Phantoms vs. Crunch: Tonight's game preview, lineups and more

Travis Hughes/BSH

Hockey!

GLENS FALLS -- Hockey, you guys. It's happening, and we're here to see it.

The NHL may have canceled the Winter Classic today, but despite all the upheaval there, the best hockey league in the world right now might just be the AHL. (We're sure the KHL would argue, but whatever.)

The Phantoms enter tonight's home game against the Syracuse Crunch off to a typically-mediocre start: 3-4-0-0 through seven games so far this season. But this obviously isn't a typical Adirondack Phantoms club. Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Marc-Andre Bourdon Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson, Ben Holmstrom and Brandon Manning all spent at least a game with the Flyers a year ago.

Terry Murray has tried putting Schenn and Couturier together on the Phantoms top line at times this season, but they'll be broken up tonight, chiefly because the Flyers want to keep Schenn at center. The lines:

Harry Zolnierczyk - Sean Couturier - Shane Harper
Tye McGinn - Brayden Schenn - Matt Ford
Garrett Roe - Rob Bordson - Ben Holmstrom
Eric Wellwood - Andrew Johnston - Mike Testwuide

Danny Syvret - Oliver Lauridsen
Marc-Andre Bourdon - Erik Gustafsson
Brandon Manning - Cullen Eddy

Syracuse enters the game with a bit of a different look than when we saw them from this same perch about a year ago. Now the affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Crunch are in new, painfully blue uniforms. 14 players from the Norfolk Admirals' amazing Calder Cup run are now playing for the Crunch thanks to Tampa's affiliation change, and it's no shock that the Crunch are 4-1-1-1 through seven games as a result.

It was a task that the Phantoms were up to last Sunday in Syracuse, winning 4-3 in overtime. Should be a nice challenge for them again this evening.

We'll be updating this StoryStream all night long with updates. If you want to follow along live, you can buy the game for $6.99 at the AHL's website, or you can listen to Tim Saunders and Anthony SanFilippo call the action on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com.

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