WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Kevin Porter scored the overtime game-winner to cap off a four-point night as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Hershey Bears, 4-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.
The two clubs combined for six power play goals in regulation, but two minutes and 55 seconds into the extra period, Teddy Blueger hit Porter at center ice on a breakaway, leading to the lone even strength goal of the evening against Bears goaltender Vítek Vaněček. The goal lifted the Penguins to their league-leading 35th victory in thrilling fashion.
The Bears opened the scoring, tallying a power play goal at the 7:20 mark in the first period when Paul Carey snuck one past the glove of Tristan Jarry.
Danny Kristo tied the game, 1-1, 8:55 into the second period on the man advantage for the Penguins. Later in the period, the Penguins scored their second power play goal of the game after David Warsofsky blasted one home from the point.
Two more power play goals in the third period allowed Hershey to tie the game and subsequently take a 3-2 lead. Chandler Stephenson found the back of the cage 6:30 into the third stanza, and Christian Thomas notched the go-ahead goal 3:24 later.
With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton desperate to find a tying goal, captain Tom Kostopoulos scored on a two-man advantage for his 200th career AHL goal. Kostopoulos’ milestone marker knotted the score, 3-3, with just under four minutes to play in regulation.
The Penguins had to kill off another Bears power play during the sudden death overtime, and shortly thereafter, Blueger fed Porter for the breakaway that led to the game-winning goal.
Jarry recorded 28 saves for his league-leading 21st win of the season. Vaněček stopped 32 of 36 shots in the net for the Bears.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 11, against the Binghamton Senators. Saturday night’s contest is also the Penguins’ annual Military Appreciation Night.
Individual game tickets for tomorrow’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.