The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will travel up the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the fifth time this season to take on the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. This will mark the two Atlantic Division foes seventh overall meeting in which the Phantoms currently have a 2-3-1-0 record.
Lehigh Valley, who is getting healthier and healthier by the day, saw the recent return of David Kase to the lineup in last weekend’s home games against Utica and Bridgeport. The 22-year-old winger out of Kadan, Czech Republic, has only played a single contest against the Penguins this season, but should assist in bolstering the Phantoms offense down the stretch as they faceoff against the Penguins six more times this season.
As a whole, the Phantoms have recently been through a tough stretch, having gone just 3-6-0-1 in their past 10 contests, and will be looking to create some separation between themselves and the Penguins in the standings as the two teams are currently tied at 62 points each this season. While the Phantoms are currently holding on to sixth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 28-24-3-3, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are right above them in fifth, thanks to a game in hand, with a 27-22-6-2 record.
Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Phantoms Leading Scorers
- Greg Carey (56 GP, 25G-27A, 52 PTS)
- Chris Conner (54 GP, 12G-26A, 38 PTS)
- T.J. Brennan (49 GP, 8G-30A, 38 PTS)
- Mike Vecchione (58 GP, 13G-21A, 34 PTS)
- Byron Froese (53 GP, 14G-17A, 31 PTS)
Penguins Leading Scorers
- Ethan Prow (56 GP, 16G-25A, 41 PTS)
- Adam Johnson (56 GP, 16G-19A, 39 PTS)
- Joseph Blandisi (41 GP, 14G-21A, 35 PTS)
- Ryan Haggerty (51 GP, 15G-15A, 30 PTS)
- Sam Lafferty (51 GP, 8G-22A, 30 PTS)
Prior Meetings This Season
Jan. 21 — WBS 2, LV 1 (OT)
Dec. 29 — WBS 7, LV 3
Dec. 26 — LV 5, WBS 3
Dec. 15 — WBS 5, LV 2
Oct. 20 — LV 6, WBS 3
Oct. 19 — WBS 5, LV 4
- Goaltender Alex Lyon currently holds the only two wins for the Phantoms against the Penguins this season. Lyon turned aside 42 of 45 shots in his first outing against the Pens on October 20 and followed that up with a 29-save performance on December 26.
- The Penguins will be without forward Teddy Blueger, who currently leads the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton charge against Lehigh Valley with five goals and a single assist for six points in six games, as he is currently on recall with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- In six meetings between the Phantoms and Penguins this season, only two of them have been decided by a one-goal margin.
- The Lehigh Valley first-ranked penalty kill, killing at a rate of 86.4 percent, will go up against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power play that currently ranks 20th-best in the AHL. In six games this season, the Phantoms have only allowed two power-play goals to the Pens, going 12 for 14 (85.7%) in the process.
Players to Watch
T.J. Brennan currently leads the Phantoms offensive push against the Penguins with seven points (2G-5A) in just five games this season. Five of those points (1G-4A) have come while Lehigh Valley was on the man advantage, look for Brennan to factor in should Wilkes-Barre/Scranton find themselves in the penalty box.
Tyrell Goulbourne currently has two goals and 15 penalty minutes in five contests against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season. There is clearly something about a rivalry that brings out the best in Goulbourne’s game, during the 2017-18 season, he recorded five (3G-2A) of his 19 total points (8G-11A) against the Penguins in nine contests.
March 5, 2019: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled forward Justin Bailey from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Road Ahead
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return home to PPL Center for a pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers this weekend on Friday, March 8, at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, at 1:05 p.m. Friday’s game will feature a special team card pack giveaway, presented by Upper Deck, to the first 6,500 fans in attendance while Sunday’s game will feature postgame photos on ice with the players! Secure your seats for this weekend’s games by clicking HERE.