First, the news of the day was Bobby Farnham and Brian Dumoulin were assigned to Wilkes-Barre and Taylor Chorney, Andrew Ebbett, Zach Sill and Jeff Zatkoff have been placed on waivers. We will know by noon Sunday whether they clear. I’ll leave the speculation as to what can happen amongst yourselves. I’ll have a blurb about what happens in tomorrows recap of the final preseason game in Hershey.
But about tonight’s game against Hershey, a 4-2 Penguins win. Another solid effort by the Penguins, who started out slow, finding themselves down 1-0 early after Nathan Walker was sprung on a breakaway and put one behind starting goaltender Matt Murray. Murray played the entire game and was backed up by Eric Hartzell. Hartzell will go the distance tomorrow in Hershey. These two are battling for the second spot in Wilkes-Barre, depending on what becomes of Jeff Zatkoff Sunday at noon.
The Penguins came to life in the second period. The Bears were on a power play and Jayson Megna stole a puck off of a Bear at the blue line, skated the length of the ice and dishes to Josh Archbald who scored. Murray, meanwhile, was making great save after save, in this sequence robbing Dustin Gazley after a nice setup by Kris Newbury.
Patrick McGrath, the local product in the lineup for the Penguins, fought Mike Cajkovsky, who had a size advantage. I Instagrammed the fight, which you can see here.
Penguins later score on a power play when J-S Dea cleaned up a rebound and pushed the Pens ahead 2-1.
In the third, Jayson Megna stepped by a guy and hit the post and the puck went high in the air, Scott Wilson boxed a guy out and knocked it in and scored to make it 3-1. Later, when the sides were 4-on-4, Nick D’Agostino took a shot from the blue line that never hit the net, but Bryan Rust was there to get the rebound off of the boards to give the Penguins a 4-2 lead.
Bears would get one back but no more as the Penguins would hold on.
Tom Kuhnhackl-Jayson Megna-Josh Archibald
Scott Wilson-Conor Sheary-Bryan Rust
Anton Zlobin-J-S Dea-Tom Kostopoulos
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Patrick McGrath
Philip Samuelsson-Barry Goers
Reid McNeill-Harrison Ruopp
Nick D’Agostino-Alex Boak
Clark Seymour, Brian Dumoulin, Nick Drazenovic, Carter Rowney, Bobby Farnham, Dominik Uher, Adam Payerl, Kevin Ryan, Jonathan Narbonne, Tyler Murovich.
It’s hard to take anything away from preseason games. I thought that the rookie forwards showed themselves well. It’s probably going to come down to a numbers thing for guys like Alex Boak and Tyler Murovich. I’d like my chances with the first three lines we dressed tonight going into regular season play. No one was a glaring liability out there, really. We will have to see what Hynes & Company come up with this week as far as cuts go.
Pens wrap up the preseason with a 5:00 p.m. visit to Hershey. I’ll have some post game words then.
Programming note: The first of my AHL Previews hits the blog Monday at midnight. Be on the look for my North Division Preview at that time, then the Midwest Division at noon Monday as I go two-for-Monday. The schedule after that is West Division Tuesday, Atlantic Division Wednesday, Northeast Division Thursday and East Division Friday.