PENS DEFEAT SENS, 5-4, IN OFFENSIVE SHOWCASE
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 5-4 victory against the Binghamton Senators on Monday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Penguins (20-5-3-0) became the second team this season to reach the 20-win threshold and maintained the No. 1 overall spot in the American Hockey League with the win.
Jake Guentzel not only capped off a three-point (2G-1A) night on his behalf with the game-winning goal in the third period, but also rounded out the scoring in what was an all-around wild, offensively-charged match-up.
Binghamton struck first with a power play goal from Mike Kostka just over five minutes into the game.
Tom Kostopoulos answered for the Penguins, knocking a puck past a fallen Matt O’Connor after being set up beautifully at the side of the Senators’ cage by Guentzel. Kostopoulos’ ninth tally of the season came at 13:07 of the first period.
The Penguins came out strong in the second period, testing O’Connor with multiple shots early in the frame. However, the Senators’ Mike Blunden reestablished a one-goal lead for Binghamton on his team’s first shot of the period 6:07 into the middle frame.
Madness reigned supreme after Blunden’s goal, as the teams combined for two goals each in a mere 3:37 span. Chris Carlisle scored for Binghamton only to see Guentzel respond for the Penguins 24 seconds later. A fortuitous bounce ended up behind Casey DeSmith, resulting in a goal for Jack Rodewald, but Oskar Sundqvist answered back for the Penguins less than a minute after that.
When the dust settled from the four-goal outburst, the Senators held a tender 4-3 lead.
The third period began with a flash reminiscent of the offensive eruption of the second, as Garrett Wilson wired a wrist shot into the top corner to tie the game, 4-4, just 11 seconds into the final frame of regulation.
Guentzel scored his second of the game and team-leading 14th of the season giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton its first lead of the night and a 5-4 advantage on a power play marker at 3:35 of the third.
The Penguins weathered a late storm by the Senators and held on for the victory.
DeSmith recorded 28 saves in his eighth win of the season, while O’Connor ended up with 39 stops to his name.
The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 27, as they’ll face-off against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got the better of Springfield in the last meeting, 4-2, in both squads’ final contest Puck drop between the Penguins and T-Birds is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Individual game tickets for tomorrow night’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.