Game 56 Preview: Lehigh Valley at Hartford

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms continue three-game weekend road trip in Hartford

Editor's Note - I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Hartford WolfPack, live from Highland Park Hockey HQ!
  • The puck drops at 3:00 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.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (35-17-3) look to continue on in their weekend road trip in the Northeast with an afternoon game in Hartford against the WolfPack (21-30-3-2).

The team had an interesting start to their day, as they were told to vacate their rooms this morning after a fire broke out at the hotel they were staying at.

It's the final meeting of the regular season between the Phantoms and WolfPack, who in their last meeting back on February 18th ended the game with a line brawl. It's certainly something to keep an eye on this afternoon as the Wolf Pack are all but eliminated from postseason contention.

Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms' win last night in Springfield, combined with Providence's home loss to Albany, moved Lehigh Valley back into second place in the Atlantic Division - six points behind first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with one game in hand.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 35 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.

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: 55 games played, 35-17-3-0 = 73 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 5-4-1-0

HFD: 56 games played, 21-30-3-2 = 54 points
7th Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 2-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 4-6-0-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 62-for-270: 23.0% = 5th in AHL
HFD - 37-for-198: 18.7% = 12th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 179-for-215: 83.6% = 8th in AHL
HFD - 179-for-228: 78.5% = 28th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV:  T.J. Brennan (55GP, 17G-30A), Chris Conner (55GP, 18G-28A), Greg Carey (55GP, 26G-16A) and Andy Miele (44GP, 6G-34A)

HFD: Taylor Beck (40GP, 13G-37A), Nicklas Jensen (50GP, 23G-17A), Adam Tambellini (55GP, 11G-19A) and Marek Hrivik (36GP, 12G-14A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (34GP, 21-10-3, 2.72 GAA, .909 SV%, 3 SO)
HFD: Magnus Hellberg (30GP, 11-11-5, 2.91 GAA, .902 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

This is the eighth and final meeting between the Phantoms and Wolf Pack this season. The Phantoms are 3-3-1 against Hartford this season. The Wolf Pack might be last place in the Atlantic Division, but they've given the Phantoms some trouble this season - splitting a two-game weekend series in mid-February that featured a line brawl after the final horn sounded Saturday February 18th in their most recent meeting.

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 - 4 at Lehigh Valley - 6
Saturday, March 4th: Lehigh Valley at Hartford - 3:00 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Alex Lyon is expected to get the start in Hartford this afternoon, with Anthony Stolarz playing last night in Springfield and stopping 44 of the 48 shots he faced. Stolarz is likely expected back in net for the Phantoms Sunday in Providence.

Defenseman Robert Hagg and forward Danick Martel both exited with injuries in the second period. Neither are expected to play the rest of this weekend.

Tyrell Goulbourne was called up to Lehigh Valley and joined the team in Hartford this morning. giving the Phantoms 12 healthy forwards. Reece Willcox had been the team's extra defenseman, but with Hagg's injury will slot back into the lineup alongside T.J. Brennan.

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

Taylor Leier (concussion) will miss his 12th straight game, having not played since the AHL All-Star challenge on January 30th. Leier skated briefly with the team at practice last 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 a Wednesday home game against Binghamton on [date] 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: Robert Hagg (lower body), Steven Swavely (upper body), Danick Martel (concussion protocol), Taylor Leier (concussion) and Boyd Gordon (lower body)

Expected Lines:

Cole Bardreau - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald

Greg Carey - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Mark Zengerle - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Tyrell Goulbourne - Chris McCarthy - Radel Fazleev

T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Will O'Neill - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim

Alex Lyon - Anthony Stolarz

Recent Transactions

3/4: ADD - F Tyrell Goulbourne recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
3/1: DEL - F Jordan Weal recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)
3/1: ADD - F Jordan Weal returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL)
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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