Penguins utterly dominate the Albany Devils tonight in all facets and roll to a 4-0 victory this evening. Jeff Zatkoff was in goal and netted an 11 save shutout. Probably the most unimpressive shutout in the history of 11 save shutouts.
Shout out to Jason Chaimovitch at the League headquarters for finding the last time there was an 11 save shutout. It was back in 2008.
Penguins now sit in fifth place in the conference, one point ahead of the Portland Pirates, who were off tonight. The Pirates have three games in hand on the Pens. They are five behind the Binghamton Senators for home ice in round one. If playoffs started tomorrow, Round 1 would be Wilkes-Barre at Binghamton. How exciting would that first round bloodbath matchup be?
I know I conceded the division to the Crunch and B-Sens, but I may be taking that back, depending on how the next week or so goes. There is still an, albeit slim chance, that the Penguins can still be at the top of this division when it is all said and done. Who would have even imagined this a month ago?
Speaking of imagining things, that’s what I thought I was doing tonight when I saw the Penguins score the first three goals on the power play this evening. Chad Kolarik scored on a rebound of a Trevor Smith shot in the opening minute of the first period and Trevor Smith scored on a long outlet pass from Alex Grant, fighting off defenders in the final minute of the first period.
Alex Grant scored on a Riley Holzapfel screen in the third then Paul Thompson got a tip on a Jayson Megna backhand even strength to seal it, as if it hadn’t already been sealed.
Albany had just one shot on goal in the first period. They responded with a flurry to open the second period, then tailed off and only managed two shots in the third period. So yeah, a pretty dominating game from wire-to-wire for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
Magic number to clinch playoffs was eight at the start of the day. The win puts things at six. With help, I think that number could get to five, but I need help in the math department in order to explain to you what that help is.
That pretty much covers things. Alex Grant was your third star with a goal and an assist. Jeff Zatkoff was the second star with his 11 save shutout and Chad Kolarik was your first star with a goal and an assist. Kolarik is two points away from the overall AHL scoring lead.
Have to enjoy when the Penguins staffers put up the highlights on YouTube. YouTube plays nicer with the blog then a link to the SendToNews package. anyway, here are the highlights:
Penguins get back at it tomorrow afternoon at three o’clock vs. the Hershey Bears for the final time this season. Gameday for that will be up at 11 a.m.
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