WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – In his first game in a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins uniform, rookie goaltender Emil Larmi pitched a 28-save shutout and led his team to a 2-0 preseason victory over the Hershey Bears on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Larmi locked things down between the pipes for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while the players skating in front of him locked things down on the penalty kill to keep the clean sheet intact. The Penguins went a perfect six-for-six on the P.K. in the contest, their first win of the preseason.
The Penguins’ penalty killing prowess started in the first period, denying the Bears on their lone opportunity of the frame thanks to an acrobatic save by Larmi. As the puck pinballed around the Penguins’ zone, it eventually ended up right in the slot for Hershey’s Brett Leason, who had an open look at a yawning net. However, Larmi lunged across his crease and got the toe of his pad on the puck and steered it wide.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled ahead in the second period using a power-play goal. Sam Lafferty unleashed a wicked wrist shot through traffic and lit the lamp at 6:52 of the second period.
After Lafferty’s man-advantage marker, the Bears were afforded four consecutive power plays during the second stanza, including a five-on-three power play and a four-minute, double-minor for high-sticking. Larmi and the Penguins held strong and did not allow their opponents anything during that stretch.
The third period was packed with action from the get-go, with the two Pennsylvania rivals going back and forth and end to end, generating shots and scoring chances. Larmi and Hershey’s Logan Thompson traded save after save, until the Bears pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. That window allowed Joseph Blandisi to seal the win for the Penguins with an empty-net goal with 53 seconds left in regulation.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next preseason game is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 28, when they travel down to Giant Center to take on the Bears in their home barn. The Penguins’ next home game is their 2019-20 home opener, Saturday, Oct. 12 against the Utica Comets. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Individual tickets to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games are on sale now and can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, Ticketmaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins offices at (570) 208-7367. Season ticket packages for the Penguins’ 2019-20 regular season, including Full Season, 22-game, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating 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 are available now. Fans can visit theahl.com/AHLTV now to register for a free AHLTV account and purchase 2019-20 subscriptions.