BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins staved off a furious comeback and defeated the Binghamton Devils, 5-4, in overtime on Saturday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (22-18-4-1) took a big lead in the second period only to see its opponent storm back and force the extra session. Adam Johnson completed a three-point night (1G-2A) by setting up Teddy Blueger for the game-winner in overtime, allowing the Penguins to carry a three-game win streak into the All-Star break.
The Penguins opened the scoring early at 45 seconds into the contest with a pickpocket goal by Joseph Blandisi, his second tally in his second game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
All-Star Ethan Prow extended the Penguins’ lead on a power play slap shot from the blue line with three minutes to play in the first period.
Ryan Haggerty buried another one for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 2:01 of the second stanza, making it 3-0. Two minutes later, the Devils notched their first goal of the night with a man advantage marker by Ryan Schmelzer, only to let Johnson reestablish the Penguins’ three-goal lead at 12:15 of the middle frame.
Before the end of the second period, Binghamton retaliated with two more goals by John Quenneville and Blake Pietila, effectively slashing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead down to 4-3.
Pietila continued the Devils’ scoring frenzy less than three minutes into the final frame of regulation with a patient, toe-drag move around Tristan Jarry and evened the score at four goals apiece.
Neither team was able to strike throughout the rest of the third period, giving way for Blueger to send the puck flying to the back of the net 41 seconds into the overtime period. Blueger’s game-winner tied his career high for goals in a season with 21 and bolstered the Penguins’ all-time undefeated record against the Binghamton Devils (8-0-0-0).
Jarry recorded 25 saves on 29 shots faced, while Cory Schneider notched 24 saves on 29 shots faced in the loss for Binghamton.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton now retreats for several days during the AHL’s annual All-Star break. The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Feb. 1 against the Cleveland Monsters at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Cleveland’s final visit to Northeastern Pennsylvania this season also serves as an Eyewitness News Fan Friday with upper and lower bowl tickets available for $14 and select draught beers on sale for $2 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Monsters is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-7367. Season ticket packages for the 20th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Fans can also keep up with the Penguins through the AHL’s brand new high definition streaming service, AHLTV. Subscriptions for AHLTV, which include live and archived games, begin at just $79.99 for the entire 2018-19 regular season. Fans can visit theahl.com/AHLTV now to register for a free AHLTV account and purchase 2018-19 subscriptions.