The Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) host the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) tonight, in the first of two weekend contests between the division foes. The two teams return to Giant Center on Sunday evening, in their third of six matchups between the two clubs this season. The Bears hold a 49-30-14 all time advantage over the Crunch historically.
Hershey visited Syracuse in their season opener on October 13th, but fell to the Crunch by a 4-3 score. Bears’ forwards, Garrett Mitchell, Barry Almeida and Jon DiSalvatore all tallied goals for the Bears. Syracuse was paced offensively by Mike Angelidis, Tyler Johnson, Cory Conacher and Brett Connolly who all registered goals for the Crunch.
The Bears enter this game on a two game losing streak, with home losses against the St. John’s IceCaps and the Portland Pirates last weekend. Hershey registered only two total goals in the two losses, following their 3-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins last Friday night.
The Crunch enter this game following only their second regular season loss, a 5-2 loss to the Rochester Americans last Saturday night. Cory Conacher and Richard Panik registered goals for Syracuse.
Hershey sits in the cellar of the East Division with only 11 points through 12 games, but only sits five points behind the Crunch. Syracuse holds the division lead with a 7-2-1-1 record through 11 regular season contests.
Syracuse is led offensively by Tyler Johnson who leads the team with eight goals on the season thus far and Cory Conacher who holds the team lead in points with 13.
Bears forward, Ryan Potulny is expected to return to the lineup tonight. Goalie, Braden Holtby will get the start in goal for Hershey.