GAME PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs SOUND TIGERS – APRIL 6, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their final home stand of the year against their divisional foe, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (41-21-6-2, 90 pts, .643%) continue to seek points as they look to secure the second playoff position in the Atlantic Division, while the Sound Tigers (35-27-5-3, 78 pts, .557%) sit just outside of a playoff spot in the same division.

Todays’ game is the fifth of six meetings between the clubs this season.

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

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, October 28 Bridgeport WBS/td> 2-5 WIN
Saturday, December 16 Bridgeport WBS 3-2 OT Loss
Wednesday, January 3 WBS Bridgeport  3-2 OT WIN
Sunday, March 25 WBS Bridgeport  3-6 Loss
Friday, April 6 WBS Bridgeport  7:05pm
Sunday, April 8 Bridgeport WBS  3:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins fended off a late comeback attempt by the Hershey Bears to defeat their I-81 rival, 5-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Tuesday night. Tristan Jarry backstopped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to victory and the Penguins improve to 9-0-1-1 against the Bears this season. The Penguins saw Teddy Blueger, Garrett Wilson, Sam Lafferty, Daniel Sprong, and Jean-Sébastien Dea all score, as Hershey had goals from Connor Hobbs, Anthony Peluso, and Mathias Bau. Jarry made 30 saves in the win for the Penguins.

The Sound Tigers scored twice on the power play Tuesday morning to earn a 3-2 win against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Travis St. Denis netted the game-winner midway through the third period, while Casey Bailey and Kellen Jones also beat goaltender Dan Vladar. Eamon McAdam made 23 saves to guide the Sound Tigers to their fourth win in the last five games. The Sound Tigers finished the game 2-for-5 on the power play, while its penalty kill went 1-for-1.

PENGUINS NOTES
Daniel Sprong was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team on Wednesday, and leads all rookies in goals scored (28) and is second in points (57). He is just four points behind Manitoba Moose forward Mason Appleton’s total of 61, despite playing in 12 fewer games.

Sprong’s 28 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in ten of his past eleven games, totaling seven goals and six assists in that span.

Sam Lafferty recorded his first professional goal in the Penguins win over the Hershey Bears on Tuesday. Lafferty has three points (1+2) in eight games with the Penguins since signing an amateur tryout contract on March 7 after the completion of his senior season at Brown University.

The Penguins have lost only twice when leading after two periods and have a 25-1-1-0 record in that situation.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has the second-best home record in the AHL at 25-9-1-1 (.722%). Only the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have a better mark at 25-6-3-2 (.764%).

The Penguins lead the season series over the past five years with a 13-7-2-0 record against the Sound Tigers.

SOUND TIGERS NOTES
Travis St. Denis leads the Sound Tigers with 44 points (23+21)

Bridgeport also comes in with the division’s best penalty kill percentage (84.6%).

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have four players with over 400 games of AHL experience on their active roster
Bridgeport’s Power Play has gone 24% against the Penguins this season

CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Kevin Czuczman spent two seasons with the Sound Tigers from 2014-16 accumulating 22 points (5+17) and 151 penalty minutes.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Defenseman Andrey Pedan also spent time in Bridgeport from 2012-15 totaling 42 games for 15 points (5+10).

TOM KOSTOPOULOS TO RETIRE FOLLOWING 2017-18 SEASON


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos has announced that he will retire from playing following the 2017-18 season, his 19th season of professional hockey.

“I’ve been lucky to make a living playing the game I love for the past 19 seasons,” said the 39-year old Kostopoulos. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Lisa, and kids, Lily and Luc, away from the rink.”

“No player has meant more to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, or represented the organization better, than Tom Kostopoulos,” said team CEO Jeff Barrett. “His commitment to the team, his teammates, the fans and the local community make him a truly unique individual, and one we are extremely lucky to have known for almost 20 years.”

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Kostopoulos was selected in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 1999 National Hockey League draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He made his professional debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 12, 1999 on the road against the St. John’s Maple Leafs.

Kostopoulos placed second on the Penguins with 26 goals, 32 assists and 56 points as a rookie during the team’s inaugural 1999-2000 campaign, and finished third on the club the following year with 52 points (16+36) while appearing in all 80 regular season games.

In his third season, Kostopoulos paced Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 27 goals and 53 points in 70 games, and was selected to the Canadian All-Star Team for the 2002 AHL All-Star Classic. He also appeared in 11 contests with the Pittsburgh Penguins, recording a goal in his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on December 29, 2001.

Kostopoulos led the team with 42 assists, and ranked second with 63 points, during the 2002-03 campaign, and appeared in eight games with the NHL Penguins. He spent the majority of the 2003-04 regular season with Pittsburgh, posting 22 points (9+13) in 60 games, while also putting up 20 points (7+13) in 21 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He then led the AHL club with 23 points (7+16) in 24 postseason games, guiding the Penguins to their second appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.

Kostopoulos suited up for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season, recording 71 points (25+46) in 64 contests.

He spent the next seven years exclusively in the National Hockey League, suiting up for the Los Angeles Kings (2005-07), Montreal Canadiens (2007-09), Carolina Hurricanes (2009-10) and Calgary Flames (2010-12). He appeared in his 600th NHL game on March 6, 2012.

Kostopoulos returned to NEPA on January 23, 2013, singing a professional tryout contract with the Penguins. He recorded his 100th goal in a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton uniform on March 1 against the Hershey Bears.

Kostopoulos signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh after appearing in 17 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but was claimed off of waivers by the New Jersey Devils on March 6. He finished out the 2012-13 season by appearing in 15 games with the Devils, picking up one goal and 18 penalty minutes.

The following off-season, Kostopoulos signed an AHL only deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and has spent the past five seasons with the Penguins. He paced the team with 22 goals and 47 points in 2013-14; represented the Penguins at the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic in Utica, serving as team captain for the Eastern Conference; and again led the team with 54 points (24+30) during the 2016-17 season.

Kostopoulos was named the recipient of the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey in 2016, and became just the fourth player all-time to appear in 600 games in both the AHL and NHL when he suited up against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on February 4, 2017.

Limited to 26 games so far this season, Kostopoulos appeared in his 650th game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 28 against the Providence Bruins.

Fans will have a chance to show Kostopoulos their appreciation, as the Penguins close out their 2017-18 regular season home schedule with games this Friday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Saturday against the Binghamton Devils. Tickets for both games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

WBS 1999-2004

318

97

149

246

527

WBS 2013-2018

335

88

133

221

362

WBS TOTALS

653

185

282

467

879

MANCHESTER

64

25

46

71

99

AHL TOTALS

717

210

328

538

978

PIT TOTALS

79

10

16

26

76

LA TOTALS

152

15

29

44

173

MTL TOTALS

145

15

20

35

219

CAR TOTALS

99

9

16

25

136

CGY TOTALS

140

11

15

26

101

NJ TOTALS

15

1

0

1

18

NHL TOTALS

630

61

96

157

723

PRO TOTALS

1347

271

424

695

1701

FAN FRIDAY INFO

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DANIEL SPRONG NAMED TO AHL ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The American Hockey League announced today that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Daniel Sprong has been selected to the 2017-18 All-Rookie Team. The AHL All-Rookie Team was voted on by coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Sprong became the eighth Penguin ever named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team, joining Casey DeSmith (2016-17), Jake Guentzel (2016-17), Matt Murray (2014-15), Alex Goligoski (2007-08), John Curry (2007-08), Michel Ouellet (2003-04) and Toby Petersen (2000-01).

Since starting the 2017-18 campaign with seven goals and 10 points in his first five games, Sprong has put together a terrific rookie campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points in 59 contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. The 21-year-old currently leads all league rookies in goals, and he ranks second in points, shots (181), power play goals (10) and game-winning goals (6). His 57 points also place him ninth in the overall AHL scoring standings.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands native was a second round pick (46th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sprong saw a stint in the NHL earlier this season with Pittsburgh, during which he registered two goals and an assist across eight games.

The full 2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team is as follows:

GoaltenderVille Husso, San Antonio Rampage (37GP, 15-13-5, 2.32 GAA, .926sv%, 4 SO).
DefenseFilip Hronek, Grand Rapids Griffins (62GP, 9G-24A, 33PTS, +21, 4 GWG)
DefenseSami Niku, Manitoba Moose (71GP, 15G-37A, 52PTS, +18, 9 PPG)
ForwardMason Appleton, Manitoba Moose (71GP, 21G-40A, 61PTS, +13, 7 PPG, 6 GWG)
ForwardDaniel Sprong, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (59GP, 28G-29A, 57PTS, +2, 10 PPG, 6 GWG)
ForwardDylan Strome, Tucson Roadrunners (47GP, 22G-28A, 50PTS, +8, 9 PPG, 3 GWG)

Each player will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the All-Rookie Team.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Apr. 6 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with a chance to secure a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 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.

LAFFERTY NETS FIRST PRO GOAL IN PENGUINS’ 5-3 DEFEAT OF BEARS

 

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fended off a late comeback attempt by the Hershey Bears to defeat their I-81 rival, 5-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Tuesday night.

Tristan Jarry backstopped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (41-21-6-2) to victory in a game that saw Sam Lafferty score his first professional goal and the Penguins improve to 9-0-1-1 against the Bears this season. Also, with the win, the Penguins have reduced their magic number to clinch a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs to one.

The Penguins wasted little time in scoring the game’s first goal as Teddy Blueger fired a spin-o-rama backhander through Pheonix Copley’s five-hole 53 seconds into the game.

Hershey tied things up at 13:41 of the opening frame when Connor Hobbs unloaded a perfectly placed one-timer underneath the cross-bar. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton re-established its lead exactly two minutes later. The Penguins responded when Daniel Sprong tapped the puck over to Garrett Wilson in the slot, who then beat Copley down low once again.

Midway through the second period, Lafferty ripped a snapshot past the blocker of Copley, giving the Penguins a 3-1 lead. The Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania native’s first goal as a pro caused a goaltending change for the Bears, too. Copley stepped out and was relieved by Vítek Vaněček.

The goaltending switch and two-goal deficit motivated Hershey, but the visitors couldn’t muscle anything past Jarry despite a flurry of scoring chances in the second half of the middle frame. Jarry made a series of highlight reel saves, featuring a sprawling save for which he fell on his back and reached around his head to the far post so that he could rob Colby Williams of a sure goal. Jarry’s lights-out goaltending maintained the home team’s 3-1 lead going into the second intermission.

Sprong cashed in on the power play with his AHL rookie-leading 28th goal of the season to give the Penguins a three-goal lead 4:32 into the final period.

Hershey made things interesting by using goals from Anthony Peluso and Mathias Bau three minutes apart to pull within one. The Bears were also given a power play opportunity with less than a minute to go in regulation. Their late power play only yielded an empty net goal for Jean-Sébastien Dea to round out the night’s scoring at 5-3.

Jarry made 30 saves in the win for the Penguins. Copley was replaced after denying 12 of 15 shots faced, while Vaněček stepped in to turn aside 13 of the 14 bids Wilkes-Barre/Scranton threw his way.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Apr. 6 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with a chance to secure a spot in the postseason. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 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.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BEARS – APRIL 3, 2018

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins welcome their in-state rival Hershey Bears to Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

The Penguins (40-21-6-2, 88 pts, .638%) continue to look to secure their playoff berth while holding second spot in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Bears (29-33-4-5, 67 pts, .472%) reside in seventh place in the same division and will miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Today’s game is the eleventh of twelve meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS:  570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Friday, October 27 WBS Hershey  3-2 WIN
Sunday, November 5 WBS Hershey   2-3 SOL
Sunday, November 12 Hershey WBS   1-5 WIN
Sunday, December 3 Hershey WBS   4-3 OTL
Sunday, December 10 Hershey WBS   1-4 WIN
Saturday, December 30 Hershey WBS   1-2 OT WIN
Wednesday, January 24 Hershey WBS   0-4 WIN
Friday, February 2 WBS Hershey   4-1 WIN
Sunday, February 25 WBS Hershey   3-2 WIN
Sunday, March 18 WBS Hershey   6-4 WIN
Tuesday, April 3 WBS Hershey   7:05pm
Sunday, April 15 Hershey WBS  5:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins dropped a tenacious battle to the Providence Bruins, 3-1, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night. The Bruins scoring came from Adam Payerl, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Swarz. The Penguins only goal on the night came from Jean-Sébastien Dea. Tristan Jarry made 24 stops in the loss.

 

The Bears welcomed the Laval Rocket to Giant Center for the first time in franchise history and walked away with a 6-3 victory on Saturday evening. Mathias Bau tallied twice while Garrett Mitchell, Dustin Gazley, Jeremy Langlois, and Hampus Gustafsson also found the back of the net. Pheonix Copley stopped 20 of 23 attempts for the victory.

 

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins have gone 8-0-1-1 in the season series against the Bears, and have not lost in regulation to Hershey since April 14, 2017.

Daniel Sprong leads all AHL rookies in goals scored and is second in points with 55. He is just six points behind Manitoba’s Mason Appleton total of 61, despite playing in 13 fewer games.

Sprong’s 27 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in nine of his past ten games, totaling six goals and five assists in that span.

Chris Summers is six games from 450 in his AHL career.

BEARS NOTES

Hershey’s Nathan Walker is one point from 100 in his AHL career

Mathias Bau scored for the first time in 23 games on Saturday night, tallying twice

Despite their record Hershey is 20-1-0-2 when they lead after 40 minutes

Chris Bourque leads the Bears in points with 50 (14+36)

Joe Whitney is one game away from 450 AHL games

CONNECTIONS
Penguins forward Christian Thomas spent the 2016-17 season with the Bears, and led the team in goals (24) and power play goals (12).  His goals, assists (25) and points (49) totals were all career highs.

Bears center Zach Sill spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time list with 277 games played. Sill recorded 73 points (33+40) and 315 penalty minutes with the Penguins between 2009 and 2014.

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

TOYOTA SPORTSPLEX TRAINING PROGRAM STARTS APRIL 9


Help your youth hockey player up his or her skills with the Toyota SportsPlex’s On Ice/Off Ice Combo Training program.

The Spring Session runs from early April through mid-June, and will focus on skating, stick handling, shooting and game situations on the ice; while players will work on their mobility, flexibility, strength, power and endurance in off-ice sessions each week.

Each class lasts two hours, with one hour on and one hour off of the ice.

Pee Wees hit the ice each Monday afternoon (starting April 9) at 4:40pm, while Bantam players start at 5:45pm on Mondays.

Midget U16/U18 classes are held on Wednesdays starting at 6:00pm.

For info on pricing, or to sign your skater up, call 570-208-9474 or visit toyotasportsplex.com.

PENGUINS MYSTERY BAGS ON SALE THIS SATURDAY


Fans will have the chance to get their hands on some very unique Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jerseys when the Penguins GOALS Foundation hosts its third annual MYSTERY BAG SALE this Saturday, April 7, during the team’s regular season finale.

We’ve grabbed 90 classic, authentic Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jerseys (five different designs – not game-worn) and had them customized with some of your favorite Pens’ players numbers and names.  Then we packed all 90 in Penguins duffle bags, and stuffed those bags to the zipper with goodies including hats, pucks, bobbleheads, mini-statues and more!

The jerseys – which include sweaters featuring Tom Kostopoulos, Casey DeSmith, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Daniel Sprong, Teddy Blueger, Thomas Di Pauli, Garrett Wilson, Ryan Haggerty and Christian Thomas – will be available exclusively for purchase at the Pens game against the Binghamton Devils on Saturday.  Fans won’t know whose jersey, or which design, they will be getting until they open their bags.

All jerseys are authentic sweaters, and sized 56, 58, 58+ or 58 Goalie cut.  The five designs included are the Penguins’ 2013-16 road sweater; 2013-16 home sweater; the 2015-16 warm up sweater; the 2014-15 third jersey; and the 2010-11 third jersey.

Each bag will be made available for purchase at the game this Saturday on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. The price for each jersey is $300, and all proceeds will benefit the Penguins GOALS Foundation.

As this is a MYSTERY BAG, we cannot guarantee specific sizes or players.  All sales are final, no exchanges will be made.

Individual game tickets for Saturday night’s game 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 packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS LOSE HEATED BATTLE WITH BRUINS, 3-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a tenacious battle to the Providence Bruins, 3-1, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (40-21-6-2) outshot the visitors 35-27, but Jordan Binnington turned in a great performance in net that stymied the Penguins time and time again.

The Bruins got on the board first when Adam Payerl capitalized on the power play at 14:06 in the opening period. Payerl was able to slap a rebound behind Tristan Jarry to put the visitors up, 1-0.

With 3:12 left in the first period, Trent Frederic collected the puck on a failed clear attempt by the Penguins forwards and fired a shot past Jarry for his second pro goal. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stormed down the ice on the next shift and reduced the deficit back down to one. Jean-Sébastien Dea gathered a centering pass from Daniel Sprong and picked the corner over Binnington’s glove before the first intermission.

The Penguins and Bruins kept the chances coming in the middle frame, firing 11 and 13 shots respectively, as both goaltenders stayed strong in their crease.

Penguins came close to tying the game midway through the final period when Sprong rushed down the ice and whipped a shot at the opposing net. Garrett Wilson was there to collect the rebound only to be denied by Binnington.

The Bruins cashed in on the power play once again when Jordan Szwarz lifted the puck past Jarry into the left corner of the goal, extending his team’s lead to 3-1 at 8:32 in the third.

Binnington’s brilliance continued as he stood tall to fend off a Sam Lafferty scoring chance moments later. Lafferty collected a big rebound and threw it towards a wide open goal, but the goaltender reached behind his back, smacking the puck away in acrobatic fashion and robbing Lafferty of his first pro goal.

Binnington ended up with 34 saves, while Jarry posted 24 stops in the loss.

The Penguins’ next game is Tuesday, Apr. 3 against the Hershey Bears. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for the final three 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.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BRUINS – MARCH 31, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins welcome a potential first round playoff foe, the Providence Bruins, to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza Saturday night.

The Penguins (40-20-6-2, 88 pts, .647%) have regained second place in the Atlantic Division after winning twice in their last two games, while the Bruins (40-23-3-2, 85 pts, .625%) sit just three points behind in the same division, but bring with them a two-game losing streak.

Tonight’s game is the sixth and final regular season meeting between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, November 11 WBS Providence 4-3 WIN
Friday, January 19 WBS Providence 1-0 Loss
Friday, February 9 Providence WBS 4-0 Loss
Sunday, February 11 Providence WBS 3-2 WIN
Wednesday, March 28 WBS Providence 5-2 WIN
Saturday, March 31 WBS Providence  7:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins got a third-period equalizer to force overtime, and Daniel Sprong notched the deciding goal in the extra frame for a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center on Friday night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton received a three-point effort from Christian Thomas (2+1), as well as a regulation goal from Zach Trotman, before Sprong capped it off in overtime. Michael Leighton stopped 30 shots to remain unbeaten (4-0-0) with the Penguins.
The Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night, 2-0, in their final trip of the season to the PPL Center. The P-Bruins were shut out for the fifth time this season while Jordan Binnington made his 24th start of the season in net. Lehigh Valley got goals from Greg Carey and TJ Brennan and Dustin Tokarski stopped all 22 shots he faced. Providence was 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-of-3 on the penalty kill.

 

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins achieved 40 wins for the 13th season in a row, a league record.

Daniel Sprong potted the OT winner last night for his team-leading 27th goal of the season. His goal total is the second-highest for a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rookie all-time, trailing only Michel Ouellet’s 30 goals in 2003-04.

Sprong leads all AHL rookies in goals scored, and is second in points with 54. He is just six points behind Manitoba’s Mason Appleton total of 60, despite playing in 13 fewer games.

Sprong’s 27 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in eight of his past nine games, totaling six goals and four assists in that span.

BRUINS NOTES
Despite losing to Lehigh Valley last night, a loss by Bridgeport to Springfield on Friday dropped Providence’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to six.

Austin Czarnik leads the Bruins in every major offensive category and sits in third in the AHL in points

Jordan Binnington has the second best goals against average in the AHL this season with 1.98

Zane McIntyre is tied for first with the most shutouts in the AHL with 6. Two of those have come against the Penguins

CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Zach Trotman spent parts of four seasons with the Bruins (2011-15) where he played 150 games and netted 56 points (13+43).

Bruins head coach Jay Leach spent the 2015-16 season on the Penguins’ bench, and posted a 2-0-1-0 mark as the team’s interim head coach.

Bruins right winger Adam Payerl spent parts of four seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton playing 130 games and posting 31 points (10+21).

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

PENGUINS SIGN NICLAS ALMARI TO ATO

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed defenseman Niclas Almari to an amateur tryout agreement for the 2017-18 season. Almari returns to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after accepting an ATO and training with the club in April of 2017.

Almari, 19, just completed his second professional season with HPK-Edustusjääkiekko Ry of the Finnish Liiga. In 41 games with HPK this season, Almari notched four goals and four assists for eight points. At times throughout the season, Almari, a native of Espoo, Finland, was loaned to Lempäälän Kisa and Espoo United of the Mestis, Finland’s second professional league. In 13 combined contests in the Mestis, Almari racked up four assists.

At the expiration of the regular season, Almari was assigned by HPK to its junior club for the Jr. A SM-liiga Playoffs. In five postseason games, he scored twice and added an assist for three points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins selected the defenseman in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Following the draft, Almari began his professional career with HPK. Almari completed the 2016-17 campaign with HPK’s junior club for a 10-game stint in the Jr. A SM-liiga playoffs. HPK U20 won the Legacy Bowl that year, and Almari topped all defensemen during the playoffs in assists (10) and points (11).

The Penguins’ next game is today, Saturday, Mar. 31, when they host the Providence Bruins for the second time this week. 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.