Game 54 Preview: W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms/Penguins renew rivalry during Flyers/Pens Stadium Series game tonight

Editor's Note - I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, live from the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pa.!
  • The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and Facebook (like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information.
ALLENTOWN - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (34-17-2) rekindle their rivalry with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight at the PPL Center, just 11 days after Sam Morin was suspended two games for a cross-checking incident that leaves Penguins' forward Garrett Wilson out of the lineup for a few weeks.

These two teams will become very familiar with one another the rest of the way, as the Penguins and Phantoms meet eight times, including tonight's game, in the final 49 days of the 2016-17 regular season.

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: 53 games played, 34-17-2-0 = 70 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division

Streak: 0-1-0-0
Last Ten Games: 5-5-0-0

WBS: 52 games played, 37-15-3-0 = 77 points
1st Place Atlantic Division

Streak: 0-4-0-0
Last Ten Games: 4-6-0-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 59-for-262: 22.5% = 5th in AHL

WBS - 43-for-242: 17.8% = 14th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 173-for-208: 83.2% = 9th in AHL

WBS - 195-for-224: 87.1% = 1st in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Chris Conner (53GP, 17G-26A), T.J. Brennan (53GP, 17G-27A), Greg Carey (53GP, 24G-14A) and Andy Miele (42GP, 6G-32A)

WBS: Tom Kostopoulos (55GP, 19G-24A), David Warsofsky (40GP, 12G-26A), Oskar Sundqvist (49GP, 16G-20A) and Kevin Porter (51GP, 8G-25A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (33GP, 20-10-2, 2.69 GAA, .910 SV%, 3 SO)

WBS: Tristan Jarry (34GP, 22-11-1, 2.26 GAA, .921 SV%, 1 SO)

Season Series

Tonight marks the fifth of 12 meetings between the Phantoms and Penguins this season. The Phantoms opened up edge in the season series with a pair of home wins in gritty, physical affairs between bitter rivals but the Penguins dominated the Phantoms in Wilkes-Barre in the two most recent meetings, in 7-1 and 5-1 wins. The rivalry should only continue to heat up as the Phantoms will face the Penguins 8 more times in their final seven weeks of the regular season.

Season Series Schedule

Wednesday, November 16th: W-B/Scranton -1 at Lehigh Valley - 4
Saturday, February 4th: Lehigh Valley - 1 at W-B/Scranton - 7
Tuesday, February 14th: Lehigh Valley - 1 at W-B/Scranton - 5
Saturday, February 25th: W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday, March 8th: Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday, March 17th: W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 18th: Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 25th: W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 1st: Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday, April 7th: W-B/Scranton at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday, April 12th: Lehigh Valley at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

I'd expect Alex Lyon will get the start in net tonight against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on home ice. Lyon is 1-0, 1.00 GAA, .968 SV% against the Pens this season. Anthony Stolarz stopped 30 of 34 in last night's loss in Springfield.

Colin McDonald appeared in his 700th pro game Friday night in Springfield. Veteran Chris Conner recently accomplished the mark of 700 pro games, and is three assists shy of 300 pro assists. Andy Miele is three games shy of 400 AHL games in his career.

Steven Swavely blocked a shot during the third period last Sunday in Utica, and left the game. It's safe to say Swavely will likely miss several weeks as he was seen at Thursday's practice with his left hand/wrist in a cast.

Taylor Leier (concussion) will miss his 11th straight game, having not played since the AHL All-Star challenge on January 30th. Leier skated briefly with the team at practice Thursday at PPL Center, but was the only skater wearing a green jersey and he exited the ice about 15-20 minutes after I arrived for the 10:30 practice. There are no updates being given on Leier's status or a timetable for his return from Phantoms' head coach Scott Gordon.

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: Steven Swavely (upper body), Taylor Leier (concussion symptoms), Boyd Gordon (lower body) and Reece Willcox (healthy)

Expected Lines:

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

T.J. Brennan - Robert Hagg
Will O'Neill - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim

Alex Lyon - Anthony Stolarz

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)



Tom Sestito - Kevin Porter - Tom Kostopoulos
Jarrett Burton - Oskar Sundqvist - Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon - Teddy Blueger - Jean-Sebastien Dea
Patrick McGrath - Sahir Gill - Ryan Haggerty

Derrick Pouliot - Tim Erixon
Stuart Percy - Barry Goers
David Warsofsky - Brett Stern

Tristan Jarry - Casey DeSmith


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