Forty-nine minutes of scoreless hockey led into a scoring flurry in the third period, as the Hershey Bears struck three times in a span of 7:41 to record a 3-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Penguins (28-19-2-3, 61 points) and the second in as many days against the Bears (29-16-3-3, 64 points), who recorded a 5-4 win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night in Hershey.
It was former Penguins forward Jeff Taffe who got the scoring going, tipping a Casey Wellman point shot that appeared to slip through goaltender Jeff Deslauriers’ pads at 9:05 of the third period.
Ryan Potulny extended the lead for Hershey when he grabbed a loose puck in front of Deslauriers and found the back of the net 3:47 after Taffe’s tally.
The Bears looked primed to keep the offense flowing when Jayson Megna was whistled for a slash, but Brian Gibbons pounced on a and zipped into the Hershey defensive zone trailed by two Bears. Despite being tugged on en route to the net, Gibbons was able to slip a shot past David Leggio that trickled over the goal line for his 11th score of the season with Wilkes-Barre. It was also Gibbons’ third shorthanded goal of the season, tying him for first in the AHL.
The Penguins’ rally was short-lived, however, as Peter LeBlanc took a drop pass from Michael Latta and beat Deslauriers at 16:46 to finish off the scoring.
Leggio stopped 26 shots for the win, while Deslauriers turned aside 19 of 22 he faced. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Hershey was held scoreless in three tries on the man advantage.
The Penguins are home Wednesday to host the Binghamton Senators at 7:05pm. Good seats for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Group rates, flex books and mini-plans are available directly from the Penguins ticket office by calling 570-208-7367.
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