PENGUINS BLANK PHANTOMS, 5-0, AND EARN FIRST WIN OF 2017-18


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earned their first win of the 2017-18 season in convincing fashion as Casey DeSmith’s 33-save shutout led the team to a 5-0 triumph over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

BOXSCORE

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1-1-0-0) had five different players account for its five goals, while DeSmith recorded the second clean sheet of his career.

After outlasting an early blitzkrieg by the Phantoms, the Penguins’ first goal of the game came from Tom Sestito on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s very first shot of the contest. Thomas Di Pauli outraced Lehigh Valley defenseman Samuel Morin on an impending icing call, then whipped around the net and set-up Sestito for the opening tally at 6:21 of the first period.

Shortly thereafter, Daniel Sprong notched his second power play goal of the season, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

The third Penguins goal came at 7:52 of the second period as Frank Corrado’s fluttering shot from the point fooled Alex Lyon. Jean-Sébastien Dea made it 4-0 at 15:19 of the middle frame with the help of tic-tac-toe passing from Tom Kostopoulos and Adam Johnson. Lyon was pulled from the Phantoms net following Dea’s goal and replaced by Dustin Tokarski.

Tokarski was perfect in relief of Lyon for over 20 minutes of action until the Penguins found another man advantage marker, this time coming from Dominik Simon. Simon closed out the scoring in the 5-0 contest with 2:51 left in regulation.

Johnson (2A), Kevin Czuczman (2A), Zach Trotman (1A) and Dylan Zink (1) all earned their first points as Penguins throughout the course of the evening, as well.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penalty kill was a perfect seven-for-seven on the night, and its power play unit converted on two of its six opportunities.

Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon finished with 11 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by Tokarski, who posted eight saves on nine shots.

The Penguins and Phantoms face-off again tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, when the two clubs drop the puck at Lehigh Valley’s PPL Center. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game Sunday, Oct. 15 against the Syracuse Crunch at 3:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS STAND TALL OVER DEVILS, 6-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rode an explosive first period to a 6-2 victory over the Binghamton Devils in preseason action at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton racked up four goals in the first 20 minutes of play and saw multi-point nights from six different players en route to its first win of the exhibition schedule.

Garrett Wilson wasted little time kicking off the Penguins’ scoring onslaught, taking a behind-the-

back, no-look pass from Tom Kostopoulos and depositing it into the Devils’ net at 5:36 of the first period. Kostopoulos earned a goal of his own during a five-on-three power play at 11:53 of the first, and Adam Johnson made it 3-0 just one minute later.

Binghamton responded with a man advantage marker from Jan Mandát at 15:11 of the opening frame, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got back out to a three-goal lead when Zach Trotman’s slapshot snuck through Scott Wedgewood’s goaltending equipment and across the goal line 49 seconds prior to intermission.

The Penguins’ Dominik Simon and the Devils’ Nathan Bastian traded goals during the second period, bringing the score to 5-2.

Kevin Czuczman notched the final goal of the game midway through the third period.

Tristan Jarry denied the Devils on 15 of the 17 shots he faced, while Wedgewood made 24 saves in the loss.

The Penguins’ next preseason game is tomorrow Saturday, Sept. 30, when they take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza against the Charlotte Checkers. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

OBIE’S OBSERVATIONS – PITTSBURGH TRAINING CAMP

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins broadcaster Mike O’Brien is in Western Pennsylvania for Pittsburgh Penguins training camp, and checked in with some of his thoughts from Monday’s practice and tournament game.

Practice

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

•  During the first three days of practice at training camp, the Penguins have split into three teams for a round robin tournament.  Team 3 was not able to make it to the championship game as they were on ice early today for practice.  Their roster read like a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Who’s Who from the 2014-15 season with the likes of Josh Archibald, Matt Murray, Carter Rowney, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson out there.  Seems like forever, but it is less than two years ago that those players were helping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to one of its best starts in team history.

•  It is always fun to see when players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton graduate to full-time residence in Pittsburgh, and obviously it has happened plenty of times over the last 18 years.  Still, it was special to see Carter Rowney skating during training camp today.  Such a good guy off the ice and a hard worker on it.  His trek from the ECHL to the NHL has been written about at length, as were his contributions during the Penguins’ most-recent Stanley Cup run.  Though Rowney has been a participant at Pittsburgh’s training camp before, it’s different this year.  His spot in the NHL this season is deserved and seemingly secure.  It has been a long, hard road for Rowney and it’s not hard to appreciate him officially reaching this point of his journey.

•  Recent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton signee Christian Thomas was also a part of Team 3’s practice.  A couple of times, he flashed the shot that helped him score 24 goals in Hershey last season.  Thomas also showed good ability distributing the puck.  His no-look pass to Garrett Wilson created a good chance in close and he set-up teams on a couple of 2-on-1s. Thomas was signed to bring another scoring element to the Penguins, but it appears he can be a playmaker as well.

Training Camp Championship Game

They won’t be throwing any parades for the winner of this one, but it was a spirited match-up between Team 1 led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin’s Team 2.  Team 1 used two goals in the “second half” of the scrimmage to pull away for the 4-2 win and take home the training camp crown.  Here are a few players that stood out:

•  Gage Quinney – The second-year pro was the MVP early on in the championship game, scoring both of Team’s 1 goals in the first half.  His first came off a quick shot that banged off the post and into the net.  Quinney’s second goal showed good patience, taking a pass from Ryan Reaves and waiting out Antti Niemi before tucking the puck past the skate of the downed goaltender.

•  Casey DeSmith – This isn’t DeSmith’s first training camp in Pittsburgh, but it is his first with an NHL contract.  The 26-year-old looked the part on Monday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.  Taking over net for the second half of the scrimmage and with the score knotted, 2-2, DeSmith pitched a shutout as Team 1 broke the tie and eventually skated to victory.  The netminder was reading the play well and kept his form whenever there was chaos or traffic around his net.  His prettiest save came with the glove, when he robbed Ian Cole on a bang-bang one-timer from the hashmarks.  DeSmith’s most impressive stop came moments before, getting a shoulder a Phil Kessel’s mid-air rebound opportunity on the left post.

•  Dominik Simon – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans remember Simon’s deadly shot that netted 25 goals during his rookie season in 2015-16.  At times last season, that skill took a backseat as he worked to develop other aspects of his game.  Skating on a line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, Simon’s quick release and accuracy were on display once again.  Stationed on the left circle, Simon took a centering feed from Crosby and sniped a wrist shot to the top of the net that turned out to be the game-winner.  With the depth at wing in Pittsburgh, earning a spot with out of camp might prove difficult.  But if Simon continues to light the lamp during the preseason, he could put himself in line to be one of the first call-ups for Jim Rutherford and Mike Sullivan.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

SIMON CLOSER TO NHL WITH WELL-ROUNDED SECOND SEASON


In addition to thrilling fans from coast-to-coast with the great game of hockey, the American Hockey League does not keep its other main objective a secret: development.

The Penguins organization knows that side of things well, having seen countless players cut their chops in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before becoming impact players in the Steel City. In fact, Pittsburgh’s two most recent playoff runs have been littered with significant contributions from players who started the year in the AHL.

Dominik Simon was an incredibly impressive talent in his rookie year during the 2015-16 season, but he spent a majority of this past season making gigantic improvements in his overall game. By showing greater attention to detail in the defensive zone, pick-pocketing backchecks and becoming a handful along the walls, Simon is a lot closer to becoming another Wilkes-Barre/Scranton success story making waves in the NHL.

The beginning of the 2016-17 season wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Simon, though. The same confidence he has now wasn’t showing through because of a lack of offensive production. In his first year in North America, he was leaned on heavily to produce and led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 25 goals. Now, he was visibly rounding out his game and becoming a more complete player, but as someone who prides himself on his scoring ability, it was a rough go for Simon.

“For half of the season, I felt bad,” he said. “I was frustrated, because it wasn’t rewarding for how I was working. I worked hard from the very beginning, but it didn’t go in at the start. But in the second half of the season, it was better. Goals started going in and other points, too.”

That’s when the Penguins coaching staff steps in. Finding ways to keep Simon’s confidence from completely deteriorating was an on-going topic of conversation for Chris Taylor and head coach Clark Donatelli during the first three months of the season. They wanted to reaffirm that everything that he was doing in all three zones was a marked improvement from his rookie season, although it was hard to measure as such.

“Dom played exceptionally hard this year, but he just didn’t get rewarded in the boxscores enough for his play,” Donatelli said. “He learned to play a little bit of defense this year and how to win his puck battles. Those 50/50 battles, he was coming off the walls with the puck a lot. Skating through the neutral zone with speed with and without the puck, all of it.”

“He made a big step, even though it might not have shown in the scoring department.”

The rewards hardly stopped for Simon once the second half of the season arrived. He found chemistry skating on a line with Teddy Blueger and Jean-Sébastien Dea that unlocked his scoring potential while maintaining that sharpness in the rest of his game. From the start of January to the end of the playoffs, Simon produced 34 points (11G-13A), 69.4 percent of his total offense.

Of course, a lot of those pucks go in because of Simon’s skill with the puck on his stick, but he and the coaching staff both believe that the avalanche of offense arrived in the second half because he continued to focus on the little details.

Simon’s sophomore season in North America was a big one for him, personally. While the numbers weren’t as daunting as his rookie year, he’s no longer a one-trick pony. There are several ways he can impact a game in a positive fashion now, and they all don’t show up on the scoresheet.

“I’m happy I could improve on a lot of other stuff, hockey-wise, that aren’t scoring,” Simon said. “It’s a good feeling to have to know you’ve improved.”

As far as his quest to the NHL is concerned, he and his mentors are very confident that he’s closer to the show today than he was at this time a year ago.

“Without a doubt,” Donatelli said. “It’s day and night.”


Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season are on sale now.  Call the Penguins directly at 570-208-7367 to get yours, or fill in the form below, and a Penguins account executive will reach out to you.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

PENGUINS FALL IN GAME FOUR TO BRUINS, 4-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Providence Bruins defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-2, in Game Four of the Atlantic Division Semifinal on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.  The win allowed the Bruins to remain alive in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, and forced a decisive Game Five on Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre.

The Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead that the Penguins eventually cut in half with a third period surge, but the comeback bid by the home team fell short against a Providence squad that was facing elimination.

Wayne Simpson buried his first goal of the playoffs just 1:15 into the game, and Colton Hargrove extended the lead eight minutes later with a power play goal.

Providence tacked on another goal with just 44.4 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Jake DeBrusk uncorked a short-side snipe on a three-on-one rush after taking a feed from Austin Czarnik.

DeBrusk added his second of the game by tipping in a slap shot from Bruins captain Tommy Cross at 14:09 of the second period.

The Penguins got on the board as Dominik Simon picked the pocket of Bruins defenseman Alex Grant and then flipped the puck over to Teddy Blueger, who wired a one-timer to the top corner with under three minutes left before the second intermission.

Simon earned another assist by helping to set up an Ethan Prow goal, making it 4-2 at 9:10 of the third period.

Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith posted 38 saves on the night, including a whopping 20 stops in the second period. Those 20 saves tied Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s franchise playoff record for saves in one period, set five years ago by Brad Thiessen against the St. John’s IceCaps.

Zane McIntyre halted 27 shots for his second win of this postseason.

The final game in the best-of-five series is Sunday, Apr. 30, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop for Game Five of the Atlantic Division Semifinal is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Individual tickets for Sunday afternoon’s game are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 570-208-7367.

Penguins postseason ticket packages, which include tickets to every home contest during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are on sale now.  With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every home game in the playoffs, as well as their same seat guaranteed. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every home game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS FALL IN SHOOTOUT TO PHANTOMS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The first-place Penguins (50-19-3-2) traversed two scoreless periods before picking up a point in the finale of a 12-game season series with the Phantoms.

The opening frame kicked off with flair when Garrett Wilson and Samuel Morin dropped the gloves just 38 seconds into the contest. That energy from that fight sustained the two teams through the first period, but neither squad could muster a goal before the first intermission. Similarly, the second period drew to a close with the Penguins and Phantoms tied, 0-0.

After 45 minutes of game time, the Penguins were finally able to get one past Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon. Teddy Blueger’s shot bounced off Lyon right to Dominik Simon, who buried it 5:10 into the third period of play for his 15th goal of the season.

The Phantoms answered back with a strike from Taylor Leier at 13:11 of the third. Not only did Leier’s tally tie the game, 1-1, it was the first goal Lehigh Valley scored against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 268:49, dating back to Mar. 18.

The game went to a shootout after a physical three-on-three overtime. Corban Knight scored the shootout’s lone goal and clinched the Phantoms a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

DeSmith stopped 33 shots in the loss for the Penguins. Lyon also turned away 33 shots in the win for the Phantoms after taking over for Anthony Stolarz, who was ushered off the ice just 1:32 into the first period. Stolarz recorded one save on one shot faced.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Apr. 14, when they face-off against the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual game tickets for Wednesday’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including packages for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

SIMON SUMMONED BY PITTSBURGH

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Dominik Simon from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Simon, 22, is tied for third in scoring on WBS this season with 45 points (14G-31A) in 67 games. He’s produced 16 of those points (6G-10A) over his last 17 games.

Last season, the 5-foot-11, 176-pound forward played in three NHL games with Pittsburgh, notching an assist in his NHL debut against the New York Rangers on March 13, 2016 at Madison Square Garden.

A native of Prague, Czech Republic, Simon’s AHL point total this year is very similar to his production as a rookie last season, when he had 48 points (25G-23A) in 68 games. His 25 goals led the team.

Pittsburgh drafted Simon in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Apr. 2, when it takes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. The Penguins’ next home game is Wednesday, Apr. 12, and once again, their opponent will be the Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/28/17

Goaltending and defense propel Penguins to four-game win streak

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (46-18-3-0) firing on all cylinders as magic number dwindles down

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS 5 at Syracuse 1
In a clash of the Eastern Conference’s division leaders, the Penguins emerged victorious without allowing a goal at even strength. Zach Aston-Reese scored for the second game in a row while he, Kevin Porter and Barry Goers all had multi-point games.

 

Saturday, Mar. 25 – PENGUINS 4 at Lehigh Valley 0
Tristan Jarry pitched Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second shutout of the season and handed the Phantoms their first scoreless game of the season in the process. Jarry made 35 saves, and the Penguins’ penalty kill went a perfect nine-for-nine.

 

Tuesday, Mar. 26 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Utica 1
Casey DeSmith made a team season-high 45 saves to hold off the Comets in a Sunday matinée at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The teams traded power play goals in the second period before Dominik Simon potted the game-winner in the third.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Mar. 31 – PENGUINS at Springfield
The Penguins shuttle up to MassMutual Center for their final meeting of the season with the T-Birds. Springfield is one of only two teams that is over .500 against the Pens (3-2-0-0).

 

Saturday, Apr. 1 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
The Penguins and Phantoms face one another for the fifth time in four weeks. The Penguins hold a narrow edge in the season series, 5-4-0-0, but the Phantoms have won their last two visits to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

 

Sunday, Apr. 2 – PENGUINS vs. Utica
The Comets return to Northeast Pennsylvania for another Sunday matinée and Kids Get In Free game at Mohegan Sun Arena. It is the Pens’ last game against a North Division team this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 26-4-1-0 in games which they played the night before.

– The Penguins have outscored their opponents 16-4 over the course of their four-game winning streak.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has not surrendered a goal in 149:29 of even strength time.

– Dominik Simon leads the team with six game-winning goals, which is also tied for the second-highest total in the league.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts the best penalty kill in the league (87.4%).

– Jarry is tied for the second-most wins in the AHL (27).

– New ATO signee Jeff Taylor finished second among ECAC defensemen in points this past season (33).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 67 46 18 3 0 95 .709
2. Lehigh Valley 67 43 20 4 0 90 .672
3. Providence 67 39 19 5 4 87 .649
4. Hershey 68 38 19 8 3 87 .640
5. Bridgeport 67 39 24 3 1 82 .612
6. Springfield 67 27 29 9 2 65 .485
7. Hartford 67 22 39 4 2 50 .373

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 67 24 27 51
Kevin Porter 63 11 34 45
David Warsofsky^ 50 15 29 44
Dominik Simon 64 14 29 43
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 42 27-14-1 2.19 .924 2
Casey DeSmith* 24 18-4-2 2.23 .917 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT       LOCATION                              TIME    

Fri, Mar. 31         Springfield          MassMutual Center               7:05 p.m.

Sat, Apr. 1          Lehigh Valley      Mohegan Sun Arena             7:05 p.m.

Sun, Apr. 2        Utica                      Mohegan Sun Arena             3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Mar. 27      (D)     Jeff Taylor                              Signed to ATO

Sat, Mar. 25        (D)     David Warsofsky                Recalled by PIT

Sat, Mar. 25        (D)     Frank Corrado                Reassigned by PIT

Thu, Mar. 23       (RW)  Josh Archibald                    Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS CLOSE OUT COMETS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE Pa. – Another strong showing between the pipes powered the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Utica Comets at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Sunday afternoon.

On the heels of a shutout the night before, the Penguins (46-18-3-0) won their fourth-straight game with a 45-save performance by rookie goalie Casey DeSmith. DeSmith’s 45 stops were the most he’d ever made in a regular season game in his AHL career, as well as a season-high for the Penguins.

After a scoreless first period in which the two clubs combined for 35 shots, the Comets solved DeSmith with a power play goal midway through the second. Darren Archibald settled a shot from the point and turned it over to his backhand for a slick finish and his 21st goal of the year.

Utica’s lead disappeared 41 seconds later when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered with a man advantage marker of its own. Derrick Pouliot played a quick give-and-go with Sahir Gill who took the shot that snuck its way by Michael Garteig.

The Penguins broke the 1-1 tie at 6:10 of the final stanza as the result of a tremendous effort by Dominik Simon. Shortly after receiving a slap pass from Tim Erixon, Simon faked a shot and patiently outwaited Garteig before flinging the puck into the top corner as he was knocked to his knees by the Comets’ defense.

Despite the extra push from Utica desperate to tie the game, Simon’s go-ahead goal proved to be the difference, his team-leading sixth game-winner of the season.

Garteig made 31 saves on 33 shots while being handed the head-held-high loss.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Mar. 31 when it travels to Mass Mutual Center for the team’s last match-up of the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, Apr. 1, and their opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS CRUISE TO 5-1 WIN AT SYRACUSE

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rode an impressive offensive performance to a 5-1 win against the Syracuse Crunch at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena on Friday night.

Hobey Baker finalist Zach Aston-Reese continued to impress early on in his pro career, as he notched a goal and an assist in his second pro game while the Penguins (44-18-3-0) kicked off their three-in-three weekend on a high note.

Thomas Di Pauli scored his second career goal to open the scoring, giving the Penguins an early 1-0 lead only 5:22 into the contest.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton continued to go to work as Kevin Porter and Aston-Reese set one another up for back-to-back goals one shift apart, making it 3-0. Syracuse goalie Kristers Gudļevskis saw his night end before the 15-minute mark and was replaced by Mike McKenna.

Syracuse eventually got on the board with a shorthanded tally by Michaël Bournival on a two-on-none rush with Cory Conacher with 3:44 remaining in the first.

The Penguins reestablished their three-goal edge 1:09 into the middle frame. A blue line blast from Barry Goers went past a screen and then McKenna, making it 4-1. Another early period goal at the start of the third period made it 5-1 when Dominik Simon tapped in his 13th goal of the year after a cross-crease pass from Ryan Haggerty.

In addition to a runaway victory for the road team, the game devolved into a penalty-filled contest by the end of regulation, too. The two clubs combined for 13 power plays and 40 total penalty minutes, but 32 of those PIMs came after the midway point of the game.

Tristan Jarry was spectacular once again in net for the Penguins as he made 27 saves on 28 shots for his 26th win on the year, tying him for the league lead. McKenna made 23 saves on 25 shots in his relief stint after Gudļevskis allowed three goals on seven shots.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 24, when it takes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. The Penguins’ next home showing is on Sunday, Mar. 26 when they take on the Utica Comets for a 3:00 p.m. Sunday matinée and Kids Get In Free game.

Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.