WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Crunch

Last Game Recap:
On Wednesday night, the Penguins got their turn to sink the Admirals by picking up a 4-2 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena. Alex Grant scored his second AHL goal in the first period at 5:50, but former Pittsburgh Penguin Adam Hall answered back about three and a half minutes later to tie the game at 1.

In the second, Tim Wallace put up a power play goal at 8:22 to allow the Baby Penguins to reclaim the lead. Again, Norfolk would have an answer; this time only 1:35 later with a goal by Blair Jones. That was all the offense Norfolk would generate as Konstantin Pushkarev and Dustin Jeffrey picked up third period goals to secure the win. John Curry stopped 27 shots for his third win in as many starts.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Eric Tangradi (WBS): two assists, +2
2. Alex Grant (WBS): goal, +1
1. Konstantin Pushkarev (WBS): one goal, +1

WBS Scratches:
Joey Haddad
Steve Wagner
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Record: 31-27-1-2 (65 points; fourth in East Division)

News and Notes:
Joey Haddad was recalled from Wheeling on Wednesday. He has 20 points (7+13) in 34 games with the Nailers this season.

Robert Bortuzzo received a game misconduct in the last game for removing his elbow pad during a fight with the Admirals’ Scott Jackson.

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Syracuse Crunch
When: Friday, March 5, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Onondaga War Memorial at Oncenter (Syracuse, NY)

Last Penguins/Crunch Meeting:
Syracuse picked up a 4-1 victory on February 5th in Wilkes-Barre. Nick Johnson scored a first period goal for the Penguins, but Syracuse picked up a pair of power play goals in the first and second periods to take over the game. Derek Mackenzie (1+1) and Dan Fritsche (0+2) each had multiple point nights. John Curry took the loss with 17 saves on 21 shots.

About Syracuse:

NHL Affiliate: Columbus Blue Jackets
ECHL Affiliate: Gwinnett Gladiators

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 26-29-3-3 (58 points; sixth in East Division)
Power Play at Home: 14.5% (23rd)
Power Play Overall: 17.3% (17th)
Penalty Kill at Home: 84.5% (13th)
Penalty Kill Overall: 82.2% (16th)

Goals For/Against: 176/210

Fast Fact:
Syracuse played in the AHL’s first outdoor game on February 20th at the New York State Fairgrounds. The Crunch defeated the Binghamton Senators by a score of 2-1 and the game set a new AHL attendance record with 21,508 fans braving the winter temperatures.

Crunch Players to Watch:
Derek Mackenzie has six points in Syracuse’s last four games. He also leads the AHL with five shorthanded goals this season and is Syracuse’s leading scorer with 42 points (17+25).

Brendan Bell is seventh in the AHL in defenseman scoring with 39 points (10+29). He also has nine power play goals this season.

Ali’s Analysis:
After Wednesday’s win, the Penguins are now two points ahead of Bridgeport for the final playoff spot in the East Division. However, that does not mean it is time to relax. Syracuse took the last meeting between the two teams despite not even being in playoff contention. The Penguins should come in looking to further increase the gap between them and the Sound Tigers; who are taking on Portland tonight.

Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Favorites More Stumbleupon