Weekend watch list: Nov. 24-26

Patrick Williams, TheAHL.com Features Writer

Life on the road served the Lehigh Valley Phantoms well, and now they prepare for some home cooking.

The Phantoms will bring a four-game winning streak into tonight’s visit from the Providence Bruins. The streak includes a sweep of their three-game tour through Laval, Belleville and Toronto, and Lehigh Valley has earned four consecutive regulation wins for the first time since January 2020.

Tanner Laczynski, the reigning Howies Hockey Tape/AHL Player of the Week, picked up a goal and two assists in a 3-2 win over the Rocket last Friday, and followed that with two goals in Saturday’s 8-1 win over the Senators. Olle Lycksell scored his team-best 11th goal of the season in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Marlies, and is now tied for second in the league in both goals and power-play tallies (five). Samu Tuomaala is up to 13 points (three goal, 10 assists), tying him for sixth among AHL rookies.

The Phantoms have excelled on special teams as well. They are fifth in the AHL on the power play at 22.4 percent, converting in each of their past four wins. Their penalty kill ranks 10th at 85.7 percent.

The Bruins come to PPL Center attempting to end a four-game losing streak following a 6-4 defeat in Hartford on Wednesday. Lehigh Valley then hosts Rochester on Saturday.

The Calgary Wranglers and Abbotsford Canucks own the two best records in the Western Conference. This weekend, they go head-to-head in a pair of matinees at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Wranglers lead the AHL with a 12-3-1-0 mark, and own a four-point lead in the Pacific Division over Abbotsford (10-4-1-0). The Canucks will bring a five-game winning streak into Calgary, with Arturs Silovs and Nikita Tolopilo combining to stop 122 of 127 shots (.961) during that span. Rookie Max Sasson has led the Abbotsford offense with four goals and seven points in the five games.

The Wranglers, who won a pair of games in Abbotsford last month, broke a two-game slide on Tuesday night with a 4-0 win over Tucson, the second shutout of the season for Dustin Wolf.

Last spring in the Calder Cup Playoffs, Calgary ousted Abbotsford three games to one in their division semifinal series. Including the postseason, each of the last seven games between these teams has been decided by a single goal.

Another Pacific Division rivalry will be spotlighted this weekend when Henderson hosts Tucson in the AHLTV Free Game of the Week on Saturday (6 ET/3 PT).

The game starts a two-game set this weekend at Dollar Loan Center between the clubs. It also opens up a five-game homestand for the Silver Knights. The Roadrunners split a pair of games in Calgary earlier this week as they started a five-game trip.

Henderson and Tucson split eight meetings last season.

An AHLTV account is required to watch the AHLTV Free Game of the Week, but no subscription is needed. Visit AHLTV.com for details.