WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Senators

Last Game Recap:
Defensemen Chris Lee and Nate Guenin provided the Penguins’ offense scoring one and two goals respectively. Although their contributions allowed the Penguins to keep pace with Norfolk throughout the game, the Admirals used a Justin Keller hat trick to give them a 5-3 victory on Wednesday. Matt Fornataro and Juraj Simek also scored for the Ads. Keller got the hat trick when he was tripped in the neutral zone on a breakaway towards the empty net and was awarded a goal by referee Chris Ciamaga.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Nate Guenin (WBS): two goals
2. Juraj Simek (Norfolk): two points (1+1)
1. Justin Keller (Norfolk): hat trick, +1

Penguins Scratches:
Robert Bortuzzo
Jesse Boulerice
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Binghamton Senators
When: Friday, February 12, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

WBS News and Notes:
Nate Guenin was traded to St. Louis on Thursday in exchange for defenseman Steve Wagner (analysis to follow).

With Guenin traded, Alex Grant was recalled from Wheeling. Grant has 27 points (7+20) and a +4 rating in 40 games with Wheeling this season.

Last Penguins/Senators meeting:
On January 15, the Penguins failed to generate any offense and the Senators skated away with a 3-0 victory. Ryan Keller led Binghamton with three points (2+1) and Max Gratchev had a first period goal; then assisted on Keller’s second of the game in the third. Brad Thiessen took the loss for WBS with 35 saves on 38 shots. Chris Holt earned the shutout for Binghamton; stopping all 28 of the Penguins shots.

About the Senators:
The Senators are once again in the basement of the standings after a strong start to the season. Their current record is 21-23-3-1 for seventh place (and last) in the East Division. Since they last met the Penguins, they have gone 4-6; including scoring only one goal in each of three straight losses. On Wednesday, they got their second 4-3 victory over Albany; the first coming last Friday on February 5. However, Wednesday’s victory was a shootout win. Like the Penguins, however, Binghamton will surely take two points any way they can get them. The Senators do have strong special teams. Their penalty kill on the road is ranked third at 87.2% during away games. They also have the 10th ranked overall power play with an 18.4% success rate.

Senators to Watch:
Ryan Keller, who had three points in the last Penguins-Senators game, has five points in his last three games (2+3). He is Binghamton’s leading scorer with 44 points on the season (23+21) and also has six power play goals.

Rookie Erik Condra is also on a point streak of his own with six points in the last four games (1+5). He has 28 points (9+19) in 48 games for the Senators.

Ali’s Analysis:

The Guenin trade: It seems almost nonsensical to trade Guenin after his performance on Wednesday; one of the only Penguins who made a significant contribution that night. Even so, Guenin was scratched for several games prior; which meant his mistakes had been costly to the team and signaled that movement could be coming.

Steve Wagner, who was acquired for Guenin, has more offensive upside with 15 points in 46 games. Wagner also has more NHL experience, playing 46 games for St. Louis to Guenin’s 14 NHL games combined with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. With so many players in WBS getting a taste of NHL life this season, Wagner will also be able to help WBS’ players be prepared for what it is like to be in the big leagues.

Tonight’s Game: The Penguins played well on Wednesday, but playing well and not earning any points will not cut it at this point in the season. They will need to go the extra mile to win and let the Senators have last place to themselves. The Wagner trade may help the team, but the Penguins cannot rely on that to be their shakeup. Everyone will have to be selfless and do whatever it takes to avoid the basement.

Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Favorites More Stumbleupon