PENGUINS WEEKLY – 4/4/17

 

Penguins headed back to the postseason

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (47-19-3-1) is the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff berth

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 31 – PENGUINS 1 at Springfield 3
Ryan Haggerty’s third period goal spoiled the shutout bid for the Thunderbirds’ Sam Brittain, but the Penguins’ four-game winning streak came to an end.

 

Saturday, Apr. 1 – PENGUINS 3 vs. Lehigh Valley 0
For the second meeting in a row, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton posted a shutout against Lehigh Valley. Casey DeSmith made 26 stops for the first regular season clean sheet of his pro career. Frank Corrado notched his first goal as a Penguin, and Troy Josephs later earned his first pro goal.

 

Sunday, Apr. 2 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Utica 3 (SO)
The Penguins rallied with the goalie pulled to tie the game with 58.2 seconds left in regulation and sent the Sunday matinée to overtime. After a five-minute sudden death period came and went without any stoppages or goals, the Comets’ Curtis Valk scored the lone shootout tally.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Apr. 7 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
The Penguins head into their 11th match-up of the season with Phantoms riding a two-game shutout streak against Lehigh Valley. They’ve also emerged victorious in their last three visits to PPL Center.

 

Saturday, Apr. 8 – PENGUINS at Hartford
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looks to complete a season sweep of Hartford. The Penguins are 7-0-0-0 against the Wolf Pack this year and have outscored them 39-13 in that time.

 

Sunday, Apr. 9 – PENGUINS at Providence
The Bruins try to solidify their standing in a crowded Atlantic Division playoff hunt and even the season series with the Pens (3-2-0-0 vs. PRO). Providence has won 10 of its last 12 home games.

 

Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is headed to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 15th year in a row, the AHL’s active record.

– The Penguins have not allowed a goal to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 155:38 of game time.

– Thirty-five percent of Teddy Blueger’s offense in his pro career has come this season against the Phantoms.

– David Warsofsky’s 14 multi-point games this season is tied for most among AHL defensemen.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts the best penalty kill in the league (87.2%) and the top team save percentage (.920).

– Casey DeSmith’s 2.14 goals against average ranks fourth in the AHL.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 70 47 19 3 1 98 .700
2. Lehigh Valley 70 44 22 4 0 92 .657
3. Providence 70 41 20 5 4 91 .650
4. Bridgeport 70 42 24 8 1 88 .629
5. Hershey 71 38 22 3 3 87 .613
6. Springfield 70 29 30 9 2 69 .493
7. Hartford 70 23 41 4 2 52 .371

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 67 24 27 53
David Warsofsky 53 15 30 45
Dominik Simon 67 14 31 45
Kevin Porter 66 11 34 45
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
Oskar Sundqvist 58 18 24 42

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 44 27-15-2 2.20 .924 2
Casey DeSmith* 25 19-4-2 2.14 .920 1

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                OPPONENT        LOCATION                               TIME    

Fri, Apr. 7          Lehigh Valley       PPL Center                             7:05 p.m.

Sat, Apr. 8        Hartford                XL Center                               7:00 p.m.

Sun, Apr. 9       Providence           Dunkin’ Donuts Center       3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Apr. 1        (RW)   Josh Archibald                     Recalled by PIT

Thu, Mar. 30       (D)    David Warsofsky           Reassigned by PIT

Thu, Mar. 30       (C)     Oskar Sundqvist            Reassigned by PIT

Thu, Mar. 30       (D)     Ryan Segalla                Reassigned to WHL

DESMITH STOPS 26, PENGUINS SHUT-OUT PHANTOMS AGAIN

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins held the top offense in the American Hockey League at bay yet again, shutting out the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the second-consecutive game, this time by a 3-0 margin on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Casey DeSmith turned aside 26 shots for his first regular season shutout in the AHL, helping the Penguins (47-19-3-0) to pull within two points of a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Tensions were high during a chippy first period of play between the Penguins and Phantoms, as both teams were held scoreless, but combined for 10 penalty minutes.

The Penguins opened up the scoring 6:47 into the second period when Frank Corrado buried a loose puck for his first goal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The home team went up, 2-0, thanks to Troy Josephs’ first professional goal coming with just under three minutes to play in the middle frame.

Derrick Pouliot blasted home a shot from the point at seven minutes of the third period to make it 3-0 in favor of the Penguins..

By the end of the game, the Penguins had stretched its shutout streak against the Phantoms to 155:38. The team’s penalty kill has been a perfect 14-for-14 in that stretch, including a two-for-two showing on Saturday night.

Alex Lyon stopped 34 shots before being replaced by Martin Ouellette in the third period. Ouellette denied the Penguins on all eight shots he faced.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 2, when it takes on the Utica Comets at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in a Sunday matinée. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Sunday’s game is also the final Kids Get In Free games this season.

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.

LATE SEASON ADDITIONS CAN HELP PENGUINS

Troy Josephs and Zach Aston-Reese have joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after exceptional senior seasons at Clarkson and Northeastern respectively.  And while it remains to be seen what kind of impact the talented duo will have in the final month of American Hockey League action, past late season signings by the Penguins have led to positive performances.

Back in April 2014, a little known free agent named Connor Sheary signed an Amateur Tryout contract with the Penguins after completing his collegiate career at U. Mass.  The speedy forward appeared in two regular season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before going on to post 11 points (6+5) in 15 postseason contests.  That point total was good for third on the team, and his six goals were tied for second.

The following year, Sheary led the AHL club with 45 points in just 58 games, and earned himself and NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He joined the NHL squad midway through last season, and was a key component of Pittsburgh’s fourth Stanley Cup Championship.

At the beginning of last season, Jake Guentzel was just another mid-round draft selection that you may or may not have heard of.  Grabbed by the Penguins in the third round in 2013, Guentzel went on to lead the University of Nebraska-Omaha with 46 points last season, before signing an ATO with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 22.  He recorded a respectable six points (2+4) in 11 regular season games, before turning on the afterburners in the playoffs.  His 14 points (5+9) in 10 postseason contests led the Penguins, and were the most by any player in the league when the Pens were eliminated after the second round.

Guentzel picked right up where he left off this season, posting 42 points in 33 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  He also notched a pair of goals in his NHL debut against the New York Rangers, and has 25 points (11+14) in his first 34 NHL contests (as of March 20).  His 21 tallies with the AHL Penguins this season still ranked tied for second among league rookies on March 15, despite Guentzel’s last game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coming on January 14.

Daniel Sprong was another highly-touted prospect that jumped right into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lineup and provided a spark last year.  The Pittsburgh Penguins’ second round choice in the 2015 NHL Draft recorded 46 points (16+30) in just 33 games with his junior club in Charlottetown (QMJHL), then joined the AHL club just as the Calder Cup Playoffs were getting underway.  He put up an impressive five goals and seven points in 10 postseason contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The 20-year old Sprong has been tearing up the QMJHL again this season.  After missing much of the campaign due to injury, Sprong has recorded 32 goals and 59 points in just 31 games with Charlottetown.  The Islanders finished second overall in the Q this season, and figure to be among the favorites when the league’s playoffs start this week.

It’s a busy seven day span for the Penguins, who will host the Hartford WolfPack at home on Tuesday night before a three-in-three weekend.  The Pens will play in Syracuse Friday and Allentown Saturday, before returning home to face the Utica Comets on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s game is another KIDS FREE Sunday. Fans ages 14 and younger can get into the game for free with a paid adult ticket. Plus we’ll have $2 hot dogs throughout the game, and a free postgame skating session (skates not included).

For more info or to purchase tickets, call the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

PENGUINS SIGN FORWARD TROY JOSEPHS

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Troy Josephs to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season. Josephs will join the Penguins during their current season on an amateur tryout contract.

Josephs, a seventh round pick (209th overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, comes to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a career season at Clarkson University. During his senior year, the 22-year-old shattered his previous bests in goals (20), points (33) and plus-minus (+10). Josephs’ 20 goals led the Golden Knights, and his 33 points placed second on the team.

Over the course of his four seasons at Clarkson, the native of Whitby, Ont. earned 30 goals and 37 assists for 67 career points in 137 games.

Prior to attending college, Josephs won the 2013 Ontario Junior Hockey League championship as a member of the St. Michael’s Buzzers.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tonight, Friday, Mar. 17, when it travels down the turnpike to Allentown to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop for the Penguins’ clash with the Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at PPL Center. The Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, Mar. 18, and once again they’ll face the Phantoms.

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.