PENGUINS SCORE LATE, BUT LOSE IN SHOOTOUT, 3-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins managed a late-game equalizer to force overtime in their Sunday afternoon game, but ultimately fell in the shootout to the Utica Comets by a 3-2 score at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins dropped to 47-19-3-1 on the season, but still managed to inch closer to a playoff berth as a result of the extra point claimed by losing after regulation.

It did not take long for the visitors to start the scoring as Cody Kunyk tipped in a shot from the point just 2:28 into the contest. Kunyk’s redirection ended up being the only goal of the opening period.

Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos helped tie the game, 1-1, by setting up Zach Aston-Reese from behind the net for a power play goal at 5:08 of the second period.

An own goal by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reestablished Utica’s one-goal lead at 12:58 of the middle frame. Jordan Subban was credited with the goal, his second point of the game.

The Penguins furiously attempted to knot thing up throughout the third period, but were consistently foiled by rookie goalie Thatcher Demko. It wasn’t until Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 15th shot of the period and an empty-net, extra attacker power play that Oskar Sundqvist snuck the puck across the line on Demko’s short side with a mere 58.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

The game went to a shootout after the thrilling three-on-three overtime period that didn’t have a single stoppage. Utica’s Curtis Valk notched the shootout’s only goal and claimed victory for the Comets.

Tristan Jarry recorded 34 saves during the game and made an additional two more stops in the shootout. Demko made 43 saves and denied the Penguins on all three of their shootout attempts.

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 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.

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 WEEKLY – 3/22/17

 

Penguins start week right with win before three-in-three weekend

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (43-18-3-0) looks ahead to trio of playoff-caliber teams

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS 4 at Lehigh Valley 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton kicked off a back-to-back set with Lehigh Valley by rattling off four unanswered goals en route to a big win. Josh Archibald scored a shorthanded goal to turn the tide. Dominik Simon tallied for the third-straight game.

 

Saturday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Lehigh Valley 3
The Penguins attempted a valiant third period comeback, but ran out of time to drop the second game of their home and home with the Phantoms. Tom Kostopoulos scored on the power play, and Oskar Sundqvist struck shorthanded for the club’s eighth shorty of the season.

 

Tuesday, Mar. 21 – PENGUINS 5 vs. Hartford 2
The Pens made it a perfect seven-for-seven against the Wolf Pack this season thanks in large part to a two-goal outburst from Ryan Haggerty. Zach Aston-Reese made his pro debut and scored the game-winning goal.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS at Syracuse
The North Division-leading Crunch play host to the Atlantic Division-leading Penguins in their final meeting of the season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 4-1-0-0 against Syracuse this season.

 

Saturday, Mar. 25 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
The Penguins and Phantoms face one another for the fourth time in March. The season series is knotted at four wins each, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has emerged victorious in its last two visits to PPL Center.

 

Sunday, Mar. 26 – PENGUINS vs. Utica
The Comets will come into Sunday’s matinée motivated, as they currently sit just one win outside the North Division playoff bubble. Sunday’s contest is also a Kids Get In Free game.

 

Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has already matched its win total from last season (43).

– Zach Aston-Reese is the first Penguin to score in his pro debut since Kasperi Kapanen (Apr. 8, 2015).

– Dominik Simon is on a five-game point streak, tying an AHL career high. He also has 12 points (4G-8A) in his last 11 games.

– The Penguins have outscored the Wolf Pack 38-13 this season.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts the best penalty kill in the league (86.9%).

– David Warsofsky leads the AHL with a plus-31 rating and he tops all defensemen with 13 multi-point games this season.

– Tristan Jarry has the second-most wins in the AHL (25).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 64 43 18 3 0 89 .695
2. Lehigh Valley 64 41 19 4 0 86 .672
3. Hershey 65 36 28 8 3 83 .638
4. Providence 64 36 19 5 4 81 .633
5. Bridgeport 64 38 23 2 1 79 .617
6. Springfield 64 27 27 8 2 64 .500
7. Hartford 64 21 37 4 2 48 .375

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 64 23 26 49
David Warsofsky 49 15 29 44
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
Kevin Porter 60 10 32 42
Dominik Simon 61 12 29 41

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 40 25-14-1 2.27 .921 1
Casey DeSmith* 23 17-4-2 2.28 .912 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT         LOCATION                                TIME    

Fri, Mar. 24        Syracuse              Onondaga War Memorial        7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 25       Lehigh Valley      PPL Center                                 7:05 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 26     Utica                      Mohegan Sun Arena                3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Mar. 21     (D)   Derrick Pouliot                Reassigned by PIT

Mon, Mar. 21     (D)   Frank Corrado                      Recalled by PIT

Mon, Mar. 21     (C)    Oskar Sundqvist                   Recalled by PIT

Mon, Mar. 21     (D)   Ryan Segalla                  Recalled from WHL

PENGUINS LOSE TO COMETS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell 2-1 to the Utica Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.

The Penguins (37-15-3-0) attempted a third period rally, out-shooting the Comets by a 10-3 margin in the final period of play, but ended up just short of a tying goal.

Utica struck first when defenseman Jordan Subban scored for the third-straight game. Subban flew down the right wing boards on an odd man rush and picked the top corner at 10:25 of the opening frame.

Darren Archibald gave the Comets’ a 2-0 lead by sliding past the Penguins defense and completing a nice deke in tight to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton net 9:43 into the second period.

The Penguins pulled within a goal at 8:50 of the third period thanks to a power play goal by Tom Kostopoulos who was set-up for a tip in the slot by Dominik Simon. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton could not muster an equalizer as Utica clung to its one-goal lead as time expired.

Tristan Jarry turned in 23 saves as part of a shining performance in net for the Penguins. Thatcher Demko posted 27 stops during the win for the Comets.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 25, when it takes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will once again be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’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 12-game and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS OUTLAST COMETS FOR 3-2 VICTORY

UTICA, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won their third-consecutive game with a 3-2 triumph over the Utica Comets at Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.

Goaltender Casey DeSmith turned in one of the finest goaltending performances of the year with 27 saves as the Penguins (32-9-3-0) maintained their hold on the top spot in the American Hockey League.

Josh Archibald got Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the board first with a blistering shot that went top shelf off the rush at 8:16 of the opening frame. The Penguins struck again from long distance when Tim Erixon ripped a slap shot from the blue line into the back of the net at 14:29, making it 2-0.

Early in the second period, the Comets appeared to have their first goal of the game on a perfectly executed three-on-one odd man rush, only to be denied by a lunging glove save by DeSmith.

After a scoreless middle frame, Utica cut their deficit in half with a power play goal 1:23 into the third. Alexandre Grenier unloaded a potent slapper from the point that found its way through traffic and past DeSmith, making it 2-1.

The Penguins answered back shortly thereafter, though. Immediately after the expiration of a man advantage, Derrick Pouliot tickled the twine for his second goal of the season, putting the Penguins back up by a pair at 3-1.

With the goalie pulled, the Comets pulled closer to the Penguins with an extra attacker tally from Evan McEneny with 2:55 remaining in regulation. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton weathered the storm and hung on for a win, ending Utica’s seven-game point streak.

DeSmith improved his personal record to 13-2-2 on the season, while Comets goalie Richard Bachman made 27 saves in the loss.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 28, when they travel further south in New York to take on the Binghamton Senators. The Penguins’ next home game is Friday, Feb. 3 for the first visit in 2016-17 by the St. John’s IceCaps to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual game tickets for Feb. 3’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 22-game12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.