Shutout, Shutout, Shutout 4/7/17

Friday, April 7, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms shutout by Penguins for third straight time

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

ALLENTOWN - 215 minutes and 38 seconds.

That's how long the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have gone without scoring a goal against their bitter Atlantic Division rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins across the past four meetings including Friday night's 3-0 shutout loss - the Phantoms' third straight shutout loss to the Penguins in the last three weeks.

Tristan Jarry stopped all 21 shots he faced to pick up his third shutout of the season, but it was more about what the Phantoms weren't able to do against the Penguins as opposed to running into a hot goaltender.

Oskar Sundqvist tallied a pair of goals and added an assist on David Warsofsky's empty net tally to lead the Penguins

Full recap of tonight's action after the jump. Post-game interviews will be uploaded and added shortly on our YouTube channel.

Phantoms' Playoff Update

The Phantoms' loss combined with Providence's regulation win over Bridgeport Friday night drops Lehigh Valley to third place in the Atlantic Division. Both teams have 93 points, but Providence has a game in hand on the Phantoms which they will make up on Sunday when they PBruins host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Atlantic Division Standings through 4/7's games:
X - WBS (100 points, 5 games remaining) PRO (93, 5GR) LV (93, 4GR)  BST (90, 4GR)HER (91, 3GR)SPR (69, 4GR)HFD (54, 5GR)
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 5 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.

Phantoms' Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald 
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Radel Fazleev - Cole Bardreau

T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox 
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Travis Sanheim

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon
Penguins' Lines:
Sahir Gill - Kevin Porter - Tom Kostopoulos 
Garrett Wilson - Oskar Sundqvist - Ryan Haggerty
Troy Josephs - Teddy Blueger - Jean-Sebastien Dea
Adam Krause - Jarrett Burton - Patrick McGrath

David Warsofsky - Frank Corrado 
Derrick Pouliot - Barry Goers
Tim Erixon - Ethan Prow

Tristan Jarry - Casey DeSmith

The Penguins might have entered the game missing some offensive weapons at the forward position, but they took to it Lehigh Valley in the opening 10 minutes of play.

Luckily for Lehigh Valley, Anthony Stolarz came ready to play - stopping all 15 shots he faced in opening period to keep the Phantoms and Penguins scoreless heading into the first intermission.

"Stolarz was probably the only guy who was ready to go in that period. Mismanaging the puck and left him out to dry," Phantoms' assistant coach Riley Cote said in a between periods interview with TV2Sports' Kristi Fulkerson.

In fact, the Phantoms didn't register their first shot on net until there was 10:37 left on the first period clock. Colin McDonald entered the Phantoms' offensive zone with speed and fired a hard shot on Penguins' goaltender Tristan Jarry, who nearly had the puck trickle through his five-hole and into the net before putting the glove behind him and stopping it.\

Lehigh Valley started to generate more offensive pressure and chances in the final five minutes of the period, but knew heading into the first intermission that the way the game was going wasn't a recipe for success for the Phantoms.

Things didn't appear any better for the Phantoms in the middle frame. It took them almost half the period to register their first shot on net in the second period, and by then they were already trailing the Penguins 1-0.

Ryan Haggerty picked off a Phantoms pass through the neutral and sent a cross ice feed to Oskar Sundqvist breaking into the Phantoms' defensive zone - skating to the top of the right circle before blasting a slap shot high to the far side on Stolarz to give the Penguins the 1-0 lead 4:19 into the middle frame.
The Phantoms started to do a better job of getting in on the attack in the second half of the period, drawing themselves the game's first power play of the night with 7:48 left before the second intermission and a second one with 1:18 left in the period.

Unfortunately, the Penguins' top-ranked penalty kill was able to get the job done - killing off the Phantoms' power plays in the middle frame and taking their 1-0 lead to the third.

The Phantoms didn't muster up anything with the 42 seconds of carryover power play time to start the third period, and the Penguins extended their lead to 2-0 shortly after.

Right after the Penguins failed to score on a net-front play with an empty net, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton capitalized on the ensuing faceoff. Again, it was Haggerty getting a puck to Sundqvist for a shot from the corner boards that hit off the post, off Stolarz's shoulder and into the net 1:28 into the final frame.
The Penguins simply have had the Phantoms' number in the last three meetings. It's as simple as that.

Phantoms' head coach Scott Gordon took his timeout with 3:53 left, and even pulled his goaltender for the final four minutes looking to create any kind of offense. It just didn't work.

David Warsofsky hit the empty net from about 180 feet away while in the Penguins' defensive zone to seal the deal on the Pens' 3-0 win.



1st Period

No Scoring

2nd Period

4:19: WBS - Sundqvist (19) - Haggerty, Erixon
12:12: WBS - (PP) Burton, minor (hooking)
18:32: WBS - (PP) Wilson, minor (interference)

3rd Period

1:28: WBS - Sundqvist (20) - Haggerty
16:39: WBS - ENG Warsofsky (16) - Corrado, Sundqvist


Lehigh Valley  0 - 0 -0 = 0
W-B/Scranton   0 - 1 -2 = 3


Lehigh Valley   7 - 4 - 10 = 21
W-B/Scranton   15 - 8 - 9 = 32


LV - Anthony Stolarz (29 saves - 31 shots)
WBS - Tristan Jarry (21 saves - 21 shots)

Power Play

LV: 0-for-2
WBS: 0-for-0

Penalty Kill

LV: 0-for-0
WBS: 2-for-2

Attendance: 7,215


Anthony Stolarz, reassigned to Lehigh Valley by Philadelphia prior to Friday's game, got the start in net tonight for Lehigh Valley against the Penguins. Alex Lyon will back up Stolarz. There hasn't been an official roster move regarding Martin Ouellette back to ECHL Reading which likely reaffirms the notion that Stolarz will be heading back to Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers assigned defenseman Sam Morin and forward Colin McDonald to Lehigh Valley earlier today prior to tonight's game. Morin made his NHL debut Tuesday night against New Jersey - leading the way with a game-high seven hits and playing a relatively quiet game and being sound defensively.

Reece Willcox was reassigned to ECHL Reading prior to last weekend's games, but was returned to Lehigh Valley earlier this week prior to Sam Morin's first NHL call up Tuesday. Willcox returned to the lineup Friday in place of Max Lamarche alongside T.J. Brennan.

Radel Fazleev missed his second straight game for Lehigh Valley Friday night.

Will O'Neill was seen sporting a cast on his left wrist at the team's annual team photo day last week - a sign he's going to be out longer term. Let's put him in the four-to-six week range from when he sustained injury on March 11th, meaning he can hopefully get healthy for the postseason.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed their 2014-3rd round draft pick, defenseman Mark Friedman, to an entry level contract beginning in the 2017-18 season. The former Bowling Green State Univeristy product, who tallied 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 40 games this season in the WCHA, joined the Phantoms on a tryout contract for the remainder of the season. He participated in his first ever AHL warmup skate last Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.

Boyd Gordon, who left in a Wednesday home game against Binghamton after a sliding BSens' forward crunched into his legs in the corner boards, was initially expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury. He was seen at a recent Phantoms game in Allentown walking with a knee brace over his suit pants. His season and a potential return to the lineup remain in the balance.


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