PREVIEW: PENGUINS at THUNDERBIRDS – FEBRUARY 7, 2018

A pair of three-game winning streaks are on the line, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visit the Springfield Thunderbirds tonight at 7:05pm at Mass Mutual Center.

The Penguins (28-12-3-1, 60 pts, .682%) continue to sit atop of the Atlantic Division standings, while The Thunderbirds (22-24-1-1, 46 pts, .479%) are in the seventh spot in the same division.

Wednesday’s game is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mass Mutual Center
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SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Wednesday, December 13  WBS  Springfield  4-2 WIN
Friday, January 5  WBS  Springfield  6-3 WIN
Wednesday, February 3  Springfield  WBS   7:05pm
Friday, April 13  Springfield  WBS   7:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins battled with their instate rival, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena and came away with a 2-1 victory. The scoring started just 26 seconds into the game as Jean-Sébastien Dea put one over the shoulder of Phantoms’ netminder Dustin Tokarski. The Penguins added the eventual game-winner on a Daniel Sprong power play goal at 12:53 of the first period. Tristan Jarry was the real story of the night, as he stopped 34 of 35 shots.

The Springfield Thunderbirds met up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena on Friday night and squeaked by with a 1-0 victory. This was the first time in an eight-game season series that the road team captured the victory. Evan Cowley faced only 25 shots in net for Springfield, but was on point, denying every one of them for his first shutout of the season. The Thunderbirds power play stayed hot as they got the lone goal of the evening on a Ludwig Bystrom one-timer from Jayce Hawryluk to beat Chris Gibson.

PENGUINS NOTES
Since returning from Pittsburgh on January 24, Daniel Sprong has recorded seven points (2+5) in five games.

Sprong became the 13th rookie in team history to record 20 goals in a season with his game-winner on Saturday against the Phantoms.

Sprong is second among AHL rookies in goals (20), tied for second in power play goals (8) and tied for fourth in points (35).

Jean-Sebastien Dea has points in 11 of the past 13 games his has played in for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, dating back to December 22 (5+7).

Since signing his second PTO with the Penguins this season, goalie Anthony Peters has a 1.69 goals against average and .935 save percentage in that time.

THUNDERBIRDS NOTES
Anthony Greco is tied atop the AHL with most shorthanded goals (4) and leads the AHL in shots with 155.

Springfield leads the AHL in power play opportunities (221), but they also are tied for the most shorthanded goals for with nine.

Since dropping a 4-2 decision to the Penguins on January 5, the Thunderbirds have posted an 8-4-0-0 mark.

CONNECTIONS
Forward Bobby Farnham spent parts of three seasons (2012-15) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 39 points (17+22) and 666 penalty minutes in 191 games.

Defenseman Tim Erixon spent two seasons (2015-17) with the Penguins, recording 37 points (7+30) in 119 games.

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

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