NEDELJKOVIC GOALIE GOAL CAPS PENGUINS 4-2 WIN
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ended an explosive third-period performance with goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic scoring the final goal in a 4-2 victory over the Providence Bruins on Friday night at Amica Mutual Pavilion.
Reassigned on a conditioning loan by the Pittsburgh Penguins the day before, Nedeljkovic stepped between the pipes to make 17 saves and then deliver an historic goal to wrap up the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-5-2-0).
Nedeljkovic’s empty-net tally came at the end of a raucous third period, preceded by three Penguins goals and a near-comeback by the Bruins.
After two scoreless frames, the game’s first goal came from Jagger Joshua at 5:33 of the third period.
Ty Smith tacked on a power-play goal at 12:08 of the third, swiftly followed by Valtteri Puustinen scoring on a breakaway to make it 3-0.
With three minutes left in regulation, Providence pulled its goalie for an extra attacker. That gamble paid off not once, but twice. Georgii Merkulov and Justin Brazeau found the back of the net 22 seconds apart to pull the Bruins within one.
Providence pulled its goalie again, but a dump-in by the Bruins came right to Nedeljkovic’s crease. Known for his puck-handling prowess, the 27-year-old goalie launched the puck all the way down the ice and hit the bullseye.
Nedeljkovic stopped all 13 shots he faced during the first period before the Penguins clamped down defensively the rest of the way. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton allowed just one shot during the second period, a shot that came during a four-minute penalty kill.
With no score heading into the third period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton launched a full-court press, knowing that the first goal could be the game-winner. They ended up with four goals, one of which will be remembered forever.
The Penguins went four-for-four on the kill during the game, and their power-play goal in the third period gave them man advantage markers in 10 of their last 11 games.
Bruins goalie Brandon Bussi made 24 saves on 27 shots faced in the loss.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stays in Providence for another matchup with the Bruins tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 18. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Amica Mutual Pavilion.
The Penguins’ next home game is on Wednesday, Nov. 29 against the Hershey Bears. Opening puck drop will be 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sin Arena at Casey Plaza.
Season-ticket packages for the Penguins’ 25th season of hockey are on sale now. Full-Season, 22-game, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating plans are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367. Individual-game tickets are also available by visiting Ticketmaster.com, the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office or calling the Penguins’ front office at (570) 208-7367.