The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head to Blue Cross Arena for their only trip this season to battle the Rochester Americans.
The Penguins (30-13-3-1, 64 pts, .681%) have continued to find ways to win, posting victories in 14 of their past 18 games and holding first place in the Atlantic Division
The Americans (25-13-7-5, 62 pts, .620%) are currently on a five-game winless streak (0-3-2-0) and sit in the second spot in the North Division.
Friday’s game is the second of two meetings between the clubs this season.
|Saturday, December 2||WBS||Rochester||2-5 Loss|
|Friday, February 16||Rochester||WBS||7:05pm|
The Penguins avenged their two shutout losses at Dunkin’ Donuts Center by defeating the Providence Bruins in a shootout, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon in their final visit to Rhode Island this season. The Bruins’ Tommy Cross and Adam Payerl scored in the first period, before the Penguins responded to tie the game. Gage Quinney and Jarred Tinordi tallied on Zane McIntyre in the second frame, while Jean-Sébastien Dea used crafty puck work to score in the first round of the shootout, giving the Penguins their first win at Dunkin’ Donuts Center this season. Casey DeSmith slammed the door on 32 of 34 shots faced in regulation and overtime, and all three shoot out attempts.
The Americans fell to the Hershey Bears, 3-2 in overtime, in the 456th all-time meeting between the league’s oldest teams on Sunday at Giant Center. The game was Rochester’s league-leading 21st that went beyond regulation and the eighth since January 1. The Amerks got goals from Seth Griffith and Eric Cornel, while Hershey got scoring from Riley Barber, Wayne Simpson, and Joe Whitney to cement the victory in overtime. Linus Ullmark stopped 30 of 33, but remained winless in his past eight starts.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton became the fourth team to reach 30 wins this season. The Penguins have failed to record 30 wins only twice of their 19 seasons (1999-2000, 2001-02).
Casey DeSmith has tended goal in all four of the Penguins’ shootouts this season, and has made 10 saves on 11 attempts.
Daniel Sprong leads all AHL rookies in shots per game (3.16), and he also ranks second in points per game (1.00) and goals (20).
Thomas Di Pauli became the sixth Penguin to reach double digits in goal scoring this season when he tallied last Wednesday against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
The Penguins are 7-1-1-0 when Gage Quinney scores a goal this season.
Newcomer Joseph Cramarossa joins the Penguins with 41 points (20+21) in 201 career AHL games.
The Americans have collected at least one point in 32 of their last 41 games dating back to November 1, including 10 of their past 15 games since the turn of the New Year.
The Amerks lead the AHL in games decided after regulation with 20, showing a 7-7 mark in overtime while going 2-5 in shootouts.
Rookie forward C.J. Smith continues to pace the team in all offensive categories, with 14 goals, 25 assists and 39 points
Zach Redmond is tied for sixth in goals by a defenseman with nine.
Brendan Guhle is fifth in scoring among all AHL rookie blueliners with 21 points (7+14), while his seven goals are third among first-year defensemen.
Americans head coach Chris Taylor, along with skaters Kevin Porter, Sahir Gill, Adam Krause, Barry Goers, and Stuart Percy, face Wilkes- Barre/Scranton after spending last season with the Penguins.
Amerks assistant coach Toby Petersen spent parts of three seasons as a player with the Penguins from 2000-2004.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Anthony Peters appeared in eight games with the Amerks during the 2014-15, going 1-6-0 in seven appearances.