last night in Massachusetts. The Falcons likely boarded the bus and headed to town overnight, so a tired opponent who played the night before might be just what the doctor ordered for the Penguins to snap the skid.

Good news for the AHL Penguins, as Pittsburgh activated Marc-Andre Fleury from the injured reserve and re-assigned Matt Murray back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Atlantic Division Standings (through 1/1's games)

1. W-B/Scranton: 30 games played, 21-8-0-1 = 43 points (.717 PCT)
2. Portland: 30 games played, 17-12-1-0 = 35 points (.583 PCT)
3. Hershey: 33 games played, 16-11-1-5 = 38 points (.576 PCT)
4. Bridgeport: 34 games played, 18-13-2-1 = 39 points (.574 PCT)
5. Lehigh Valley: 34 games played, 16-16-1-1 = 29 points (.500 PCT)
6. Hartford: 32 games played, 14-16-2-0 = 26 points (.469 PCT)
7. Providence: 33 games played, 12-15-5-1 = 30 points (.455 PCT)
8. Springfield: 32 games played, 13-17-1-1 = 28 points (.438 PCT)

Would you like to see my coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a generous donation to my GoFundMe page.

Around The Atlantic

Bridgeport - 1 at Springfield - 2

In the lone game in the Eastern Conference last night, the Springfield Falcons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and held on for the win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Michael Buntin and Dakota Mermis tallied first period goals for the Falcons, with Mermis' tally with 4;36 left in the opening frame being his first career AHL goal and the eventual game winner. Marek Langhamer picked up his first career AHL win with a 23-save effort.

Jared Gomes tallied Bridgeport's lone goal in the third period to draw the Sound Tigers within one but that's as close as they would get. Stephon Willams surrendered two goals on nine shots in the first period and Parker Milner came on in relief to start the 2nd period, stopping all 16 shots he faced in the final 40 minutes to keep his team within striking distance.

Springfield took an overnight bus ride to Wilkes-Barre to take on a reeling Penguins team on Saturday that is in the midst of a three-game losing skid. Bridgeport returns home to host the Rochester Americans at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

No Other Eastern Conference Games

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Syracuse at Toronto, 3:00 p.m. ET
Rochester at Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m. ET
Albany at Hartford, 7:00 p.m. ET
Binghamton at Hershey, 7:00 p.m. ET
Lehigh Valley at Portland, 7:00 p.m. ET
Springfield at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m. ET


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