Chirps from Center Ice

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

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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