The Phantoms square off tonight against the Binghamton Senators on home ice in a battle for third place in the East Division.
With 27 and 26 points respectively the Senators (12-10-2-1) and Phantoms (11-10-3-1) cultivated bad blood in their last meeting under a week ago, where Binghamton took a 3-1 victory in New York after 60 minutes of scrappy hockey. If tonight’s game is decided in regulation, the winner will take sole possession of third place in the division.
But with the Phantoms home record (7-2-2-1), a game deciding regulation victory for either side will be hard to come by.
Lehigh Valley has just two regulation losses in 12 home games, with six of 12 decided in extra time and five-straight home games decided by one goal.
- The Senators special teams unit will be a challenge for the Phantoms, as Binghamton sits in third in the league in power play percentage, converting 22.5 percent of man advantage opportunities.
- In October, the Phantoms were second in the league, but have fallen to 13th after struggling on the power play in November, netting a goal in just six of 48 opportunities last month (12.2 percent in 14 games).
- In the teams’ first meeting, the Phantoms took a 5-4 overtime victory from the Senators in the series premier in New York.
- Tonight the Phantoms hope to amp up (21+) fans with $2 beers at every concession from the time the doors open at 6p.m. to the start of the second period.
Last time at the PPL Center:
The Phantoms put on another exciting show for fans last Saturday as 20-year-old goaltender Anthony Stolarz received his second home win in a dramatic shootout victory over the East Division leader, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Stolarz stopped 44-of-45 shots, and stopped two during a jarring shootout. The young goaltender is 4-5 in his first season in the AHL.
Robert Hagg to compete in WJC:
General manager Ron Hextall announced earlier this week that the Phantoms will be without 19-year-old d-man Robert Hagg for two weeks while he joins team Sweden for the 2015 World Junior Championships.
This will be Hagg’s third appearance in the tournament, hoping to earn his first gold medal in his final year after winning silver in his last two years on team Sweden.
In his two appearances in the World Junior Championships the d-man has netted eight goals and an assist for his home country.
Hagg will play his last weekend with the Phantoms before leaving for Montreal and Toronto on Dec. 26. He will return to the Lehigh Valley after the tournament ends on Jan. 5.