BLUEGER LOOKING TO MAKE NHL LEAP


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had just been eliminated from the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. Understandably, the mood in the locker room could be best described as “not great”.

As the players stewed in the still-fresh sting of an abrupt postseason exit, the coaching staff reminded them that they still had a lot to be proud of from the year, but to capture the moment and use this disappointment to motivate them moving forward. Eventually, the players got up, took off their gear for one last time until next season, and the mood slowly lightened.

The locker room opened to the player’s friends and families. As loved ones and close companions entered in the room, Teddy Blueger entered the gym.

Less than 30 minutes after being bounced from the playoffs, Blueger was working out, the same way he had during the season. Never mind the fact that there were no games for him to play on the horizon, he was going to give 100 percent in the weight room.

That kind of work ethic has been on display ever since Blueger arrived in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an amateur tryout in 2016. Two full seasons later, his hard work has paid off visibly with his play on the ice, and probably has him in a position where he’s ready for the NHL.

Blueger received his first NHL call-up during this past season, but he didn’t see any game action. Even though he never got in the line-up, Blueger emanates confidence when it the subject of playing for Pittsburgh comes up. 

“I think I’m ready,” Blueger said. “It would be nice to get an opportunity to play soon. That’s when you really know if you’re ready or not. That being said, I think if I had a chance to get in (during the season’s call-up), I would have done well.”

The Latvian forward’s sentiments are shared by his head coach, Clark Donatelli. Donatelli has overseen just about all of Blueger’s development in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and he believes there’s not much more for him to prove at the AHL level.

“He’s ready to play games now at the NHL level,” Donatelli said. “He’s a top prospect… I would think he’d be battling for a spot up there next year.”

Statistically, Blueger is coming off of a shining season of professional hockey. Twenty-one goals placed second on the team, and 45 points crushed his previous career-high. He became a fun minor storyline throughout the year due to his overtime prowess, leading the league with four overtime game-winning goals.

However, the Shattuck St. Mary’s product’s impact stretches vastly beyond his offensive output. Blueger is revered by his teammates and coaches for his stout defensive play where he was always the first over the boards for the penalty kill or challenged with important D-zone face-offs. His defensive dominance remained intact this season, so really, the improved offensive numbers were the icing on the cake. 

“It was nice to be able to step up and be more of an offensive contributor,” Blueger said. “It’s nice knowing that I can be relied on in that way, but defensively is how I’m going to get to the next level. My defensive game has come a long way, positioning, puck battles, D-zone coverage, stuff like that has gotten better.”

He hasn’t gotten his NHL moment yet, but Blueger says he’s been encouraged by seeing some of his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton teammates lock down positions in Pittsburgh during his first two years in the organization. He specifically cited the ascents of Dominik Simon and Zach Aston-Reese this season as examples of Pittsburgh trusting the developmental process in the AHL and then rewarding players with NHL spots if their results warrant it.

Simon and Aston-Reese look like they’re in the Steel City to stay, and maybe Blueger will join them soon. Free agency plus Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford’s offseason wheeling and dealing could alter the complexion of Pittsburgh’s roster. That means there could be an open spot ripe for the picking.

“That’s what they say every year,” Blueger retorted, acting as the devil’s advocate. “Stuff like that’s out of my control. My job is to show up and play as well as I possibly can. Hopefully then I can take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.”

By Nick Hart

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

BLUEGER JOINS TEAM LATVIA AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Teddy Blueger (Teodors Blugers) has been added to the roster for Team Latvia at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, taking place this month in Denmark.

Blueger, a native of Riga, Latvia, recorded 45 points (21+24) in 70 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.  He finished third on the team in points, second in goals and tied for second in game-winning goals (5).  His four overtime goals led the entire American Hockey League.

The 23-year old Blueger was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round in the 2012 NHL Draft. This will be his second IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournament, after he appeared in seven games in the 2017 competition, held in Cologne, Germany.

For more information on the tournament, and to check out how Teddy is faring in the competition, head on over to the IIHF website.

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.

PENGUINS DROP 4-3 CONTEST TO DESPERATE SOUND TIGERS

 

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a close matchup against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.

Daniel Sprong put forth a goal and two power play assists to keep Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (41-22-6-2) within striking distance, but a Bridgeport team fighting to keep its slim playoff hopes alive had the extra vigor to hang on when it was all said and done.

The Penguins took the lead 4:48 into the game when captain Tom Kostopoulos cashed in on the man advantage. Sprong unloaded a one-timer towards the net, which Kostopoulos tipped past goaltender Christopher Gibson.

Shortly thereafter, Bridgeport answered back with a power-play goal of its own. Mitchell Vande Sompel picked the short side corner over the shoulder of Tristan Jarry, evening the game at one goal apiece.  Then Steve Bernier gave the visitors their first lead of the night at 11:45 of the opening frame.

Vande Sompel later scored his second goal of the night, once again beating Jarry to the short side and just inside post. Vande Sompel’s first career multi-goal game put the Sound Tigers up, 3-1, just under five minutes into the second stanza.

Sprong pulled the Penguins within one again by unloading a wicked one-timer on a set face-off play. Teddy Blueger won the draw clean to Sprong who blasted the puck into the opposite top corner at 7:50 of the second period.

Sprong’s goal nearly served as a turning point in the contest, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton began peppering Gibson with shot after shot following the rookie’s team-leading 29th goal of the season. The Penguins almost doubled the Sound Tigers’ shot total in the middle frame, throwing 13 pucks at the net. Gibson held down the fort with some dazzling saves so that his squad could enter the second intermission with the one-goal lead.

Ben Holmstrom tipped in a cross-crease pass from Kyle Schempp eight minutes into the third period, extending the Sound Tigers’ lead to 4-2.

The Penguins reduced the deficit down to one yet again when Blueger tipped in one of Sprong’s shots during a power play late in the final frame. Down by one and with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton couldn’t muster the equalizer, despite two great scoring chances for Sprong.

In the end, Jarry stopped 18 shots while Gibson recorded 25 saves on the night.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 7, against the Binghamton Devils. Saturday’s game is also Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s final home game of the regular season and will serve as the team’s annual Fan Appreciation Night. Pre-game ceremonies prior to the contest between the Penguins and Devils are scheduled to begin 7:00 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final two home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS DEFEAT BRUINS, 5-2, RECLAIM SECOND PLACE IN DIVISION

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used a second period surge to defeat the visiting Providence Bruins, 5-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday night.

Daniel Sprong scored his team-leading 25th and 26th goals of the season within the opening minutes of the middle frame to spur Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (39-20-6-2) on to beat their rival and reclaim second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Penguins came out with a strong offensive effort in the first period, throwing 14 pucks at the net, but were unable to solve goaltender Zane McIntyre. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got its greatest scoring chance of the opening frame when Jean-Sébastien Dea was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway, only to be denied by McIntyre.

Shortly after McIntyre stoned Dea on the shorthanded opportunity, the P-Bruins eventually converted on that man advantage with 41.5 seconds left in the first period. Jakub Zbořil released a rocket slap shot that found its way through traffic and into the Penguins’ net to put the visitors on the board first.

The Penguins came roaring back to start the middle frame, using three goals within the first 6:05 of the period to gain a two-goal lead. First, Sprong fooled McIntyre with a spin-o-rama backhander from the left wall as the puck somehow leaked past the Providence goalie’s pad and inside the near post. Less than three minutes later, Garrett Wilson fed Sprong for an opportunity that he ripped through McIntyre’s five-hole.

Sprong’s second goal on the night pulled him into a tie with Charlotte’s Warren Foegele for the league lead in rookie goal scoring (26).

On his first shift back after retreating to the locker room for an injury evaluation, Joseph Cramarossa sniped the glove side of McIntyre and extended the Penguins’ lead to 3-1.

Anton Blidh halted the spread of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s wildfire when he beat Tristan Jarry clean over the glove on the rush, pulling the P-Bruins back within one at 8:54 of the second stanza.

Both teams’ offenses were held in check until midway through the final period. Teddy Blueger pulled off a sensational deke in tight quarters and roofed a shot right under the crossbar for a Penguins insurance maker, putting them up, 4-2.

Jarred Tinordi flipped the puck into the empty net in the game’s closing seconds to round out the scoring at 5-2.

Both Jarry and McIntyre ended up with 27 saves on the night.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Mar. 30 when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack for the final time this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Mar. 31, and they’ll host the Providence Bruins once again. Saturday’s puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/20/18

Penguins maintain strong record against rival Bears, now contend with league-leading Marlies

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-4-2) travels to Toronto, then has three-in-three weekend

 

Weekly Rewind

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – Penguins 5 at Charlotte 2
Though the Checkers struck first, the Penguins used two rounds of scoring bunches to defeat the Checkers. Zach Trotman scored in his first game back from injury.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – Penguins 1 at Charlotte 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second showdown with the Checkers in two days was less successful than the first. Tom Sestito notched the Penguins’ only goal of the game.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS 1 vs. Hartford 4
The Penguins struggled to solve Wolf Pack goalie Chris Nell, who stood tall through an 18-shot barrage in the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also held Hartford to three shots in the middle frame, tied for fewest allowed by the team this season.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS 6 vs. Hershey 4
Étienne Marcoux earned his first AHL victory as the Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit after one period to defeat the Bears. Thomas Di Pauli’s two goals helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improve to 8-0-1-1 against Hershey this season.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 20 – PENGUINS at Toronto
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes on Toronto for the second time this season after winning, 4-2, in the clubs’ pervious meeting. However, the Marlies own the league’s best record, 44-17-1-1, and have allowed the fewest goals in the AHL (135).

Friday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS at Utica
The Penguins travel to Utica for the first and only time this year, looking to avenge their pervious 5-4 overtime loss to the Comets. Utica has only won two of its last 11 games, but forward Cameron Darcy has five points (3G-2A) in his last five contests.

Saturday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS at Binghamton
The Penguins look to go a perfect 5-0 against the Devils this season when they face-off on Saturday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s last three games against Binghamton have gone to OT.

Sunday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS vs. Bridgeport
Kids Get In Free Sunday showcases a Bridgeport team scratching and clawing to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Penguins are 2-0-1-0 against the Sound Tigers this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong is tied for second among AHL rookies in goals (22)

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger had his first three-point night of the season and second of his career on Sunday, scoring a goal and two assists.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 66 42 16 3 5 92 .697
2. PENGUINS 62 37 19 4 2 80 .645
3. Providence 64 38 21 3 2 81 .633
4. Charlotte 66 37 26 0 3 77 .583
5. Bridgeport 64 31 25 5 3 70 .547
6. Hartford 66 29 29 5 3 66 .500
7. Hershey 66 27 30 4 5 63 .477
8. Springfield 65 28 31 5 1 62 .477

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 51 22 25 47
Jean-Sébastien Dea 57 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 57 17 20 37
Ryan Haggerty 35 16 15 31
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 22 10-7-3 2.78 .902 1

* = rookie
^ = on recall to Pittsburgh

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                               TIME        

Tue, Mar. 20     Toronto            Ricoh Coliseum                       7:00 p.m.

Fri, Mar. 23        Utica                 Utica Memorial                       7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 24      Binghamton    Veterans Memorial Arena    7:00 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 25     Bridgeport       Mohegan Sun Arena             3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Mar. 20     (G) Étienne Marcoux             Released from PTO

Mon, Mar. 19     (G) Tristan Jarry                    Reassigned from PIT

Sun, Mar. 18      (RW) Josh Jooris                                Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS SCORE IN BUNCHES TO BEAT CHECKERS, 5-2

BOXSCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Quick-succession scoring led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 5-2 triumph over the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-17-4-2) picked up two pairs of goals in a matter of seconds throughout the course of the contest to win its third game in a row and earn points in six of its last seven.

The Checkers were on the Penguins early, dominating possession in the first eight minutes of the game. All of their offensive zone time culminated in a goal, as Valentin Zykov potted his league-leading 31st tally of the season at 8:52 of the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded swiftly though, as Zach Trotman and Tom Kostopoulos scored 31 seconds apart for the Penguins to shock the Queen City crowd and take a sudden 2-1 lead.

Zach Trotman throws a puck on net and ties the game, 1-1
Tom Kostopoulos takes a Gage Quinney feed and makes it 2-1

After a largely uneventful first half of the second period, the Penguins struck twice in quick fashion again. First, Tom Sestito forced a turnover by levying a crunching hit at the Checkers’ blue line, and Sam Lafferty delivered an on-the-money pass to Joseph Cramarossa for a breakaway goal. Twenty seconds after

Sam Lafferty sets up Joey Cramarossa for the eventual game-winner.

Lafferty earned his first pro point with the helper on Cramarossa’s tally, Teddy Blueger found the back of the net during the power play. Blueger’s man advantage marker gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 4-1 lead at 15:02 of the middle frame.

Teddy Blueger pokes home a power play goal to seal the deal.

Charlotte cut into the deficit with a power play goal of its own. Andrew Poturalski did the honors with a one-timer in the high slot with 3:02 left before the second intermission.

Still trailing by two late in the third period, Checkers head coach Mike Vellucci got aggressive and pulled his goalie for an extra attacker with 4:44 remaining in regulation. Charlotte’s bold move only resulted in Kostopoulos setting up Blueger for an empty net goal with 1:31 left in regulation.

Anthony Peters recorded 29 saves for the win. Charlotte goalie Alex Nedeljkovic posted 23 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 14, and their opponent will be the Checkers once again. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Contact Us

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/13/18

 

Penguins play Checkers tonight, tomorrow, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (35-17-4-2) makes first visit to Bojangles’ Coliseum since 2011 playoffs

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 9 – PENGUINS 3 at Binghamton 2 (OT)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went to overtime with Binghamton for the third-straight meeting, and the Penguins came out on top once again. The Penguins are now 4-0-0-0 against the Devils this season thanks to Teddy Blueger’s fourth overtime game-winning goal of the year.

Saturday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Grand Rapids 1
The Penguins held on to beat the defending Calder Cup Champions in the Griffins’ first visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since Mar. 25, 2009. Adam Johnson notched the first shorthanded goal of his career, while Kevin Czuczman scored the game-winner with 8:35 left in regulation.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made the trek to North Carolina and will face Charlotte at Bojangles’ Coliseum for the first time since the 2011 playoffs. Charlotte has been a tough opponent for the Penguins, winning both of the clubs’ earlier meetings.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Game 2 of the Penguins’ set at Bojangles’ Coliseum takes place on Wednesday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 8-7-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
The Penguins host their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Pens are 2-2-0-0 against the Wolf Pack this season with the home team emerging victorious in all four contests.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
The Penguins welcome their bitter rival to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for a Kids Free Sunday matinée. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a 7-0-1-1 record against Hershey this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger’s four OT goals is also the most in a single season in Penguins history, and has him tied with Carter Rowney and Tom Kostopoulos for the franchise’s all-time lead.

– Jean-Sébastien Dea is on a three-game point streak and has 11 points (2G-9A) in his last 12 games.

– On Friday, Michael Leighton played in his first game since Dec. 22, 2017. He has won both of his starts with the Penguins, and both victories have come in overtime against Binghamton.

– Daniel Sprong currently ranks in a tie for third among all AHL rookies in goals (21), points (44) and shots on goal (146).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 63 40 16 3 4 87 .690
2. PENGUINS 58 35 17 4 2 76 .655
3. Providence 61 36 20 3 2 77 .631
4. Charlotte 62 35 24 0 3 73 .589
5. Bridgeport 61 30 23 5 3 68 .557
6. Springfield 62 28 29 4 1 61 .492
7. Hartford 62 26 29 5 3 60 .476
8. Hershey 63 25 29 4 5 59 .468

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 48 21 23 44
Jean-Sébastien Dea 55 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 53 14 18 32
Ryan Haggerty 55 16 15 31
Zach Aston-Reese^* 41 9 20 29
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 18 9-5-3 2.63 .906 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Tue, Mar. 13   Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Wed, Mar. 14 Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 17     Hartford           Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 18   Hershey           Mohegan Sun Arena         3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Thu, Mar. 8        (RW) Josh Jooris                             Recalled by PIT

Fri, Mar. 9          (D) Kevin Spinozzi                       Assigned to WHL

Mon, Mar. 12    (D) Dylan Zink                          Reassigned to WHL

BLUEGER REPRISES ROLE AS OVERTIME HERO IN 3-2 WIN AT BINGHAMTON

 

BOXSCORE

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Teddy Blueger scored yet another overtime game-winning goal as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins downed the Binghamton Devils, 3-2, at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.

Blueger notched his league-leading fourth overtime-deciding tally of the season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (34-17-4-2) to beat Binghamton for the fourth time in four meetings this season.

The Penguins got off to a hot start when Jean-Sébastien Dea used a shorthanded goal to give the team the first lead of the game at 4:41 of the opening frame. Gage Quinney tacked on another goal five and a half minutes later, shooting from an angle along the goal line and somehow snuck behind Eddie Läck.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton almost escaped the first period unscathed until Jacob MacDonald scores with 1.2 seconds left before the intermission. Binghamton lined up for an offensive zone face-off with 2.2 ticks remaining in the period when Michael Latta won the draw cleanly to MacDonald, who blasted a slap shot from the point into the Penguins’ net.

As power play opportunities began to mount for the Devils in the second period, the Penguins’ penalty kill held the home team’s man advantage unit at bay. By the end of the contest, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton successfully killed off all five of its opponents power plays throughout the game.

Despite the penalty killing prowess of the Penguins, the Devils found another late period goal to pull even, 2-2. Latta found a puck that skittered into the slot, spun a backhand shot towards the cage and tied the game with 1:41 left in the middle frame.

Both clubs’ goaltenders shined in the third, with Michael Leighton and Läck both making 14 saves on 14 shots faced in the final frame of regulation. Leighton, who was making his first start since Dec. 22, 2017, showed no signs of rust while facing the pressure-packed situation of a tie game in the third period.

The strong performance of Leighton and Läck sent the game to overtime, where Blueger worked his magic once again. Dea danced around a defending player in the corner of the Devils zone and powered his way to the front of the net. He had the puck poked off his stick, but the loose biscuit went right to Blueger who buried it to give the Penguins the win four minutes into the extra frame.

Leighton made 27 saves total in his return to the lineup, while Läck turned aside 29 of the shots he faced.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 10, against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since 2009 also serves as the Penguins’ Star Wars Night. Puck drop between the Penguins and Griffins on Star Wars Night 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/6/18

Penguins to host Star Wars Night on Saturday

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (33-17-4-2) returns from Midwest road trip with three points in three games

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 2 – PENGUINS 4 at Grand Rapids
The Penguins defeated the defending Calder Cup Champions in their first visit to Van Andel Arena in nearly a decade. After two back and forth periods, Teddy Blueger gave the Penguins their first lead of the night and game-winning goal in the third. Garrett Wilson added an empty net goal with less than a minute left in regulation for his second tally of the night.

Saturday, Mar. 3 – PENGUINS 0 at Rockford 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was shut-out in a tenacious meeting against Rockford that saw 66 total penalty minutes. Rockford scored two goals within the first half of regulation, and added an empty netter to close out the game. Rockford’s Collin Delia stood tall in net, pitching the first shutout of his career. Penguin goalie Étienne Marcoux stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced in his AHL debut.

Sunday, Mar. 4 – PENGUINS 2 at Milwaukee 3 (SO)
Even though the Pens peppered Anders Lindbäck with 40 shots, the Admirals’ goaltender kept his team in the game and ended up with the shootout win. Ethan Prow scored his third goal of the season, and Josh Jooris sent the game to overtime in the final minute of regulation with his first goal as a Penguin.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Mar. 9 – PENGUINS at Binghamton
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes on Binghamton and looks to keep the season series perfect. The Penguins have defeated the Devils in each of their three meetings this season, all by identical 4-3 scores.

Saturday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS vs. Grand Rapids
The Penguins face the Griffins for the second time in nine days after defeating them, 4-2, in their matchup last Friday. Grand Rapids hasn’t played in Wilkes-Barre since Mar. 25, 2009.

 

Ice Chips

– Newly signed goaltender Étienne Marcoux made his AHL debut on Saturday. Marcoux had a successful junior career, posting the best save percentage (.913) and goals against average (2.14) in the QMJHL in 2012-2013 and won back-to-back CIS University Cups in 2016 and 2017.

– Adam Johnson has six points (4G-2A) in his last seven games.

– Chris Summers played in his 500th pro game on Saturday at Rockford.

– Daniel Sprong currently ranks third among all AHL rookies in both goals (21) and power play goals (9).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 60 38 15 3 4 83 .692
2. PENGUINS 56 33 17 4 2 72 .643
3. Providence 58 34 19 3 2 73 .629
4. Charlotte 60 33 24 0 3 69 .575
5. Bridgeport 58 28 22 5 3 64 .552
6. Hartford 61 26 27 5 3 60 .492
7. Springfield 59 27 28 3 2 58 .492
8. Hershey 60 24 27 4 5 57 .475

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 46 21 23 44
Jean-Sébastien Dea 51 12 23 35
Ryan Haggerty 33 16 15 31
Teddy Blueger 41 13 17 30
Zach Aston-Reese^* 41 9 20 29
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 17 8-5-3 2.73 .901 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                               TIME    

Fri, Mar. 9          Binghamton     Veterans Memorial Arena     7:05 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 10      Grand Rapids   Mohegan Sun Arena               7:05 p.m.

Tue, Mar. 13       Charlotte          Bojangles’ Coliseum                7:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Feb. 29    (LW) Josh Jooris       Acquired by PIT; Assigned to WBS

Mon, Feb. 29    (RW) Dominik Simon                          Reassigned by PIT

Thu, Mar. 1        (G) Étienne Marcoux                                   Signed to PTO

Fri, Mar. 2          (RW) Dominik Simon                                Recalled to PIT