WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Crunch

Penguins Last Game Recap:
Ben Lovejoy and Tim Wallace scored on the Penguins’ first two shots of the game in the first 10 minutes, but the defense continued to be suspect as Adirondack was able to tie the game at two by the end of the first period. Andreas Nodl scored three minutes after Wallace and Jared Ross took advantage of a Chris Conner turnover to tie the game.

After Adirondack took a 3-2 lead 1:43 into the second period, the Penguins decided they had had enough. With Deryk Engelland in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct in the closing minutes of the second, Conner broke in all alone on Phantoms goalie Johan Backlund and put the puck between his legs to tie the game.

Chris Lee tied the game at 12:31 of the third when his shot hit the post and bounced down into the net. However, the Phantoms still weren’t finished and Jason Ward let the Pens know it by sending the game to overtime with a goal at 17:12.

A lone Penguins shot on goal was the only shot of the extra frame; and the score remained 4-4.

When it came time for the shootout, the Penguins decided to shoot first. Mark Letestu, fresh off scoring his first NHL goal on Monday, easily scored on Backlund. Wyattt Smith and Andreas Nodl each scored in the third round of the shootout. Thanks to Smith’s goal, and Curry stopping all other Phantoms shooters, the Penguins were able to earn the 2-1 win in the shootout for a 5-4 final and two points.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Chris Lee (WBS): third period goal
2. Jason Ward (Adirondack): game tying goal in the third period
1. John Curry (WBS): 20 saves on 24 shots in regulation and overtime; 4/5 shootout saves

Next Matchup:
Who: WBS Penguins vs. Syracuse Crunch
When: Friday, February 5, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Last Pens/Crunch Meeting:
Back on January 22nd, Nate Guenin scored his first goal in 105 games and Chris Conner had a five point night to give the Penguins a 6-3 win over Syracuse at the Onondaga War Memorial. However, the win did not come easy. Derek Mackenzie scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to spoil any hopes Brad Thiessen had of getting a shutout. Defensemen Nick Holden and Jonathan Sigalet each chipped in a goal to cut the Penguins' lead to 4-3. However, the Penguins got it together and added two goals from Conner to earn the victory.

WBS News and Notes:
Robert Bortuzzo took a skate to the arm in Wednesday's game and required 20 stitches. He is not expected to suffer any long term damage from the injury, but will not be in the lineup this weekend.

The Penguins will hold their annual Salute to the Troops night at tonight's game. The team will be wearing camoflauge jerseys which will be auctioned off in a silent auction during the game.

The shootout on Wednesday was the Penguins' first game that went to a shootout since October 30 against Manitoba.

About the Crunch:

Since the last meeting with the Penguins, Syracuse has only had one loss to the Worcester Sharks. They are currently on a four game winning streak, with their last game on Wednesday being a 5-3 victory over the Albany River Rats. Their current record is 20-23-3-3 which puts them at 46 points and 6th place in the East Division. In their last five games, they have put up a total of 23 goals.

Crunch Players to Watch:
Derek Mackenzie has nine points in the last five games for the Crunch. He is tied for second in the league with three shorthanded goals and leads Syracuse with 31 points (12+19).

Defenseman Dylan Reese (who happens to be a Pittsburgh native) is a +6 in his last five games. He is second on Syracuse in plus/minus this season with a +7 and is one of just four Syracuse players who have a positive plus/minus so far.

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