The Lehigh Valley Phantoms host the Providence Bruins tonight for the first time this season, hoping to regain confidence after an ego-busting loss to the last-place Binghamton Senators Wednesday.
After blowing a two-goal lead and losing in overtime two days ago, leading goal scorer Jason Akeson said the team was not playing "playoff hockey" Wednesday, and with just 25 games left in the regular season, every point is important.
Currently in third-place in the East Division and ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference, the Phantoms (24-21-5-1) could potentially move into playoff contention this weekend by earning a complete two points Friday and Saturday, when they take on Providence (seventh place) and Worcester (eighth place) respectively.
The Bruins (26-19-6-1) sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and have won seven of their last 10 outings, six of which were on home ice. Providence has struggled on the road, winning just one in their last eight away matches since Jan. 1.
Despite having an impressive 10-2-2-1 home record before Jan. 1, Lehigh Valley has dropped five-consecutive home games, winning just two on home ice in 2015.
- Jason Akeson is in the middle of a season-high 10-game point streak with 13 points (eight goals, six assists) in his last 10 games played, tying the AHL's longest scoring streak this season. Akeson is also tied with Nick Cousins as Lehigh Valley's leading goal scorer with 16 goals since his return to the Phantoms in late November.
- Anthony Stolarz had a 40-save performance Wednesday in the Phantoms 3-4 overtime loss to Binghamton. With two games remaining this weekend, Stolarz and Martin Ouellette will likely split starts versus Providence and Worcester.