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LV Phantoms add some playoff help LV Phantoms add some playoff help

LV Phantoms add some playoff help

Thursday, April 26, 2018 by chuck hixson Special to the Press in Sports

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers had a one-goal lead as they looked to fight their way back into their best-of-seven series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With the Flyers up 4-2, Pittsburgh scored five straight goals, including four by Jake Guentzel, and went on to eliminate the Flyers in six games with an 8-5 win.

As difficult as the Flyers elimination was for fans, Phantoms fans can find a bit of a silver lining in the loss. With no more games to play for Philadelphia, players who were eligible to be returned to Lehigh Valley for their Calder Cup playoff series against Providence returned to the Lehigh Valley. Defensemen Travis Sanheim and Oskar Lindblom will be available for the Phantoms when they play game three of their divisional series against Providence Friday night at the PPL Center.

Lindblom, 21, was one of the players representing the Phantoms in the AHL All-Star Game and scored 44 points — 16 goals and 18 assists — with Lehigh Valley this season. In February, Lindblom made his NHL debut and would finish his first 23 games in the NHL with two goals and four assists.

When Lindblom was called up to Philadelphia, he was on a roll, having tallied six multi-point games and adding goals in three straight games just before heading to the NHL. The Flyers chose Lindblom in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

The 22-year old Sanheim had a very different path this season, having opened the year with Philadelphia and spending most of the season in the NHL where he had two goals and eight assists in 49 games. He played in just 18 games with the Phantoms where he had just one goal but chipped in with 15 assists.

This season was just Sanheim’s second professional season after being the 17th overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

EARLIER RETURNS ... Before Lindblom and Sanheim returning to the Phantoms, forward Steven Swavely and goalie John Muse were returned from their assignment with the Reading Royals. Swavely, a 26-year old Reading native split the season evenly between Lehigh Valley and Reading, with a combined total of 16 goals and 18 assists. Muse also split time between the two teams and finished with a 30-11-3 record.

SERIES REWIND ... Alex Lyon was in goal for Lehigh Valley in the first two games of the best-of-five series with Providence. Lyon was the winning goalie in the opener and took the loss in game two. With the added time off in the playoffs, it’s likely that Lyon is going to be between the pipes for most of the games. Games three, four and five (if necessary) will be at the PPL Center with three and four on Friday and Saturday and a potential game five Monday night.

ELSEWHERE ... In the other Atlantic Division series, Charlotte stole home ice advantage by winning the first two games at home and need to win just one of three in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to eliminate the Pens. Toronto took the first two games of their series with Utica at home and look to eliminate the Comets in game three Friday night. If necessary, game four would also be in Utica with a deciding game five in Toronto. Syracuse has a 2-0 advantage over Rochester with two of the remaining three possible games in Syracuse.