Game 51 Preview: Hartford at Lehigh Valley

Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Phantoms look to split the weekend series with Hartford. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms Host Hartford To Begin Three-Game Weekend

Editor's Note: I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Hartford WolfPack live from the PPL Center! The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and Facebook (be sure to like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information.

Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action. Don't forget to subscribe to Highland Park Hockey's YouTube channel for post-game interviews with AHL hockey players.

ALLENTOWN - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms look to avoid a four-game losing streak when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night at the PPL Center in a rematch of last night's game.

Injuries, call ups and now a suspension have the Phantoms' depth being tested this weekend, but the remaining guys on the roster will need to pick up the slack to avoid heading towards a free fall in the Atlantic Division standings.

After the jump, a full preview of everything you need to know in advance of tonight's game.

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Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

By The Numbers

LV: 50 games played, 32-16-2-0 = 66 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 0-3-0-0
Last Ten Games: 5-5-0-0

HFD: 50 games played, 19-26-3-2 = 75 points
7th Place Atlantic  Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 4-5-0-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 53-for-245: 21.6% = 6th in AHL
HFD - 36-for-179:20.1% = 8th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 160-for-194: 82.5% = 10th in AHL
HFD - 164-for-207: 79.2% = 26th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV:  Chris Conner (50GP, 15G-24A), T.J. Brennan (50GP, 13G-25A) and Greg Carey (50GP, 22G-13A) and Andy Miele (39GP, 5G-29A)

HFD: Nicklas Jensen (44GP, 22G-15A), Mat Bodie (40GP, 8G-21A), Adam Tambellini (36GP, 11G-17A) and Justin Fontaine (45GP, 7G-20A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Anthony Stolarz (17GP, 11-6-0, 2.84 GAA, .909 SV%, 1 SO)
HFD: Brandon Halverson (18GP, 8-9-0, 3.20 GAA, .893 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

This is the seventh of eight meetings between the Phantoms and Wolf Pack this season. The Phantoms are 2-3-1 against Hartford. The Wolf Pack might be last in the Atlantic Division, but they've won the previous three meetings in the season series - holding the high-powered Phantoms' attack to just four total goals in those three match ups.

Season Series Schedule

Saturday, October 22nd: Hartford - 5 at Lehigh Valley - 4 (OT)
Friday, October 28th: Lehigh Valley - 5 at Hartford - 1
Wednesday, November 2nd: Lehigh Valley - 4 at Hartford - 0
Saturday, November 26th: Hartford -3 at Lehigh Valley - 1
Friday, January 6th: Lehigh Valley -1 at Hartford - 2
Friday, February 17th: Hartford - 3 at Lehigh Valley - 2
Saturday, February 18th: Hartford at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 4th: Lehigh Valley at Hartford - 3:00 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Anthony Stolarz is expected to get the start in net tonight against Hartford, with Alex Lyon getting the net Friday and expected to be back in on Sunday in Utica.

Scott Laughton returned to the Phantoms' lineup Friday, which should help the team's depth down the middle. He said he felt good, and scored a late third period goal in his return.

Sam Morin will miss his first Phantoms' game tonight, serving the second of a two-game suspension for a cross-checking hit in Tuesday's loss to the Penguins. Morin had appeared in 125 straight games for the Phantoms up until this weekend, not missing a single game in his pro career to date.

Taylor Leier (concussion) will miss his eighth straight game that surfaced just before the team's first game back from the All-Star break in Albany two weeks ago. He was seen getting on the ice after Phantoms' practice Monday, skating with then-injured forward Scott Laughton and injured forward Boyd Gordon, but doesn't appear to be close to a return at this point.

Boyd Gordon, who left in the Wednesday home game against Binghamton after a sliding BSens' forward crunched into his legs in the corner boards, is expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury.

Expected Scratches: Sam Morin (suspension), Steven Swavely (healthy), Taylor Leier (concussion symptoms) and Boyd Gordon (lower body)

Expected Lines:

Mark Zengerle - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald
Danick Martel - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Chris McCarthy  - Radel Fazleev - Cole Bardreau

T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Will O'Neill - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Travis Sanheim

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon

Recent Transactions

2/13: ADD - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
2/12: DEL - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
2/11: ADD - F Steven Swavely recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/10: ADD - F Chris McCarthy recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/10: DEL - F Jordan Weal recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)


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