Two storylines competing for attention after the Phantoms' solid 3-1 victory over Providence on Friday. First the positive:
-- There's a long way to go this weekend, but the Phantoms have seemingly kicked their funk. They've won three in a row and five of their last seven (including three of four on the road). As I wrote in my column Friday, a playoff berth is probably going to require something like 13 or 14 wins the rest of the way, so check one off there.
-- Michael Leighton is getting in a groove. That's two straight wins and 70 stops on the last 72 shots he's seen.
-- Andrew Rowe is catching fire. He had the eventual game-winner on a penalty shot in the third. He has three goals in the last two games and has been on the ice for four of the last seven goals the Phantoms have scored.
-- Mike Testwuide scored in his first game back.
-- Erik Gustafsson scored his first goal of the season.
Now, on to the concerns:
-- Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom was out with an upper-body injury. Makes you wonder if it was more than the flu that kept him to half a practice on Wednesday.
-- Marc-Andre Bourdon missed his fourth straight game. He either has one heck of a case of the flu, or there's something else wrong.
I'll see if we can get some more answers on those situations from Joe Paterson on Saturday. It's the time of the year when teams get even more vague than usual about injuries.
In other lineup notes, Garrett Roe returned. Luke Pither and Garrett Klotz were scratched.
Pretty big game in Albany coming Saturday. The Phantoms have lost six in a row there and the Devils have won eight of their last 11 games.