For the first time in over nine years, the puck will drop between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Grand Rapids Griffins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, as the teams face off tonight at 7:05pm.
The Penguins (34-17-4-2, 74 pts, .649%) close out the weekend holding onto second place in the Atlantic Division, while the defending Calder Cup Champion Griffins (31-21-1-6, 69 pts, .585%) sit in third place lead in the Central Division.
Saturday’s game is the second of two meetings between the clubs this season.
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
LISTEN: WILK News Radio
PROMOTION: Star Wars Night – Team Card Strip #4 courtesy of Grotto Pizza
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office
|Friday, March 2
|Saturday, March 10
The Penguins battled to a 3-2 overtime victory against the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday evening. The Penguins regulation scoring came early, as Jean-Sébastien Dea and Gage Quinney both put up goals in the first period. But for the third time in three games between the clubs, the Devils forced overtime. The home team erased the two-goal deficit with goals from Jacob MacDonald and Michael Latta, sending the game to the extra frame. It took until the final minute of overtime to decide a winner as Teddy Blueger notched his team leading fifth game-winning goal of the season, and his fourth that has come in overtime. Michael Leighton made a successful return to the lineup, turning aside 27 Binghamton chances in his first game since facing the Devils back on December 22. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has now won all four contests against the Devils this season.
Troy Grosenick’s 36 saves steered the Milwaukee Admirals to a 4-1 win over the Griffins on Saturday at Van Andel Arena. The Griffins saw their lone goal come off the stick of Joe Hicketts, while Milwaukee found the scoring touch from Mark Zengerle, Alexandre Carrier, Harry Zolnierczyk, and Trevor Smith. Grand Rapids had several pushes, but was unable to squeeze another one by the 2016-17 AHL goaltender of the year, Troy Grosenick. Matej Machovsky sustained his first AHL loss, finishing with 26 saves for the Griffins.
With his overtime winner Friday night, Teddy Blueger leads the Penguins in game-winning goals with five.
Blueger’s four OT goals this season are the most in a single campaign for the Penguins, passing Chad Kolarik (2012-13) and Carter Rowney (2015-16), who each had three in a season.
Blueger’s four overtime goals also tied for the top spot for the Penguins all-time. He joins Tom Kostopoulos and Carter Rowney at the top of that list.
Daniel Sprong currently ranks third among all AHL rookies in goals (21) and is tied for second in power play goals (9).
Jean-Sébastien Dea tallied his third shorthanded goal last night, which leads the team
Michael Leighton made his triumphant return to the lineup and is now 2-0-0-0 while wearing a Penguins jersey. Both of Leighton’s starts have come against Binghamton and both games have been decided by a Teddy Blueger overtime winner
Head coach Todd Nelson holds a 298-185-15-46 (0.604) record as an AHL head coach and needs two more victories to become the 20th head coach in the 82-year history of the AHL to reach 300.
The Griffins have points in 12 of the last 13 road contests (10-1-0-2), including eight in a row.
Grand Rapids has scored a power play goal in five of its last six games, going 6-for-17 (35.3%) during that stretch. The Griffins place third in the AHL with a power play percentage of 21.3%.
Matt Lorito leads the team with 22 power play points (7+15).
Despite being fourth on the Griffins with power play points, Matthew Ford’s 11 PPGs tie for second in the league.
Ben Street registered a goal and an assist last Wednesday to mark his 100th career point as a Griffin. He did so in 116 games, which ranks as the 10th fastest in franchise history to reach the century mark.
Ben Street played parts of two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from 2010-12. In 107 games he tallied 80 points (39+41)
Griffins’ leading scorer Eric Tangradi was a prominent part of the Penguins organization from 2009-13 when he was traded to Winnipeg. In 178 games he put up 121 points (60+61)
Compiled by Jonathan Kliment