PREVIEW: PENGUINS at CHECKERS – MARCH 13 & 14, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be looking for a little redemption when they face the Charlotte Checkers for a pair of games at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday and Wednesday night. The Checkers took the first two meetings between the divisional foes in Wilkes-Barre earlier this season.

The Penguins (35-17-4-2, 76 pts, .655%) continue to hold on to the second spot in the Atlantic Division following a sweep of their weekend contests, while the Checkers (35-24-0-3, 73 pts, .589%) are ranked fourth in the same division.

DATES: Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Bojangles’ Coliseum
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SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT 
Saturday, October 7 WBS Charlotte 5-2 Loss
Friday, December 8 WBS Charlotte 2-1 Loss
Tuesday, March 13 Charlotte WBS  7:05pm
Wednesday, March 14 Charlotte WBS  7:00pm


RECENT ACTION

Anthony Peters stood tall between the pipes for the Penguins, leading them to a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Peters recorded 32 saves in the victory and aided the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty kill, which went a perfect five-for-five against one of the league’s top power play units. The Penguins saw Adam Johnson and Kevin Czuczman fire pucks past Tom McCollum, while former Penguin Ben Street tallied for the Griffins.

The Checkers poured on the offense against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night, skating to a 7-3 win on home ice – and even their goaltender got in on the action. Former Penguin Greg McKegg opened the scoring at 11:37 of the first frame for the Checkers, who also got first period scores from Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick. Hartford cut the lead to 3-2 with a pair of second period goals, but Warren Foegele and Patrick Brown reestablished the two-goal cushion by the 13:35 mark of the third. Cole Shneider and Noclas Roy traded goals to make it a 6-3 game, before the showstopper highlight came down, as goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic collected the puck and launched it the length of the ice into the empty net, becoming the 13th netminder in AHL history to score a goal.

PENGUINS NOTES
Before 2017-18, the Penguins had not faced the Checkers since playing them in the East Division Finals in 2011.

Daniel Sprong leads the season series in goals with two.

With a goal Friday night against Binghamton the Penguins move to 9-1-1-0 when Gage Quinney scores this season.

Jean-Sebastien Dea picked up a pair of points (1+1) in Friday night’s 3-2 overtime victory against the Binghamton Devils, establishing a new career-high for points in a season in the process. Dea enters this week with 38 points, two better than his previous best of 36, set in 75 games during the 2015-16 season.

Teddy Blueger also established a new personal best for points in a season with 32 with his OT goal against the Devils on Friday night.

Blueger leads the team in game winning-goals with five, and also paces the AHL with four overtime goals this season.

Goaltender Michael Leighton returned to action on Friday against Binghamton for the first time since December 22. In two games for the Penguins this season (both against the Devils), Leighton has posted a 2-0-0 record with a 2.34 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

Sam Lafferty made his pro debut with the Penguins on Saturday night against Grand Rapids, going scoreless and even in his first AHL game. He was selected in the fourth round (113th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

CHECKERS NOTES

Nedeljkovic became the 13th goaltender in AHL history to score a goal on Saturday night. It was the second of his pro career, as he also scored with ECHL Florida last season.

In addition to leading all AHL net minders in goals, Nedeljkovic also leads the league in wins with 27.

The Checkers won their fourth straight game on Saturday, marking their fourth such streak this season.

Warren Foegele’s 25th goal of the season set a new franchise record for the most by a Checkers rookie in a single season.

Greg McKegg’s goal Saturday gave him four points (1+3) in his first five games as a Checker.

The Checkers have a power-play goal in four consecutive games (4-for-12).

CONNECTIONS
Checkers defenseman Philip Samuelsson spent parts of four seasons (2011-2015) with the Penguins, recording 45 points (6+39) in 197 games.

Greg McKegg played 28 games with the Penguins this season tallying 12 points (5+7) before being traded for Josh Jooris.

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

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