PENGUINS SKATE PAST PHANTOMS, WIN SECOND STRAIGHT
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Joe Vitale scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period, and John Curry turned aside 25 shots in his season debut to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to their second straight win, 2-1 over the Adirondack Phantoms on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
For the second straight game, the Penguins gave up the opening goal, but this time within the game’s opening minute. Curry’s attempt at playing the puck around the end boards deflected off the skate of an official right to the Phantoms’ Greg Moore. Moore’s cross-crease pass was slammed home by a wide-open Zac Rinaldo for the 1-0 advantage.
The Penguins would fire 14 shots on goal through the period’s first 19:33 before finding the equalizer. With the Penguins working on a power play, Chris Conner and Bryan Lerg would combine to get the puck in front to a helmetless Tim Wallace. The Penguins’ winger managed to chip the puck over a prone Johan Backlund to tie the score.
The Penguins would then claim the lead early in the second frame on a fast rush up ice started by an outlet pass from Robert Bortuzzo. The Penguins’ defenseman would find Nick Johnson at center ice, who in turn sent a feed to Vitale on the right wing. Vitale then hesitated, and took a wrist shot that sailed through the open pads of Backlund for his first goal of the season.
Adirondack would then be whistled for four consecutive penalties which gave the Penguins two brief 5-on-3 advantages, but the visitors killed off each one. The goaltenders faced six shots each in the third period, but neither allowed any close chances.
Backlund stopped 32 Penguins’ shots in taking the loss.
The Penguins finished 1-for-10 on the power play, while Adirondack ended up 0-for-6.
The Penguins will host the hit the road for their first trip of the season this Friday and Sunday, October 15 and 17. The Charlotte Checkers will host the Penguins for their first-ever home games in the AHL. The Penguins will return home on Friday, October 22 for a rematch against the Hershey Bears. Great seats remain, and fans can purchase them at the PennStar Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena, through any Ticketmaster outlet, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
10-game flex books, 12-game and 22-game partial plans are also available by calling the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-PENS.
NOTES: The game was officiated by two referees for the first time this season… Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson was recalled from loan by Pittsburgh prior to the game… The Penguins scratched defensemen Joey Mormina and Jason DeSantis, and forwards Ryan Craig, Ryan Schnell, and Keven Veilleux… The Penguins are now 5-0 against the Adirondack Phantoms over their last five games at Mohegan Sun Arena, including a 4-0 mark last season… The Penguins and Phantoms have played seven consecutive one-goal contests… The Adirondack Phantoms, and the former Philadelphia Phantoms, have not won in Wilkes-Barre since a 4-1 decision on December 7, 2008… The Penguins have won both games this season after allowing the game’s first goal.