FIVE THINGS: Phantoms vs. Pirates
ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (Philadelphia Flyers) vs.
PORTLAND PIRATES (Phoenix Coyotes)
Fans can listen to the Phantoms game LIVE on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com with radio play-by-play man Tim Saunders calling the action.
1. EXPERIENCE ALREADY
The Adirondack Phantoms have 10 players on their opening night roster who have NHL experience, most notably Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and Zac Rinaldo. The Portland Pirates are the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes and also have 10 players on their roster with NHL experience.
2. THE NEW BENCH BOSSES
Both teams come into tonight's game with new head coaches. Terry Murray, who has coached more than 1,000 games in the NHL - more than any other AHL coach in history, will behind the bench for the Phantoms. Ray Edwards is in his third season as a head coach in the American Hockey League and first with the Pirates.
3. FAMILIAR NAMES
Flyers fans might recognize two names on the opposing side of the Phantoms - Former Phantoms defenseman John Slaney is the Pirates' assistant coach. Slaney recorded 85 goals and 208 assists for 293 points in 415 games for the Flyers' AHL affiliate from 2000-07. Also suiting up for the Pirates is Brett Hextall, son of former Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender Ron Hextall. The younger Hextall enters his second season in the AHL after being drafted by Phoenix in 2008.
4. Player to watch PHANTOMS: Sean Couturier
The former eighth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Couturier will make his AHL debut after recording 13 goals and 27 points in the NHL last season as a rookie. In two preseason games with Adirondack, Couturier posted three points, all assists.
5. Player to watch PORTLAND: Oliver Ekman-Larsson
The former sixth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft appeared in all 82 games in the NHL last season recording 13 goals and 32 points. In just 15 games of AHL experience, the 6-2, 190-pound defenseman had 10 points (3G-7A) and 16 penalty minutes.