Nick Drazenovic and Andrew Ebbett combined to force overtime with 12.9 seconds left in regulation, then each tallied in the shootout to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-3 win against the Toronto Marlies on Sunday afternoon.
The win is the second in a row for the Penguins (32-20-3-5, 72 points), and their fourth victory in the last six games (4-1-0-1). Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished their five-game road swings with a 3-1-0-1 mark to move into a tie for first place in the East Division with the Norfolk Admirals, who have a game in hand on the Pens.
Toronto (34-19-2-3, 73 points) picked up a point to extend its lead in the North Division over the Rochester Americans.
The Marlies entered the third period trailing the visitors 2-1, but a power play goal from Spencer Abbott tied the score midway through the frame, and former Penguin Trevor Smith put the hosts in front with 4:01 left in regulation with his fifth AHL tally of the season.
With time running down the goaltender Jeff Deslauriers pulled for the extra attacker, Ebbett grabbed a rebound in front of the Toronto net and fed a blind backhand pass across the crease. The puck found Drazenovic’s stick, and the Wilkes-Barre forward one-timed home his 12th of the season to extend the game to the extra frame.
The teams managed just two combined shots in OT – both by Toronto – before heading to the shootout. Smith scored in the second round for the lone Marlies marker, while Tom Kostopoulos, Drazenovic and Ebbett scored on consecutive attempts to give the Penguins the win.
Scott Harrington scored the lone goal of the first period, and Kenny Ryan and Antoin Zlobin traded tallies in the second.
Deslauriers stopped 31 of 34 shots through regulation and overtime, to pick up his 19th win of the season. His counterpart, Drew MacIntyre, turned aside 32 of 34 in defeat.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns home next Friday night when they will host the Bulldogs at 7:05pm. It’s another ANYTHING GOES FRIDAY, with prize giveaways throughout the night, as well as our $1,000 giveaway courtesy of Cross Valley Federal Credit Union.
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.
NOTES: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was held scoreless on eight power play attempts on the afternoon, and allowed a shorthanded goal to Ryan…Toronto went one-for-three on the power play.
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