BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ended their schedule before the All-Star break on a high note by setting a franchise record, seeing their captain hit an historic milestone, and beating the Binghamton Senators, 6-2, on Saturday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Penguins (33-9-3-0) set a club record with their 12th win in the month of January, and Tom Kostopoulos became the 91st player in American Hockey League history to earn 500 points in his AHL career.
The Penguins struck first in the contest when Ryan Haggerty unloaded a fireball at the Senators net that burned past Chris Driedger at 10:52 of the opening frame.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton extended its lead when Teddy Blueger used his soccer skills to kick the puck over to a wide open Dominik Simon who wasted no time burying it. Simon’s tally was his sixth of the season and came at 15:32.
The Senators got on the board thanks to Nick Paul knocking in a rebound with 2:57 left in the first period. However, the Penguins quick reestablished their two-goal lead 1:05 later with a pinpoint pass from Blueger to Jean-Sébastien Dea. Twenty-one seconds after that, Blueger scored a goal of his own, making it 4-1 for the Penguins.
Chad Nehring tipped in a point shot and brought the Senators within two 6:04 into the second period. But once again, the Penguins responded. Derrick Pouliot danced his way through the neutral zone and fed Danny Kristo who brought the score to 5-2.
Kostopoulos achieved his 500th AHL point on a goal at 11:54 of the third period and put a bow on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s league-leading 33rd victory of 2016-17.
All-Star Tristan Jarry made 32 saves for his 19th win of the season, which is tied for most in the AHL. Driedger posted 10 stops on 14 shots before being replaced by Matt O’Connor at the start of the second period. O’Connor made 9 saves on 11 shots faced.
On deck for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the All-Star break, during which the Penguins’ David Warsofsky and Tristan Jarry will participate in the AHL All-Star Classic at PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next 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 at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.