WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins walked away from their first preseason game with a 3-2 victory over their intrastate rival, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, on Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The Penguins were facing a formidable Phantoms lineup, featuring AHL regulars Phil Varone (70 points last season), Greg Carey (31 goals last season) and Chris Conner (478 career AHL points), but turned in a hard-working performance that got them the win in the end.
The Penguins unleashed a flurry of scoring midway through the first period with Matt Abt and Linus Ölund scoring 39 seconds apart. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton carried the 2-0 lead into the first intermission, and John Muse denied all 10 shots he faced in the opening frame.
Special teams were the name of the game in the second period as the two clubs went a combined three-for-three on the power play during the middle stanza. Lehigh Valley earned their first goal of the game four seconds into the contest’s opening power play with Philippe Myers doing the honors. The Phantoms cashed in on the power play again at 16:15 of the second period when Cole Bardreau knocked a puck out of mid-air and tied the game, 2-2.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was granted a grand opportunity with a two-man advantage late in the middle frame, and Sam Miletic converted on a rebound, reestablishing a lead for the home team.
The third period saw the Phantoms earn two more power plays, but the Penguins were able to kill them off. One man advantage for the Phantoms came in the final three minutes of regulation, and they were able to pull their goalie for an extra attacker and subsequent six-on-four power play, yet the Penguins still staved off an equalizer.
Muse made 27 saves in the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Lehigh Valley’s Branden Komm recorded 26 stops while sustaining the loss.
The Penguins’ next preseason game is Saturday, Sept. 27, when they face the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens the regular season at home on Saturday, Oct. 6 in a contest against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-7367. Season ticket packages for the 20th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Fans can also keep up with the Penguins through the AHL’s brand new high definition streaming service, AHLTV. Subscriptions for AHLTV, which include live and archived games, begin at just $79.99 for the entire 2018-19 regular season. Fans can visit theahl.com/AHLTV now to register for a free AHLTV account and purchase 2018-19 subscriptions.