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Phantoms kick off homestand in mid-week matchup against Wilkes-Barre

Lehigh Valley can postpone the Penguins' playoff berth tonight as they take on their Pa. rivals in Allentown.

Pat Jacoby Photography

The Phantoms kick off a four-game home stand as their 2014-2015 season comes to a close, with just seven games remaining. Leigh Valley will host three games in four days for "fan appreciation" weekend as they take on Wilkes-Barre Wednesday, and back-to-back matchups against Norfolk on Friday and Saturday. The Phantoms will conclude its four-game home stand on Tuesday, welcoming Hershey to the PPL Center.

The long 12 game series is quickly coming to a close, as the Phantoms (31-31-6-1) take on the Penguins (40-23-3-4) for the 11th time this season, with just one regular season game between the new rivals remaining after tonight’s mid-week tilt. The Phantoms hold a 5-4-1 record vs. the Penguins this season, and have claimed four of the last six matchups. Wilkes-Barre, however, has shut out Lehigh Valley twice in their last three meetings, including their first shutout on home-ice this season.

  • The Penguins shut out the Phantoms Saturday in Wilkes-Barre as the AHL’s top goaltender Matt Murray continued his phenomenal season for the playoff-bound Penguins.The rookie has 11 shutouts this season, and is one of just four goaltenders in AHL history to have 10 or more shutouts in one season. He also set a new AHL record in March for the longest shutout streak, not allowing a goal in more 304 minutes.
  • The Phantoms hold firm at 12th place in the Eastern Conference, 13 points behind the eighth and final playoff spot, currently held by the Portland Pirates. The Penguins are currently ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference with 87 points, and can officially clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Phantoms tonight.
  • Although they are not officially eliminated from the playoffs, Sports Club Stats has the Phantoms chances of a post season berth to .00004 percent.
  • Rob Zepp will likely start in his eighth straight game for the Phantoms tonight, opposed by Matt Murray.
  • Jay Rosehill will return tonight after serving his second three-game suspension of the season. Rosehill was suspended for an altercation after the final buzzer of the second period last week against Manchester. While leaving the ice after the second period, skating towards the Phantoms tunnel (according to Rosehill) he responded to a late hit on 20-year-old defenseman Robert Hagg who was tangled by the Phantoms tunnel with Manchester's Justin Auger.