WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Jeff Deslauriers came into the game midway through the first period and stopped all 21 shots he faced to allow the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to rally for a 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch at Mohegan Sun Arena to close out the calendar year.
With Syracuse ahead, 2-1, after the first period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leaped ahead with a pair of goals over a span of 1:44. Philip Samuelsson picked up his second assist of the night when he sent in a shot from the near point as Nick Drazenovic cut across the hash marks and redirected the puck into the top corner at 8:53.
Seventeen seconds later, the Penguins received a man-advantage and would convert soon thereafter as Tom Kostopoulous went diving to the ice in the crease to swat a rebound under the paddle of Crunch goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton collected an insurance goal and went up 4-2 at 12:20 of third on Anton Zlobin’s first goal as a Penguin. Tom Kuhnhackl skated down the left wall on a 2-on-1 rush and fired a shot off the pad of Desjardins that ricocheted right to Zlobin for the easy put back.
Cody Sylvester added an empty-net goal with 1:29 remaining to complete the scoring.
The Penguins got out to the start they wanted, scoring just 1:11 into the contest. Samuelsson timed a pass off the wall that Paul Thompson picked up in stride across the Syracuse blue line and beat Cedrick Desjardins with a wrist shot from the far circle for his third goal of the season.
The Crunch were able to level the score on the power play when Matt Toarmina floated a shot from the center blue line from the point at 8:53 that eluded goaltender Eric Hartzell.
Mike Angelidis gave Syracuse its first lead of the contest just over minutes later and made the score 2-1 with a long wrist shot from the left wall that found the back of the net. Hartzell would exit the game for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the goal and replaced by Deslauriers.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins open up the new year in Connecticut as they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday, Jan. 3 at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the action on the Sports Hub 102 or AHL Live.
– penguins –