HENRICH NETS FIRST OF SEASON IN PENGUINS WIN
WILKES-BARRE, PA - Adam Henrich scored his first goal of the season, Jeff Taffe picked up his first in nine games, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins posted a 3-1 win against the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
The win was a season-high sixth in a row for the Penguins (33-16-1-2), who picked up two points on the Hershey Bears, as the East Division leaders dropped a 4-2 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs at home.
Lake Erie (21-25-1-5) dropped its second consecutive game, after falling to those same Bulldogs, 1-0, on Sunday.
Jeff Taffe picked up the game-winning goal for the Penguins, banking a shot off a Monsters’ defender 8:40 into the third period to break a 1-1 deadlock, but it was Henrich’s goal which was the highlight of the night.
The Penguins controlled the opening frame, posting the first 10 shots of the game and finishing the first period with a 17-4 advantage in the category, but had nothing to show for the domination on the scoresheet.
That all changed 2:54 into the second period, as Henrich scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated in alone on goaltender Tyler Weiman, and snuck the biscuit between the goaltender’s right skate and the post to pick up his first goal as a Penguin.
“I think it was coming here the last few games,” head coach Dan Bylsma said of Henrich’s opening salvo. “It was just a matter of time. And there’s a guy that had a pretty successful year last year, so it looks like he’s headed in the right direction.”
Henrich could barely contain his excitement, even with a face full of shaving cream, courtesy of linemate Paul Bissonnette.
“It sure does feel great. It’s nice to get a win with it,” he said.
Lake Erie’s Randy Rowe tied the game with just under three minutes to play in the second period, but Taffe floated a shot during a Mike Vernace holding call that tipped off a ducking defender and fluttered into the back of the net for his fifth game-winner of the year.
Just 33 second later, Bissonnette gave the Pens a two goal lead by picking the far corner during a two-on-one break.
“Not your typical fourth line goal. I got it up and luckily it went in,” he said.
Adam Berkhoel saw his first since January 24, and picked up his first win since December 28 with a 16 save performance.