Game 57 Preview: Lehigh Valley at Hartford

Sunday, February 28, 2016
The Phantoms take on Hartford in Connecticut this evening. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The puck drops at 5:00 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. Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action.

You can help keep me on the road covering the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (25-26-2-3) are entering must win territory when they conclude their three-game weekend at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, Connecticut against the New York Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack.

A shootout loss to the Wolf Pack and regulation loss last night at home against Utica has pushed the Phantoms to eight points behind Bridgeport for what is currently the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With only 20 games left on the schedule and eight points to make up, the Phantoms are up against the odds.

Hartford, after defeating Lehigh Valley in a shootout Friday, did not play last night while the Phantoms battled it out with Utica. The Wolf Pack had a night off while the Phantoms bused into Hartford overnight in advance of this evening's contest. 

I'll be making the trip to Hartford to provide exclusive live coverage you simply cannot get anywhere else. Stay tuned online after the game for a full recap of the action complete with thoughts and reaction from Phantoms' players and coaches.

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: 56 games played, 25-26-2-3 = 55 points
7th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 3-5-0-2
Streak: 0-1-0-1

HFD: 55 games played, 28-25-2-0 = 58 points
6th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 5-5-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV: 17.8% - 12th in AHL
HFD: 11.4% - 29th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV: 82.6% - 16th in AHL
HFD: 82.2% - 18th in AHL

Leading Scorers (Active)

LV:  Chris Conner (39GP, 12G-28A), Taylor Leier (51GP,17G-21A), Petr Straka (46GP, 17G-15A), Danick Martel (48GP, 19G-11A)

HFD: Chad Nehring (55GP, 16G-17A), Jayson Megna (47GP, 10G-16A), Ryan Bourque (55GP, 10G-14A), Mat Bodie (55GP, 4G-20A)

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Anthony Stolarz (17-12-5, 2.52 GAA, .917 SV%, 0 SO)
HFD: Magnus Hellberg (21-15-2, 2.39 GAA, .918 SV%, 3 SO)

Season Series

This is the fourth of six scheduled meetings between Lehigh Valley and Hartford this season. The Phantoms are 0-2-0-1 against the Wolf Pack this season, scoring just one goal per game in both regulation losses. The Phantoms rallied in the third period Friday night only to see Hartford come away with the two points in a shootout.

Head to Head Scoring Leaders

LV: Petr Straka (3GP, 1G-1A), Chris Conner (3GP, 1G-1A), Mark Alt (1GP, 0G-1A)

HFD: Jayson Megna (2GP, 0G-3A), Luke Adam (3GP, 1G-1A), Travis Oleksuk (3GP, 1G-1A)

Goalies Head to Head Stats

LV: Anthony Stolarz (3GP, 0-2-1, 2.30 GAA, .924 SV%, 0 SO)
       Martin Ouellette - No Stats

HFD: Magnus Hellberg - (2GP, 2-0-0, 1.44 GAA, .953 SV%, 0 SO)
          Jeff Malcolm - No Stats

Season Series Schedule

Sunday 2/28, Lehigh Valley at Hartford - 5:00 p.m. ET
Saturday 3/12, Lehigh Valley at Hartford - 3:00 p.m. ET
Saturday 3/26, Hartford at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Anthony Stolarz is expected to make his 7th straight start in net tonight for the Phantoms. Martin Ouellette, called up from Reading, is expected to back up Stolarz tonight in Hartford.

With uncertainty surrounding the health of some of the defensemen as a flu bug is making its rounds through the locker room, the Phantoms called up Jesper Pettersson from Reading.

Mark Alt and Max Lamarche are both feeling under the weather, so Pettersson stepped into the lineup on defense.

Dalton Smith was the lone healthy scratch up front for the Phantoms.

Colin McDonald signed a two-year contract extension with the Flyers, announced during last night's game.

Scratches: Mark Alt (illness), Kevin Sundher (lower body since 12/27), Michael Parks (upper body since 10/17), Max Lamarche (illness), Dalton Smith (healthy), Jason LaBarbera (upper body), Tim Brent (hand/wrist surgery) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)


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

Davis Drewiske (A) - Jesper Pettersson
Adam Comrie - Robert Hagg
Sam Morin - Christian Marti

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette

Recent Transactions

2/28: D Jesper Pettersson recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/26: RW Pavel Padakin returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/22: LW Dalton Smith signed to a professional tryout contract (PTO)
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)


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