Game 53 Preview: Bridgeport at Lehigh Valley

Saturday, February 20, 2016
Phantoms face red-hot Bridgeport in a big Saturday night match up. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
I'll be live from PPL Center tonight with full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following me on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and now on Facebook (be sure to like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information this evening.

You can also help keep me on the road covering the team by making a donation via my GoFundMe page. Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action complete with player reaction.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (24-25-2-1) finish their five-game home stand tonight against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (27-19-3-2) - a team they are hoping to catch up to in the Atlantic Division standings. The Sound Tigers are currently eight points ahead of the Phantoms for fifth place, which is currently the final playoff spot.

The Phantoms have no time to waste in attempting to put together a final push towards postseason contention. The players in the locker room are well aware of what's at stake tonight against the Sound Tigers, who enter tonight's game 8-0-1-1 in their last 10 games.

All of the regular news, notes, stats and more to get you ready for tonight's game in a full preview after the jump.

By The Numbers

LV: 51 games played, 24-25-2-1 = 51 points
7th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0

BST: 51 games played, 27-19-3-2 = 59 points
5th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 8-0-1-1
Streak: 8-0-1-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV: 17.2% - 15th in AHL
BST: 10.9% - 29th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV: 83.3% - 14th in AHL
BST: 85.4% - 6th in AHL

Leading Scorers (Active)

LV: Taylor Leier (47GP,15G-19A), Chris Conner (35GP, 12G-22A), Danick Martel (44GP, 18G-11A), Petr Straka (42GP, 17G-11A)

BST: Bracken Kearns (50GP, 19G-23A), Taylor Beck (41GP, 14G-16A), Alan Quine (36GP, 10G-19A), Mike Halmo (50GP, 12G-10A)

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Anthony Stolarz (16-11-3, 2.47 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO)
BST: Christopher Gibson (14-8-5, 2.56 GAA, .911 SV%, 2 SO)

Season Series

This is the 4th of six scheduled meetings between Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport this season. The Phantoms are 1-2 against the Sound Tigers this season, with their lone win coming in Bridgeport back on January 17th.

Head to Head Scoring Leaders

LV: Danick Martel (2GP, 4G-0A), Chris Conner (2GP, 1G-2A), Taylor Leier (3GP, 1G-0A)

BST: Bracken Kearns (3GP, 3G-1A), Taylor Beck (3GP, 1G-2A), Mike Halmso (3GP, 0G-2A)

Goalies Head to Head Stats

LV: Jason LaBarbera (2GP, 1-1-0, 3.05 GAA, .918 SV%, 0 SO)
       Anthony Stolarz - (1GP, 0-1-0, 2.02 GAA, .931 SV%, 0 SO)

BST: Christopher Gibson (2GP, 2-0-0, 2.01 GAA, .920 SV%, 0 SO)
         Parker Milner (1GP, 0-1-0, 4.01 GAA, .857 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series Schedule

Sat. 12/26, Bridgeport - 2 at Lehigh Valley - 1
Sun. 1/17, Lehigh Valley - 4 at Bridgeport - 1
Fri. 2/5, Lehigh Valley - 3 at Bridgeport - 6
Sat. 2/20, Bridgeport at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Sat. 4/9, Bridgeport at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Sun. 4/10, Lehigh Valley at Bridgeport - 5:00 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Jason LaBarbera is expected to get the start in net for the Phantoms tonight against Bridgeport. Anthony Stolarz, who got the start last night against Springfield, will serve as the backup.

Colin McDonald (upper body) is expected to miss the rest of the weekend, though his injury isn't considered to be long term.

With only 19 healthy skaters on the roster, the switch in net is likely the only lineup change for Lehigh Valley tonight against Bridgeport.

Scratches: Kevin Sundher (lower body since 12/27), Colin McDonald (upper body), Michael Parks (upper body since 10/17), Tim Brent (hand/wrist surgery), Jay Rosehill (healthy) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Petr Straka - Cole Bardreau - Pavel Padakin
Taylor Leier (A) - Phil DeSimone - Chris Conner (A)
Danick Martel - Kevin Goumas - Aaron Palushaj
Tyrell Goulbourne - Joe Rehkamp - Jay Rosehill

Davis Drewiske (A) - Robert Hagg
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Adam Comrie - Max Lamarche

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera

Recent Transactions

2/18: RW Pavel Padakin recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/17: RW Pavel Padakin returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/13: D Andrew MacDonald recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)
2/11: G Anthony Stolarz returned on loan by Philadelphia (NHL)
2/11: G Martin Ouellette loaned to Reading (ECHL)
2/5: C Nick Cousins recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)


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