SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – For the second consecutive game, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were able to erase a two-goal deficit, but it was Ryan Craig getting the late go-ahead goal to push the Springfield Falcons to a 4-3 victory at MassMutual Center.
The Penguins entered the third period down by a score of 3-2, but received a chance to even the match with a two-man advantage midway through the frame. Though they would be unable to convert on the power play, Simon Despres notched his second goal of the contests, sending a wrist shot past Falcons goalie Jeremy Smith at 12:36, only six seconds after Springfield returned to full strength.
Craig put an end to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s rally with 2:43 left in regulation, banging home a rebound after goaltender Jeff Deslauriers had stoned Darryl Boyce’s bid from the left circle.
The Falcons enjoyed four power plays in the first period and were able to find the back of the net twice in the final four minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Springfield went ahead, 1-0, when defenseman Tim Erixon flipped in a wrist shot from the near point that sneaked through a screen and to the left of Deslauriers.
With 20 seconds remaining in the first, the Falcons doubled their margin as Spencer Machacek got a stick on a pinballing puck in front of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton crease and directed it home for another power play goal.
The Penguins picked up their first goal of the game at 3:42 of the second during four-on-four play. Tom Kostopoulos began a 2-on-1 rush into the Falcons zone and sauced a pass to the left dot for Despres. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman beat Smith with a wrist shot to the glove side for his first goal of the season.
Six minutes later, Springfield regained their two-goal edge with Frederic St. Denis rifling a point shot into the Penguins net to make the score 3-1.
Brian Dumoulin cut the Falcons’ lead half with only 35 seconds left before the second intermission, picking the top left corner of the net with a snap shot during a 5-on-3 power play.
Deslauriers stopped 15-of-19 for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as his record goes to 7-2-0-2 on the season. Smith made 19 saves for the Falcons.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battle the Syracuse Crunch on the road at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. Tune into the Sports Hub 102 or AHL Live.
– penguins –