Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

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Domination — Pens WIN 7-0

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The Penguins as a team rolled to a 7-0 win Sunday afternoon vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Southern Connecticut. The two teams are two teams that are going in opposite directions.  The Penguins haven’t are 8-0-1-1 and the Sound Tigers have lost now nine straight. Two trains passing in the night, if there ever was one.

The only real issue after the end of the first period wasn’t whether the Penguins, up 2-0 at the time, were going to win the game but whether Matt Murray was going to earn his third straight shutout, and eighth overall.

He did.

Just some of his statistics for you to gnaw on…

– Three straight shutouts.
— A streak of 185:22.
— Last five starts: 127 saves on 128 shots, 5-0-0, 0.20 GAA and a .992 SV% with four shutouts.
— Murray takes over the Penguins franchise lead in shutouts for a season, passing Brad Thiessen in that category.

Murray is one shutout shy of tying himself with Wade Dubielewicz (2003-04) and Gordie Bell (1942-43) for all time shutouts made by a rookie goaltender.

A remarkable, remarkable run for the first year goaltender.

He will tell you that it is a team effort and will downplay any attention paid in his direction.

But the stats, and the company he is in so far, bears the attention.

The Penguins just dominated the Sound Tigers today. Bridgeport only had 18 shots on goal today playing the third game in three games. The Penguins were the rested and better of the two teams and this was on full display today.

Matt Murray vs. David Leggio

Lines were:

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Jayson Megna – Josh Archibald
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers

Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff

Alex Boak skated the warmups as the extra defenseman but was scratched. Adam Payerl was swapped out for Tom Kostopoulos.

First Period: Sound Tigers opened with some pressure. Brett Gallant had a nice hit on Matia Marcantuoni. As he was coming off the ice with his team pressuring in front of Matt Murray, he was confronted by Bobby Farnham. They tumbled right to the ice and it wasn’t much of a fight at all. Very smart play by Farnham to stop play and start something.

Then the Penguins went on a power play and, despite what the caption says, Tom Kuhnhackl finished this…

Pierre Leblond nearly scored from the high slot as the Penguins continued to pressure. Bridgeport then had a chance n a power play but couldn’t sneak anything past Murray.

While the teams were four-on-four, Jayson Megna did this…

That’s Josh Archibald that finished off that play. His first AHL goal since November 21 against Albany.

Penguins continued to pressure the Sound Tigers and outshot them 16-5.

Second Period: Was actually running a bit behind coming up the steps as the second period started as Jayson Megna did this…

It was off of a gaffe of a turnover by Cory Conacher.

Brian Dumoulin hasn’t had a power play goal at all this season, but finally got one off of this play…

There really wasn’t much to this period, the Penguins really dominated the Sound Tigers in all facets in this period. The Penguins had five shots in the period but scored two goals off of them, while the Sound Tigers only had seven.

Third Period: Sorry about the lack of video for the fifth goal, which was a Scott Wilson shot from the long side of the left circle that made it 5-0.

The Sound Tigers wouldn’t stop taking penalties. The Penguins made them pay. This was on repeat twice more in the period.

First, Andrew Ebbett…

And then Josh Archibald…

It was Archibald’s second of the game and again, first goals since November. I would say that the stint in Wheeling paid dividends for Archibald, who was the footnote to Murray and the Penguins dominating day.

The only issue was would Murray hang on for the shutout, and he did.

Three Stars: 3) Matt Murray (18 save shutout) 2) Jayson Megna (goal, assist, +3) and 1) Brian Dumoulin (goal, two assists, +1)

Around the Division: Binghamton lost in overtime to the Albany Devils, 4-3 in overtime. Hershey keeps winning too, beating Lehigh Valley 2-0. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer with his sixth shutout of the season as well.

Standings: Hershey 77 — Penguins 70 – Lehigh Valley 57 — Binghamton 52 — Norfolk 50

Conference: 1) HER (77) 2) MCH (75) 3) SYR (74) 4) WBS (70) 5) SPR (70) 6) HFD (68) 7) WOR (66) 8) PRO (66)

As long as the Penguins keep winning, there really is no sense in keeping up with what other teams in the Conference are doing win / loses wise. So let’s juts move past this…

Wheeling Update: The Nailers played today but due to bad ice at WesBanco Arena, the game was delayed until tomorrow with the Greenville Road Warriors.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Depending on the trade deadline, Monday at 3 p.m., I may run a summary post of what it all means for the Penguins and the teams in the East Division. The Week 21 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog at some point, I just haven’t decided when yet. Also, the Third Quarter Grades are going to be later on this week also, so be on the look out for those.

Latest on Twitter as always.

Let’s Go Pens!

Do We Really Have to Flip This? — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)

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Before I get started, make sure you read about tonight’s 3-2 overtime win by the Penguins in the Sunday version of The Citizens’ Voice tomorrow at some point. I pinch hit for Jonathan Bombulie tonight and my words are in the paper.

Anyway, the Penguins probably don’t want the month of February to end. They go throughout the month without a single regulation loss, 7-0-1-1 to be exact and are on a tear.

There is a team about an hour south of Coal Street that is slightly hotter, and the best team in the AHL, but that’s for later.

An overtime game winning goal by Andrew Ebbett, a power play goal by Jayson Megna and Reid McNeill’s second goal of the season with 29 saves from Jeff Zatkoff was enough for the Penguins tonight.

The lineup was unchanged from last Sunday. Josh Archibald skated in warmups instead of Alex Boak. Bobby Farnham played after leaving last Sunday with injury. Jeff Zatkoff opposed Yann Danis.

First Period: Nothing happened. Hartford blocked shots. The Penguins did too. Goaltenders made saves.

Second Period: Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead with Reid McNeill’s second of the season setup by the nice forecheck of Dominik Uher. Penguins continued to make boneheaded exit passes that in the past have cost them but tonight they were lucky. Zatkoff stopped a three on one attempt by the Wolf Pack.

Megna took a penalty and seven seconds later Chris Mueller scored to tie the game at one. Mueller fumbled a pass from Chris Bourque, causing Jeff Zatkoff to overslide in the crease and giving Mueller enough room to score.

Wilkes-Barre responds with a power play goal from Megna with 8.6 seconds left off of a rebound that Danis left on an initial shot from Scott Harringtion.

Third Period: Looked as though the Penguins were going to cruise to a win, locking down the Wolf Pack. It didn’t happen. Mike Koska throws a shot on net that Mueller scores on to make it a 2-2 game. Zatkoff had been scattering rebounds all night and Mueller was in position to take advantage.

Penguins had two opportunities to score on the power play in the period but didn’t.

I don’t know if you listened to the Penguins Pit Podcast Friday afternoon or not, but I did. In it, Jonathan stated that the Penguins didn’t ask the AHL to review the hit that Dylan McIlrath laid on Bobby Farnham last Sunday. That didn’t stop McIlrath from having to answer to Pierre Leblond. The two threw down about halfway through the period for a long bout that lasted well over a minute.

Nothing of big significance happened after the fight, so with the game tied at two yet to be decided it was off to…

Overtime: Brian Dumoulin pinned his man against the near wall freeing a puck to Andrew Ebbett who was all alone and beat Danis stick side.

Of note, Ebbett’s goal in overtime was the 200th overtime goal scored in the AHL this season.

Three Stars: 3) Dylan McIrath (no idea, he had two shots, seven penalty minutes) 2) Andrew Ebbett (overtime game winning goal) and 1) Chris Mueller (two goals)

Around the Division: Hershey starts out listless and is in an 0-2 hole at home against Albany but then scored two goals in a franchise best five seconds and roll on to win 4-2. There is no two teams hotter than the Penguins and Bears right now. The only reason why it may appear to the common man that the Bears are the better team with the bigger lead is because of the games in hand situation. Hershey had three on the Penguins to open the month, and won two of them. The two teams meet in Wilkes-Barre a week from Wednesday…Binghamton lost to Lehigh Valley 3-2 in overtime and Norfolk lost 4-3 to Providence.

Standings: Hershey 75 — Penguins 68 – Lehigh Valley 57 — Binghamton 51 — Norfolk 50

Conference: 1) HER (75) 2) SYR (74) 3) MCH (73) 4) SPR (70) 5) WBS (68) 6) HFD (68) 7) WOR (66) 8) PRO (66)

The top eight are tight. St. John’s actually beat Worcester 2-0. The Sharks have games in hand that they have yet to play.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 4-3 to the Greenville Road Warriors (who happen to be the ECHL affiliate of the Hartford Wolf Pack) J-S Dea had a goal and an assist. Eric Hartzell started in net for the Nailers and stopped 23 of 27.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Pens travel down the road a bit to Bridgeport for a 3 p.m. start against the Sound Tigers. Gameday setup for that will be up here on the blog at 11 a.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Leader of the ‘Pack — Pens WIN 4-1

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A two goal game by Andrew Ebbett, where he notched his 100th and 101st AHL goals, and 22 saves on 23 shots and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon by a 4-1 score.

But the thing that may be remembered most will be a vicious, unpenalized hit that Dylan McIlrath laid on Bobby Farnham in the second period of this afternoons game. Farnham left the game with an apparent injury and did not return.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Yann Danis

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Jayson Megna – Bobby Farnham
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Adam Payerl

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Alex Boak took warmups but was scratched. Bryan Rust was out with what was termed a, “lower body injury.” Tom Kostopoulos took Rust’s spot on the top line. Adam Payerl drew in for Rust on the fourth line.

First Period: Hartford opens up with early pressure, but Scott Wilson gets a step on the Hartford defense and passes to Andrew Ebbett who scores his 100th AHL goal. Tom Kostopoulos picked up the secondary assist, good for his 400th AHL point…

Teams trade power plays with no one taking advantage. Late, Justin Vaive takes a long shot from the blue line that is deflected by Nick Tarnasky and just past Jeff Zatkoff to tie the game at a goal a piece.

Second Period: Nothing much happened in the opening minutes, then business picked up.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond with his first of the season off of this nice pass from Matia Marcantuoni to put the Pens ahead 2-1…

Then all hell broke loose.

Bobby Farnham got absolutely smashed on this hit by Dylan McIlrath…

Scott Wilson made the pass that looked behind Farnham that caught Bobby with his head down. No penalty was called on McIlrath on the hit.

Off of the ensuing face-off, Pierre Leblond wanted to fight McIlrath for the hit but McIlrath didn’t engage. Leblond was assessed a misconduct penalty. Out of the fracas, the Wolf Pack were given a power play. The Pens killed it though. Then Wilkes-Barre went on a power play of their own, got close, but weren’t able to get anything past Danis.

Third Period: :10 in, Andrew Ebbett made sure that there wasn’t going to be any comeback in the minds of the Wolf Pack…

Teams swapped power plays, neither capitalized.

Mat Bodie slashed a Penguin and Wilkes-Barre was headed to the power play. They had yet to score a power play goal in the game until…

Carter Rowney scores off of a nice pass from Tom Kuhnhackl.

Penguins did the same thing they did last night to the Providence Bruins. They kept the Hartford wingers in check. Zatkoff made the saves necessary and the Penguins got two goals in the third period to skate away.

That’s points in 12 of the last 13 games for the Penguins. 10-1-1-1 in the last 13.

Three Stars: 3) Nick Tarnasky (goal, even) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (two assists, +2) 1) Andrew Ebbett (two goals, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey beats Providence 5-4 in overtime. The P-Bruins rallied from down two goals to force overtime. Norfolk beat Bridgeport 3-2. Binghamton and Lehigh Valley were off.

Standings: Hershey 71 — Penguins 66 – Lehigh Valley 55 — Binghamton 50 — Norfolk 50

Conference: 1) SYR (72) 2) MCH (71) 3) HER (71) 4) HFD (67) 5) WBS (66) 6) SPR (66) 7) WOR (64) 8) PRO (62)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers won 4-1 in Kalamazoo against the Wings. Josh Archibald had a hat trick and an assist and was named first star of the game.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Week 20 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. Pens are off until next Saturday when they are again in Hartford. If there is any fallout from the AHL on the McIrath hit, I’ll have a blog piece about it. I’ll try to have content in the week ahead. Check out the chart stat board here, just updated.

Let’s Go Pens!

Seventh Heaven — Pens WIN 2-0

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A 2-0 Penguins win against a Providence team that made a decent Lehigh Valley team look silly the night before, winning 5-1. Matt Murray picked up his AHL leading seventh shutout of the season, tying Brad Thiessen in that department in a season. The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins bottled up the speedy Providence forwards, taking away scoring chances and opportunities in passes that could lead to scoring chances.

You can call this a statement win for the Penguins, who looked bad late against Lehigh Valley last Saturday. Providence is a well coached and deep team in all positions team. To answer back with a week off with a 2-0 shutout is a testament to how well the Penguins are coached and how well Murray has been playing of late.

Murray vs. Jeremy Smith

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson – Jayson Megna – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers

Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff

First Period: Felt like a boxing match. Both teams landed punches, no one landed a knockout blow. Providence had late sustained pressure in the Penguins zone late but no one scored. If yo were scoring it like a boxing match, it would have gone 10-9 Bruins.

Second Period: Bryan Rust left the game with an apparent leg injury, needing help off the ice and down the runway while play was ongoing. Then Nick D’Agostino was crushed into the boards by a blatant Jared Knight board, but there was no call from referee Ryan Hersey. After some consultation with his linesmen, Hersey threw Knight out of the game and put the Penguins on a 5:00 major power play.

Late in the power play, Tom Kostopoulous was tripped with no call. That action must have been enough to distract Smith as Scott Wilson zipped a shot past him for a 1-0 Penguin lead.

Foreshadowing…

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Third Period: Andrew Ebbett was denied on a sure goal by Smith that kept it just a one goal deficit for the Bruins. This period had a lot of what the first period had but for the fact that the Penguins were up by a goal and there wasn’t anymore hockey to be played at the end of the period. Providence made their push, but the Penguins held firm.

One thing that I did notice, and this was excellent coaching by P-Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was a timeout that he used with 1:19 left. The net Jeremy Smith was guarding was dislodged from its moorings and needed repair. Alexander Khokhlachev and his line mates were on the bench at the time, so Cassidy uses his timeout and gets them on for the final 1:19 looking for the equalizer.

Instead what they find is Conor Sheary scoring from center ice on an empty net. Ballgame.

Three Stars: 3) Jeremy Smith (17 saves on 18 shots) 2) Scott Wilson (goal, even) and 1) Matt Murray (22 save shutout)

Around the Division: Hershey and Bridgeport had a line brawl where the goalies fought but the Bears come out on top by a score of 4-3. — Binghamton loses 5-3 to Syracuse — Worcester sweeps Norfolk 4-3 and Hartford beats Lehigh Valley 5-4 in overtime.

Standings: Hershey 69 — Penguins 64 – Lehigh Valley 55 — Binghamton 50 — Norfolk 48

Conference: 1) MCH (71) 2) SYR (70) 3) HER (69) 4) HFD (67) 5) WBS (64) 6) SPR (64) 7) WOR (62) 8) PRO (61)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 5-0 to the Toledo Walleye in Ohio.

SendToNews Highlights: Let’s YouTube instead…

Pens back at it tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Hartford vs. the Wolf Pack for another game which should be very interesting. Gameday for that hits the blog Sunday morning at 11 am.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Shootout at the Mohegan Corral — Pens LOSE 5-4 (SO)

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That extra point that the Phantoms took home with them tonight may come back and haunt the Penguins.

That is because, after being up 4-3 to start the third with a full 2:00 of a power play to start with, the Penguins don’t score on the man advantage and then allow the Phantoms to rattle off 7 shots in a row and ultimately lose 5-4 in a shootout to Lehigh Valley tonight. The Penguins haven’t won a shootout all season.

With Hershey continuing to roll, winning tonight, the Penguins are now three points back of the Bears. Hershey burns off one of its three games in hand Sunday in Bridgeport.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Rob Zepp.

Lineup the same, just swap out Adam Payerl for Pierre Leblond, with Lehigh Valley having both Jay Rosehill and Zack Stortini in the lineup.

First Period: If you were at the game or watched on AHL Live, you saw Zatkoff struggle with rebounds. Finally Taylor Leier pounced on one and opened the scoring.

But the Penguins went on a power play when Darroll Powe took a delay of game penalty. The Penguins are really using the power play to their advantage of recent and capitalized here, with Tom Kostopoulos getting a piece of a Brian Dumoulin shot for a tie game. The Penguins really pushed back after the Leier goal and were in control…

…until a lax defensive clear that left the puck on a tee for Adam Comrie who went high glove on Zatkoff to make it 2-1 Phantoms going into the…

Second Period: Conor Sheary scores :57 in sneaking in past the Phantoms D to tie the game at 2.

Penguins would find themselves on a 1:58 5-on-3 and Bryan Rust scored to make it 3-2 Penguins. But the see-saw would trend down for the Pens and they would see Jason Akeson score on a power play that tied the game at three again.

To this point, the game had a, “last shot wins” feel to it.

Bobby Farnham scored on a tip of a Nick D’Agostino shot to put the Pens ahead 4-3 going into the…

Third Period: Penguins had a full 2:00 of power play to work with, couldn’t manage a shot. They couldn’t manage a shot for about the first ten minutes. They took two straight penalties and killed them. They took a third and didn’t. Tie game again. Shades of Hershey a week ago it seemed. Things settled a bit after that. I had to collect my Jayson Megna pink jersey and was surrounded by clueless interns that held us in the zamboni den so I couldn’t see much of the second half of the third or any of…

Overtime: With about a minute left, the intern said, “let’s go out now” – but before that I asked to go out to watch overtime but was told that we couldn’t because the doors that the zambonis came out of were closed. Yes, hello. There is a door. This is me complaining. I hate complainers. You are perpetually unhappy if all you do is complain. I am not perpetually unhappy, nor a complainer. No one scored in overtime so it was onto the….

Shootout: Hynes went Wilson (no) Rust (yes) Ebbett for his first three. It was tied 1-1 after three and the Penguins elected to shoot first so Hynes sent Nick D’Agostino over the boards.

Wait. Nick D’Ago-who? D’Agostino? LOL, really?

Here’s what Hynes told Tom after the game regarding that decision:

He missed. Taylor Leier didn’t and the Phantoms took home the extra point.

Three Stars: 3) Nick Cousins (three assists, +1) 2) Brian Dumoulin (two assists, even) and 1) Jason Akeson (two goals, -1)

Around the Division: Hershey wins 5-2 at home against Portland….Norfolk beat Syracuse 2-1 in overtime. Binghamton was off.

Standings: Hershey 65 — Penguins 62 – Lehigh Valley 51 — Norfolk 47 — Binghamton 44

Conference: 1) MCH (68) 2) SYR (66) 3) HER (65) 4) SPR (62) 5) WBS (62) 6) HFD (61) 7) WOR (57) 8) PRO (57)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost in Toledo 5-2. Josh Archibald had an assist. J-S Dea had a goal.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here. I don’t know if Coal Street will add YouTube highlights or not.

Penguins off until next Saturday against Providence. During that time a lot of games will be played and the scoreboard will be watched. Hershey will burn off two games on the Penguins. I’ll look around the conference and see who else has games in hand on the Pens and may likely have blog pieces about that this week for content. Week 19 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog at 11 a.m. Monday because there are four games played on President’s Day. My chart refresh will probably go up sometime Sunday.

Oh, if you were wondering what the exchange was between me and Megna when he game me the jersey…

I must be getting old. He called me sir.

Let’s Go Pens!

Hey, Mr. Wilson! — Pens WIN 3-0

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A two goal night by Scott Wilson, the Penguins go 2-for-4 on the power play and another shutout, this time 23 saves and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins beat the Portland Pirates by a score of 3-0.

Some bullet points:

  • Add the Portland Pirates to the list of teams that have yet to score a goal on the Penguins this season. Jeff Zatkoff shutout the Pirates in November, by a score of 2-0.
  • The Penguins are on a season high point streak (4-0-1-0) and have points in their last ten games (8-1-1-0)
  • The Pirates have not beat the Penguins since way back in 2010.
  • Oh, Matt Murray’s sixth shutout, leads the AHL. There is some guy in Pittsburgh named Marc-Andre Fleury that leads the NHL with 8 shutouts.

It was Matt Murray vs. Mike Lee, making his first AHL start of the season.

Lines were…

Dominik Uher – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Adam Payerl
Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson – Jayson Megna – Tom Kostopoulos

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers

Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff

Alex Boak took warmups but was scratched. Adam Payerl was in for Nick Drazenovic, who was listed among the injured players.

First Period: Nothing for scoring. Penguins trailed Portland 6-1 in shots at one point but then the Pens pushed back and rattled off eight straight to end the period.

Second Period: Was developing into a defensive battle with two teams in the top four in defense. Mark Louis trips a Penguin, leading to a Wilkes-Barre power play. Scott Wilson scores to make it 1-0 Penguins.

Third Period: Penguins get another power play and Scott Wilson gets another goal. Nice circle to circle pass from Sheary to set it up. Then. Bryan Rust does his patented power move to the net and dishes to Andrew Ebbett who scored to make it 3-0.

At this point, it was more about preserving the shutout Murray had going than it was anything else. Murray to his credit wasn’t tested much but when he was, he was fantastic.

Team record for shutouts is seven, by Brad Thiessen.

Three Stars: 3) Brian Dumoulin (three assists, +1) 2) Matt Murray (23 save shutout) and 1) Scott Wilson (two goals, even)

Around the Division: Philipp Grubauer and the Hershey Bears shutout the Albany Devils by a score of 1-0. It was Grubauer’s fifth shutout of the season….Binghamton beat Lehigh Valley in Allentown by a score of 3-2 and Norfolk beat Syracuse 2-0 as Jason LaBarbera had an 18 save shutout also. Good night to be an AHL East Division goaltender, I guess.

Standings: Hershey 63 — Penguins 61 – Lehigh Valley 49 — Norfolk 45 — Binghamton 44

Conference: 1) MCH (66) 2) SYR (65) 3) HER (61) 4) WBS (61) 5) SPR (60) 6) HFD (59) 7) PRO (56) 8) WOR (55)

Good night for the Penguins conference wise. Springfield lost. Hartford was idle. The Wolf Pack have three games in hand though. If the Pens can’t catch Hershey for the division, staying above the best of the rest is the spot to be.

Wheeling Update: Nailers win 3-2 in overtime. Eric Hartzell picked up the win. Josh Archibald and J-S Dea were pointless, but Archibald had 7 shots on goal and Dea 3.

SendToNews Highlights: YouTube instead…

One more thing before I go, the 50/50 pot was $9,800. That thing will go to over $10,000 when the place sells out, I am sure of it. It is catching on. I didn’t win yet, though.

Pens welcome in the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tomorrow at 7:05. Gameday setup for that will be here on the blog at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Your Statement is Ready — Pens WIN 4-1

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A 4-1 statement win by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins tonight and statements made by three players who, ironically, were the three stars tonight. Let’s have a look:

3) Jeff Zatkoff: 26 saves on 27 shots for Zatkoff who picks up the win tonight, his first in 2015. Zatkoff has slipped to number two in the goaltending rotation with the stellar play of Matt Murray. His saves came at key moments of the game tonight when the B-Sens were pressing for a goal to swing the momentum. He was beat late in the second on an Aaron Johnson breakaway that broke up any hope for a shutout. You could argue that he was the reason the Penguins won the game tonight.

2) Bobby Farnham: a goal, an assist and a +3 rating for Farnham who buried the B-Sens when Binghamton was building momentum. After the Penguins scored their first goal, Binghamton was pressing in the offensive zone and you could feel the goal coming. But Farnham intercepts a pass in his defensive zone, races out at breakneck speed and sets up a fast developing two on one with Dominik Uher. Uher scored it, making it 2-0 at the time and you could feel some of the air being let out of the Senators sails at that moment.

The other moment that Farnham setup was this time late in the third period with a goal on a two on one with Marcantuoni. It was 3-1 at the time and all the momentum at this moment was with the Senators. His goal that made it 4-1 basically ended any comeback chances the B-Sens had.

1) Dominik Uher: two goals, an assist, and a +3 rating. Uher has been the thirteenth forward more often than not lately. His two goals in the first period jumpstarted the Penguins and that was all Zatkoff and the defense needed to put away Binghamton.

I called this game in my Gameday setup a trap game for the Penguins. Binghamton is in on a Wednesday night, you get lax here and there and your mistakes end up in your net. That didn’t happen, the Penguins were prepared, and the results show.

Penguins fourth line of Dominik Uher – Bobby Farnham – Matia Marcantuoni was 3-3-6 and a +8 combined tonight. If you get that kind of production out of your fourth line, chances are you win 100% of your games.

Penguins played disciplined tonight against Binghamton, allowing them just two power play opportunities.

Conor Sheary scored on a power play off a nice setup by Tom Kostopoulos in the second period that made it 3-0.

In case you missed it, Matt Murray was named AHL Player of the Week on Monday.

Around the Division: They all watched us.

Standings: Hershey 61 — Penguins 59 –Lehigh Valley 49 — Norfolk 43 — Binghamton 42

Hershey has three hames in hand again on Wilkes-Barre. The division isn’t probably high on the minds of the Penguins right now with the way that the Bears are playing at current but the Conference probably is. The Penguins have played 50 games. Just one other team (St. John’s, 51) has played more. So everyone in the Conference pursuing the Penguins in the race has games in hand.

Conference: 1) SYR (65) 2) MCH (64) 30 HER (61) 4) SPR (60) 5) HFD (59) 6) WBS (59) 7) WOR (55) 8) POR (55)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off tonight.

SendToNews Highlights: YouTube instead…

Penguins next host the Portland Pirates Friday then the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday. Unless I can think of anything to blog about on Thursday, look for the next update here on the blog Friday at 3 for the Portland Gameday setup.

Let’s Go Pens!

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