PENGUINS BEGIN 20TH SEASON AT HOME ON OCT. 6

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they will open their 20th season of hockey on home ice against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins had the Thunderbirds’ number in the 2017-18 season, going a perfect 4-0-0-0 against their fellow Atlantic Division foe. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also managed to double-up Springfield in goals during that four-game season series, outscoring the T-Birds by a 16-8 margin.

The rest of the Penguins’ 2018-19 is expected to be released later this week.

Season  ticket packages for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 20th season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

SPRONG SETS FRANCHISE RECORD IN PENGUINS’ 3-2 WIN

 

BOXSCORE

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins held on to secure two important points in the standings with a 3-2 triumph against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at MassMutual Center.

Daniel Sprong established a new franchise record for goals by a rookie with his 31st tally of the season that helped kick-start the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (44-22-6-2) offense.

Sprong set the Penguins’ rookie record when he opened the game’s scoring at 15:50 of the first period. Garrett Wilson slipped behind the Thunderbirds’ net and wrapped a behind-the-back pass to Sprong at the net-front, who beat Springfield goalie Harri Säteri glove-side.

If not for the strong play of Säteri, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would have built an even bigger lead before the end of the first period. The Penguins out-shot the Thunderbirds, 19-7, in the opening frame, but only carried a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.

Teddy Blueger solved Säteri for the second time of the night when he ripped a wrist shot from the high slot four minutes into the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton proceeded to pepper the Finnish netminder with shot after shot. Säteri earned his 30th save of the night with 12:12 still to play in the middle frame.

Säteri was finally given some run support by the team playing in front of him when Dryden Hunt scored on the power play at 13:40 of the second stanza.

Springfield then had two separate five-on-three man advantages late in the period with a chance to tie the game, but that’s when Tristan Jarry answered Säteri’s performance at the other side of the ice and shut the door on the Thunderbirds for the Penguins to maintain their 2-1 lead.

Three minutes into the third period, Curtis Valk tipped in a shot by Hunt and tied the game, 2-2.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hopped back on top, 3-2, right after the expiration of a penalty kill. Ryan Haggerty had just been relinquished from the penalty box to see Zach Trotman unload a screaming slap shot past Säteri at 11:33 of the final frame of regulation.

The Thunderbirds pulled the goalie late for an extra attacker, but never truly tested Jarry in the final minute so the Penguins walked away with the win and the season sweep of Springfield (4-0-0-0).

Jarry made 28 saves for the victory, while Säteri made 46 stops in loss.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 14, when they face a familiar foe in the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penultimate contest of the regular season.

Ticket packages and individual game tickets for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

GAME PREVIEW: PENGUINS at THUNDERBIRDS – APRIL 13, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their quest for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against the Springfield Thunderbirds, Friday night at Mass Mutual Center.

The Penguins (43-22-6-2, 94 pts, .644%) still hold the second spot in the Atlantic Division with a three-point advantage over Providence, while the Thunderbirds (32-34-5-2, 71 pts, .486%) are in the seventh spot in the same division, but carry a three-game winning streak into tonight’s game.

Friday’s game is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mass Mutual Center
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Wednesday, December 13 WBS Springfield 4-2 WIN
Friday, January 5 WBS Springfield 6-3 WIN
Wednesday, February 3 Springfield WBS 3-1 WIN
Friday, April 13 Springfield WBS  7:05pm

RECENT ACTION
The Penguins exploded with offense in the first period, and leaned on their goaltender in the later stages of the game, to secure a 5-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday. Anthony Peters recorded 41 saves for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while Adam Johnson scored twice 1:17 apart midway through the opening frame. Christian Thomas and Patrick McGrath tacked on tallies at 12:41 and 16:03 of the first period, respectively, and Gage Quinney notched a goal of his own to round out the scoring.

The Thunderbirds dominated the action from start to finish in a 2-0 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday night at the XL Center. Harri Sateri finished with 26 stops in the shutout win. Joel Lowry and Anthony Greco provided the offense for the Thunderbirds. Springfield’s offense ended the night with 48 shots.

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins clinched a playoff berth for the 16th straight season last Saturday evening. The 16-year postseason streak is the longest current streak in the AHL.

Garrett Wilson’s 40 points this season are a new career high.

With 30 goals on the season, Daniel Sprong has tied the franchise record for most goals by a rookie, set by Michel Ouellet in 2003-04.

Sprong’s goal output this year marks the first 30-goal season by a Penguin since Chris Minard (34) in 2008-09.

THUNDERBIRDS NOTES
Anthony Greco is atop the AHL with most shorthanded goals (6) and leads the AHL in shots with 244.

Springfield is tied for third in the AHL in power play opportunities (327), but they also top the league for the most shorthanded goals against with 14.

Harri Sateri was 3-0-0 in three starts on the road for Springfield last week, stopping 82 of 84 shots for a 0.67 goals-against average and a .976 save percentage, which earned him player of the week honors.

Curtis Valk leads the Thunderbirds in both points (59) and assists (40). His lead in both categories is in double digits over the next closest Thunderbird.

CONNECTIONS
Forward Bobby Farnham spent parts of three seasons (2012-15) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 39 points (17+22) and 666 penalty minutes in 191 games.

Defenseman Tim Erixon spent two seasons (2015-17) with the Penguins, recording 37 points (7+30) in 119 games.

PENGUINS WIN SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE, BEAT T-BIRDS, 3-1

BOXSCORE

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used a great night on the special teams front to defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds, 3-1, on Wednesday night at MassMutual Center.

In addition to receiving excellent goaltending by Casey DeSmith, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (29-12-3-1) used two power play goals and an impenetrable penalty kill to earn its first win at MassMutual Center since Feb. 5, 2016.

The first period was a back and forth affair that ended in a scoreless tie. The Thunderbirds had their best opportunity to pull ahead late in the frame when they went on a 1:24-long two-man advantage, but DeSmith came up with a series big with saves, keeping the score knotted at zero.

The teams traded goals in the second frame with Gage Quinney breaking things open at 10:49 of the second period. Quinney raced onto the ice following a line change and ended up in perfect position to receive a pass from Reid Gardiner. However, a mere 2:04 later, Springfield’s Dryden Hunt tied it up, 1-1.

With just 13.1 seconds left in the second period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled ahead on a power play goal from Thomas Di Pauli. Di Pauli buried his own rebound, snapping a 15-game scoreless drought and putting his team back on top, 2-1.

Late in the third and final frame of regulation with the game still separated by only one goal, DeSmith conjured one of the finest saves made by a Penguins goaltender this year. After a shot from the point created a rebound directly to the left of DeSmith, Ed Wittchow was staring at a wide open net with the puck on his stick. Wittchow threw the puck at the yawning cage, only to see DeSmith reach back with his glove, slap the puck out of midair and away from danger to keep his team in the lead.

Garrett Wilson tallied a power play, empty net insurance marker with 1:13 to go in the third period.

The Penguins finished the night two-for-seven on the man advantage, while the Thunderbirds couldn’t capitalize on any of their three power play opportunities.

DeSmith made 23 saves in his return to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Springfield goalie Evan Cowley posted 37 saves in defeat.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Feb. 9 when they visit the Providence Bruins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Feb. 17, and they’ll take on the Utica Comets for the first time this season. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. 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 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS TAKE DOWN THUNDERBIRDS, 4-2


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continued their recent roll by earning their fourth win in a row in a 4-2 defeat of the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20-10-2-1) used three tallies in the third period to take down Springfield, which had come into Friday’s contest having earned points in five of its last six games.

BOXSCORE

The Penguins scored the game’s first goal at 3:12 of the second period when Chris Summers’ point shot was redirected by Adam Johnson right to Greg McKegg, who put it into the Thunderbirds’ net.

Both teams were held at bay by excellent goaltending from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Casey DeSmith and Springfield’s Samuel Montembeault until Mark Fayne tied things up, 1-1, 1:03 into the third period.

Christian Thomas picked the top corner over Montembeault’s glove at 4:02 of the final frame of regulation, putting the Penguins back on top, 2-1.

Ryan Haggerty gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton some breathing room with a goal at 13:09 of the third period, only to see Springfield’s Dryden Hunt strike back 21 seconds later.

With the score sitting at 3-2 in favor of the Penguins, the Thunderbirds pulled their goalie with 1:26 left in regulation. Despite the advantage of an extra attacker, they were never able to truly test DeSmith before the sound of the final buzzer, and Johnson sealed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s victory with an empty net tally when only one second was left in the game.

DeSmith finished the game with 20 saves, while Montembeault recorded 19 stops for the Thunderbirds.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 6, as the Belleville Senators make their first ever visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Senators 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.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

FAN FRIDAY INFO

Would you like more info on tickets for any of our upcoming FAN FRIDAY games? Simply fill in your contact info below, and a Penguins ticket representative will contact you within 48 hours.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs THUNDERBIRDS, JANUARY 5, 2018

-256Days -8Hours -59Minutes -38Seconds

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins look to continue their hot streak against the Springfield Thunderbirds Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (19-10-2-1, 39 pts, .641%), winners of three straight, continue to climb the Atlantic Division standings, and are now in third place.

The Thunderbirds (14-19-1-1, 30 pts, .429%) are in the eigthh and final spot in the same division, but have points in five of their past six games (4-1-0-1).

Tonight’s game is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena
WATCH:  AHLLive.com
LISTEN:  WILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office
PROMOS: Eyewitness News Fan Friday ($14 lower bowl tickets) | Select draft beers available for just $2 (6-7:30pm) | PA Lottery Giveaway (Fans 18 and older)



SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Wednesday, December 13  WBS  Springfield  6-3 WIN
Friday, January 5  WBS  Springfield   7:05pm
Wednesday, February 3  Springfield  WBS   7:05pm
Friday, April 13  Springfield  WBS   7:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in overtime, 3-2, on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Ryan Haggerty netted his 12th goal of the season midway through the third period, before Greg McKegg evened the score on a late power play with goaltender Anthony Peters pulled for an extra attacker. Teddy Blueger needed just 26 seconds to put home his third OT tally of the season.

The Springfield Thunderbirds survived a game with many ups and downs before emerging victorious, 5-4, against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night at the XL Center.

The team’s entered the third period tied at 2-2 before Juho Lammikko put Springfield up at 3:32. Hartford struck for back-to-back goals at 4:25 (Joe Whitney) and 9:39 (Neal Pionk) to retake the one-goal lead. But former Penguin Bobby Farnham potted his second goal of the game with five minutes to play, before Josh Brown recorded his first goal of the season with just five seconds to play to secure the win for Springfield.


PENGUINS NOTES
Teddy Blueger has now scored three of the Penguins six overtime game-winners this season, and leads all AHL skaters in that category.

Since singing his second PTO with the Penguins this season on Dec. 28, Anthony Peters has won all three of his starts, and has posted a .902 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average.

Defenseman Kevin Czuczman has an assist on four of the Penguins’ six overtime goals this season.


THUNDERBIRDS NOTES
Anthony Greco has the eighth most shots on goal in the league with 103. The four players ahead of him are tied for fourth with only one more shot.

Springfield leads the AHL in times shorthanded (180), but they also have drawn the second-most power plays (170).


CONNECTIONS
Forward Bobby Farnham spent parts of three seasons (2012-15) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 39 points (17+22) and 666 penalty minutes in 191 games.

Defenseman Tim Erixon spent two seasons (2015-17) wit the Penguins, recording 37 points (7+30) in 119 games.


FAN FRIDAY INFO

Would you like more info on tickets for any of our upcoming FAN FRIDAY games? Simply fill in your contact info below, and a Penguins ticket representative will contact you within 48 hours.

PENGUINS SOAR PAST THUNDERBIRDS, 6-3

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back from a two-goal deficit, defeating the Springfield Thunderbirds, 6-3, on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15-7-1-1) tallied five unanswered goals in the final two frames to earn its second win in a row. Rookies Daniel Sprong (2G-0A) and Zach Aston-Reese (0G-3A) led the offensive onslaught for the Penguins, and Patrick McGrath (1G-0A) scored the second AHL goal of his career and first on home ice.

Andrey Pedan put the home team on board first at 14:55 of the opening frame, but the Thunderbirds evened things up less than two minutes on a point shot by Maxime Fortunus. Springfield pulled ahead, 2-1, just 90 seconds later when Maxim Mamin used slick stickhandling in a tight space at Casey DeSmith’s netfront and lifted the puck over the goaltender.

The Thunderbirds’ lead increased to 3-1 at 8:43 of the middle frame when a strange bounce victimized DeSmith and the Penguins. Chase Balisy attempted a cross-slot pass that ricocheted off of a Penguins defenseman’s boot and then snuck through DeSmith.

Unfazed by the inopportune puck luck, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took over from there.

The Penguins’ run of five unanswered goals started with Greg McKegg scooped up a rebound floating around Samuel Montembeault for his first goal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 12:50 of the second period. Less than three minutes later, Sprong scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season by ripping a blistering one-timer to tie the game, 3-3.

The Penguins regained the lead at 5:07 of the final period as Sprong notched his team-leading 14th goal of the year. Following a wonderful forecheck, Aston-Reese set-up Ryan Haggerty 8:24 into the third stanza for a tally that extended Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to 5-3.

McGrath, a Shavertown, Pennsylvania native, put the game away with an empty-netter with just 1:07 left in regulation, bringing the game to its final score of 6-3.

DeSmith turned aside 24 of the 27 shots he faced in his first game back with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a two-week stint in Pittsburgh. Montembeault denied 30 of 35 for Springfield.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Dec. 15 when they trek up to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 22 against the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. 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 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs THUNDERBIRDS – DECEMBER 13, 2017


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Springfield Thunderbirds meet for the first of four meetings this season on Wednesday, December 13.

The Penguins (14-7-1-1, 30 pts, .652%) sit in third place in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Thunderbirds (10-17-1-0, 21 pts, .375%) hold down eighth place.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena
WATCH: AHLLive.com
LISTEN: WILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office


SEASON SERIES

 DATE  ROAD  HOME  TIME/RESULT
 Wednesday, December 13  Springfield  WBS  7:05pm
 Friday, January 5  Springfield  WBS  7:05pm
 Wednesday, February 7  WBS  Springfield  7:05pm
 Friday, April 13  WBS  Springfield  7:05pm

 


RECENT ACTION

The Penguins posted a 4-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Sunday afternoon at the Giant Center. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got first period goals from Christian Thomas, Daniel Sprong and Thomas Di Pauli en route to the win. Zach Trotman tallied a third period marker as well, and Sean Maguire made 18 saves for his first AHL victory this season.

The Thunderbirds suffered a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon. The defeat saw Springfield’s December record fall to 1-4-0-0.


PENGUINS NOTES

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s nine home wins are tied for third in the AHL, behind only the Providence Bruins and Rockford IceHogs 10 apiece.

Daniel Sprong is tied for seventh in the league with 12 goals and tied for second with seven power play goals. Those numbers also tie him for first place in both categories among rookie skaters.

Sprong is also tied for sixth among rookies with 19 points.

Thomas DiPauli’s eight goals place him in a tie for eighth among rookies,


THUNDERBIRDS NOTES

Springfield’s road record is just 2-10-1-0 (5 pts, .192%), placing the team 30th in the 30 team league in the category. The Thunderbirds are averaging less than two goals per game when away from the Mass Mutual Center (25 goals in 13 games).

The Thunderbirds are the most penalized team in the AHL with 479 penalty minutes.

Alexandre Grenier leads the Thunderbirds and is tied for 11th in the league with 23 points. His 16 assists are tied for 10th overall.


CONNECTIONS

Forward Bobby Farnham spent parts of three seasons (2012-15) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 39 points (17+22) and 666 penalty minutes in 191 games.

Defenseman Tim Erixon spent two seasons (2015-17) wit the Penguins, recording 37 points (7+30) in 119 games.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON FALLS IN SPRINGFIELD, 3-1

 

BOXSCORE

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins saw their four-game win streak come an end on Friday night in a 3-1 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center.

The Penguins (46-19-3-0) found themselves in an insurmountable three-goal hole late in the third period as Thunderbirds’ goaltender Sam Brittian recorded 27 saves for just his third victory of the season.

After a scoreless first period, Springfield earned the game’s first goal on a point shot by Matt MacKenzie navigated its way through traffic and into Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s net. MacKenzie’s fourth tally of the season came at 10:18 of the second.

An unfortunate bounce early in the third period victimized the Penguins and presented a gift to the Thunderbirds for them to extend their lead to 2-0. Fifty-five seconds into the frame, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Tristan Jarry went behind his cage to retrieve a dump-in, but the puck caromed off the glass and into the slot where Anthony Greco could fire the biscuit into an open net.

Kyle Rau made it 3-0 for the Thunderbirds at 12:19 of the third.

Ryan Haggerty sent a heat-seeking missile to the top corner of the Falcons’ net, spoiling Brittain’s shutout bid with 4:05 left to play in regulation.

The Penguins’ penalty kill was five-for-six on the night, with Greco’s strange tally early in the final stanza the only man advantage marker allowed on the night by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jarry recorded 23 saves on 26 shots faced for the Penguins.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 1, when they take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. 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 NOTEBOOK – COMINGS AND GOINGS


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins locker room at the Toyota Sportsplex should have a revolving door installed with all of the player movement that has been going on lately.  From March 2-29, no fewer than 35 transactions involving the AHL Penguins were made.

That number grew by four on Thursday, March 30.

With the improved health of several NHL regulars finally going their way, the Pittsburgh Penguins reassigned defenseman David Warsofsky, as well as forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Josh Archibald to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The trio returns to NEPA just as the Pens are beginning an extremely busy final three weeks of the regular season, with back-to-back three-in-three weekends on the schedule.

With Warsofsky returning to the fold, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reassigned defenseman Ryan Segalla to the Wheeling Nailers.

A NEW FACE

Earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh Penguins inked 2014 draft pick Jeff Taylor to a two-year contract which starts next season.  A product of Union College, Taylor then signed a PTO (professional tryout) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and hit the practice ice with the club for the first time on Wednesday.

A skilled blueliner, Taylor led all Union defensemen and was fifth overall on the team with 33 points (9+24) during his senior season.  It was somewhat of a bounce back season for the native of Clifton Park, NY, who posted just 12 points (2+10) in 36 games last year.

“My junior season I struggled a little bit, I was trying to work on a few different things,” he said.  “It was just a growing year, a building year.  I’m glad I had it and I’m glad I got better from it.”

Head coach Clark Donatelli liked what he saw from the new signee following his first practice session with the Pens.

“He looked good out there,” Donatelli stated.  “He’s  a puck moving defenseman.  I know him a little bit from development camp over the last few years.”

Donatelli said Taylor would likely feature in one of the Penguins three games over the weekend, but wasn’t looking to put too much pressure on the newcomer.

“We’re not going to expect too much from him.  We just want him to go out there, get his feet wet, get a couple of games under his belt first,” he said.

BACK IN ACTION

While Taylor will see his first action ever, Garrett Wilson will likely see his first action in a month and a half, after being cleared to return to the lineup.

Wilson suffered a shoulder injury against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on February 14, and has been sidelined ever since.  He skated in warmups for the Penguins last weekend, but figures to get his first taste of game action since the injury on Friday night.

“I think I definitely could have played last weekend,” Wilson said.  “I knew I didn’t want to rush it.  We still had a bit of time before playoffs.  The severity of the separation, they wanted to give it a little extra time to make sure it really healed.”

Wilson used the past week of practice to see how his body would react to being banged about a bit, and from all reports he’s come out in good shape.

“I knew once I started hitting, using a lot of contact with it, it was going to make it pretty sore,” he said.  “I got the contact in practice now, so I tried it against the boys a couple times.  It feels pretty good. Hopefully it won’t change my game too much.”

The news wasn’t so good for defenseman Stuart Percy, who underwent surgery earlier this week and will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs according to Donatelli.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins return home for a pair of games this weekend against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Saturday at 7:05pm) and Utica Comets (Sunday at 3:05pm). Sunday’s game is a KIDS FREE contest, with fans ages 14 and younger able to attend the game for FREE with a paid adult ticket.

Tickets for both games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling 570-208-7267.