Game 62 Preview: Lehigh Valley at Hartford

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Both Lehigh Valley and Hartford are fighting for their playoff lives. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
I'll have full coverage of this afternoon's Phantoms game against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The puck drops at 3:00 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 (27-28-3-3) are running out of time to make a push towards the postseason and have their lone game of the weekend this afternoon at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, Connecticut against the New York Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack.

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: 61 games played, 27-28-3-3 = 60 points
7th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 4-3-1-2
Streak: 0-2-1-0

HFD: 59 games played, 30-27-2-0 = 62 points
6th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV: 17.8% - 12th in AHL
HFD: 11.5% - 30th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV: 82.3% - 18th in AHL
HFD: 82.2% - 19th in AHL

Leading Scorers (Active)

LV:  Chris Conner (44GP, 12G-30A), Taylor Leier (56GP,18G-23A), Petr Straka (51GP, 18G-17A), Danick Martel (53GP, 21G-12A)

HFD: Chad Nehring (59GP, 17G-20A), Jayson Megna (51GP, 11G-18A), Marek Hrivik (55GP, 7G-22A), Mat Bodie (59GP, 5G-21A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Jason LaBarbera (7-12-0, 2.96 GAA, .898 SV%, 1 SO)
HFD: Jeff Malcolm (5-5-0, 2.67 GAA, .903 SV%, 1 SO)

Season Series

This is the fifth of six scheduled meetings between Lehigh Valley and Hartford this season. The Phantoms are 1-2-0-1 against the Wolf Pack this season, scoring just one goal per game in both regulation losses. The Phantoms rallied in the third period on Friday, February 26th only to see Hartford come away with the two points in a shootout. Two days later, in the last meeting between these two teams, it was the Phantoms rallying in the third period and completing the comeback for a regulation win.

Head to Head Scoring Leaders

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

HFD: Jayson Megna (3GP, 1G-3A), Luke Adam (4GP, 1G-1A), Travis Oleksuk (4GP, 1G-1A)

Goalies Head to Head Stats

LV: Jason LaBarbera - No Stats
       Martin Ouellette - No Stats

HFD: Jeff Malcolm - No Stats
          Magnus Hellberg - (3GP, 2-1-0, 1.63 GAA, .943 SV%, 0 SO)
Season Series Schedule

Sunday 2/28, Lehigh Valley - 2 at Hartford - 1
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 was recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers on an emergency basis, announced just hours before the Phantoms took to the ice today in Hartford. The Phantoms quickly recalled Martin Ouellette from Reading (ECHL), who luckily for Lehigh Valley was in nearby Manchester, New Hampshire as the Royals were playing a weekend set in Manchester.

Jason LaBarbera gets the start in net today, his first action since mop up duty for Stolarz on February 13th against Utica. It's his first start since 2/12 against Portland.

Newly added forward Steven Swavely will make his pro debut today in Hartford. centering fourth line.

Defenseman Mark Alt, who missed the team's last two games, told The Home News after practice that he's feeling better and is good to go today.

Up front, Tim Brent is ready to return to the lineup after missing the last 19 games following surgery to repair an ailment he tried to play through earlier this season.

With the return of Brent and the addition of Swavely, the Phantoms sent forwards Kevin Goumas and Kevin Sundher to Reading (ECHL).

Goumas was the team's third line center, but that looks to be filled by Brent.

Sundher hasn't played since suffering a lower body injury on November 27th, but he's been skating with the Phantoms at practice the last two weeks and has been cleared for full contact.

Scratches from Wednesday: Mark Alt (undisclosed), Tyrell Goulbourne (healthy), Michael Parks (upper body since 10/17), Jason LaBarbera (upper body), Tim Brent (hand/wrist surgery) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely).

Lines From Wednesday's Game:

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

Davis Drewiske (A) - Christian Marti
Sam Morin - Max Lamarche
Adam Comrie - Robert Hagg

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera

Recent Transactions - Phantoms

3/10: DEL - C Kevin Goumas loaned to Reading (ECHL)
3/10: DEL - LW Kevin Sundher loaned to Reading (ECHL)
3/8: ADD - C Steven Swavely added on an ATO
3/6: DEL - G Martin Ouellette loaned to Reading (ECHL)
3/1: DEL - D Jesper Pettersson returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)


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