WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Pirates

Last Game Recap:
Luca Caputi scored his fourth goal in three games and added an assist as the Penguins won their sixth straight game by defeating Manchester 4-2.

After the Monarchs took a lead on Justin Azevedo’s second goal of the game early in the 2nd period, Eric Tangradi responded with a power play goal at 4:22 to make the score 2-2. Tim Wallace scored a shorthanded goal while Robert Bortuzzo was off for a controversial tripping call in the third period to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead they would not surrender. Mark Letestu scored at 14:46 to put the Pens up 4-2. John Curry stopped 25 shots to earn the win.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Mark Letestu (WBS): two points (1+1); +2
2. Justin Azevedo (Manchester): two goals
1. Tim Wallace (WBS): game winning goal, +1

WBS Scratches:
Konstantin Pushkarev
Alex Grant
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Current Record: 29-26-1-1 (60 points; fourth place in East)

Next Game:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Portland Pirates
When: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Cumberland County Civic Center (Portland, Maine)

Last Meeting:
On November 11, three Penguins rookies (Brian Strait, Zach Sill, and Eric Tangradi) scored their first professional goals in a brawl filled evening as the Penguins took a 6-1 victory over Portland. Chris Lee scored his first goal of the season on a power play at 14:12 of the third period. Keven Veilleux and Luca Caputi also contributed power play goals in the first two periods. The game also featured five fights; one of which resulted in a game misconduct for Wade Brookbank (fight strap rule). Mark Mancari scored Portland’s lone goal at 17:45 of the second.

About the Pirates:

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NHL Affiliation: Buffalo Sabres

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 32-16-5-3 (72 points; 2nd in Atlantic)
Power Play at Home: 22.7% (4th)
Power Play Overall: 19.4% (6th)
Penalty Kill at Home: 83.7% (14th)
Penalty Kill Overall: 82.1% (16th)

Goals for/against: 175/150

Last Game: 3-2 shootout loss to Rochester on Sunday. Rochester defeated the Pirates to earn their 2,000th win in franchise history and the Pirates saw their team record 11-game winning streak come to an end.

The Penguin Connection:
Kyle Rank played 25 games with the Penguins in the 2007-2008 season. He had one assist and was a -5.

Pirates to Watch:
Tyler Ennis leads the AHL in rookie scoring with 54 points (18+36). He is tied for Portland’s scoring lead with Mark Mancari.

Jhonas Enroth is second in the league in goaltending wins. His current record is 25-14-1 with a 2.40 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Ali’s Analysis:
With a win tonight, the Penguins will be two points out of a guaranteed playoff spot and one point ahead of Bridgeport, the current fifth place team in the Atlantic who can threaten playoff hopes for the fourth place team in the East. To win, the Penguins should take advantage of Portland’s weakness on the penalty kill and stick to the basics of their game. It is also essential to stay out of the penalty box, as both of their recent opponents have gotten numerous power play opportunities.

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