WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did their part spreading joy this holiday season by sending thousands of fans home happy after downing the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-2, on Teddy Bear Toss night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.
The victory came in the Penguins’ final game before the holiday break, and extended their current winning streak to a season-high five games.
After a scoreless first period, the Thunderbirds and Penguins traded goals by inadvertently putting pucks into their own nets less than five minutes apart.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled ahead with a diving effort by Oskar Sundqvist to push a knuckling puck across the goal line. Sundqvist’s team-leading 12th goal of the season made it 2-1 at 16:06 of the second period. Not even 60 seconds of game time passed before Garrett Wilson netted the Penguins’ second power play goal of the contest.
Jake Guentzel tied Sundqvist for the team-best in goals with his own 12th marker of the year at 5:01 of the third frame when he stick-handled past a sliding Thunderbirds defenseman and rocketed a shot into the back of the net.
In the final minutes of the third period, Anthony Greco tucked a puck past Tristan Jarry and made it 4-2 after a sequence of pin-ball redirections and bounces set Greco up perfectly on the backdoor post.
Jarry posted 29 saves in his league-leading 12th win of the season, while Mike McKenna made 28 saves in the loss for Springfield.
The Penguins enter the holiday break holding first place in the AHL with a 19-5-3-0. Their next game is Monday, Dec. 26 when they travel up I-81 to take on the Binghamton Senators. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the next night, Dec. 27, and they’ll take on the Thunderbirds again. Good seats are still available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
NOTES: Rookie defensemen Lukas Bengtsson has recorded a point in three-consecutive games (1G-3A)… Guentzel now has 13 points (6G-7A) in his past seven AHL games dating back to Nov. 18, and has only been held off the scoresheet once in that time frame (Dec. 14 at Hartford)… Warsofsky has 11 points (3G-8A) in his past eight games, and like Guentzel, only failed to register a point in the win at Hartford… Over the course of the Penguins’ five-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 24-8… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has successfully killed off 20-straight opponent power plays.