Jeff Zatkoff returns to his old stomping grounds and stomps a mud hole in his old team, pitching a 33 save shutout as the Penguins get a big, big win in Manchester winning 3-0.
Couple of personnel moves to note before we hop into the postgame recap. Carl Sneep will be re-assigned to the Wheeling Nailers. Denver Manderson is already there but has not been officially reassigned. Once Keven Veilleux gets the all clear to play, he will also get sent there for conditioning. Tonight was Warren Peters’ 500th AHL game.
Jeff Zatkoff vs. Martin Jones – Robert Bortuzzo was back from injury. Jayson Megna may be ready to go Sunday.
First Period: Best way for me to describe this period is it was a puck possession clinic by the Monarchs and a goaltending clinic by the Penguins. I settled in and watched the Penguins passes out of the defensive zone and in the neutral zone. They make too many cutesy passes which either get intercepted or don’t connect. Also, Philippe Dupuis passes too much. He needs to start shooting, but, who am I to tell him that.
Second Period: Coming into this game, the Monarchs had outscored opponents 11-3 in the second period. I felt coming in that a team full of NHLers in Manchester would feel out the Penguins in the first period, make adjustments in intermission and come out flying in the second. Not so. Dominik Uher keeps his feet moving and draws an interference call. In the ensuing power play, Benn Ferriero keeps a puck in, passes to Trevor Smith who shoots, and Eric Tangradi is there to collect the rebound and put the Penguins out in front 1-0. It’s Tangradi’s fifth goal in as many games. Later, with the Penguins on another power play, defenseman Dylan Reese scores a seeing-eye puck to put the Penguins up 2-0. Manchester would press and press and press but Zatkoff stood firm.
Third Period: More of the same from the Monarchs. Penguins clamped down and try as they might the Monarchs never scored. Paul Thompson buried an empty netter with Jones pulled.
Three Stars: 3) Martin Jones 26 saves on 28 shots 2) Eric Tangradi (goal, even) 1) Jeff Zatkoff (33 save shutout)
Around the Division: Syracuse wins in Glens Falls 4-1. Hershey beats Springfield 3-2 in a shootout. Binghamton wins 4-3 on Hampton Roads and ends the Norfolk Admirals 19 home game win streak and were trending on Twitter earlier.
Standings: Syracuse 12 — Norfolk 10 — Hershey 9 — Binghamton 9 — Penguins 6
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost to the expansion Evansville IceMen tonight 4-3. Cody Chupp had two goals in the loss.
Penguins travel to Bridgeport tomorrow and have the night off. They face the Sound Tigers Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks back Saturday night and I will check you out here on the blog at 11 a.m. for the gameday setup for the game here on the blog Sunday morning.
Let’s Go Pens!