WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Americans

Last Game Recap:
The Penguins charged back from a 4-1 second period deficit to defeat Springfield 5-4 in overtime.

After that period, where the lone Penguins’ goal had been scored by Nick Johnson and Brad Thiessen had allowed 4 goals on 13 shots, the third period belonged to the black and gold. Konstantin Pushkarev scored at the 3:12 mark, with Johnson and Chris Conner adding goals 31 seconds apart at 9:09 and 9:40 respectively. The Pens also outshot the Falcons in the third by an overwhelming margin of 24-5.

In overtime, Deryk Engelland was the hero; scoring his third goal of the season on the sixth Penguins shot. Mark Letestu picked up his second point of the night with the primary assist; while Joe Vitale was credited with the secondary assistance. Thiessen ended up taking the win with 22 saves on 26 shots. Springfield goalie Jean-Philippe Levasseur made 50 saves on 55 shots in the losing effort after stopping 24 shots through the second period.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Jean-Philippe Levasseur (Springfield): 50 saves
2. Nick Johnson (WBS): two goals
1. Deryk Engelland (WBS): game winning goal; +1 rating

Alex Grant
Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Eric Tangradi
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Current Record: 35-29-2-3 (75 points; fourth in East Division)

Scoreboard Watch: The Penguins are one point behind Norfolk for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the East Division. They are tied with Bridgeport, who also has 75 points, for the fourth playoff spot. However, WBS wins the first tiebreaker with the Sound Tigers. They have 35 wins; while the Sound Tigers have 33.

Friday’s Key Matchup Scores: Norfolk 8-Adirondack 4; Bridgeport 3-Syracuse 2

Saturday’s Matchups to Watch: Norfolk vs. Adirondack (7:15 p.m.) and Bridgeport vs. Manchester (7:00 p.m.)

News and Notes:
Saturday’s matchup with Rochester is sold out. It is the Penguins’ first sell out this season.

Last night’s game concluded the season series between the Penguins and the Falcons. Each team earned a win; with the home team taking each game.

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Rochester Americans
When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Last Meeting Recap:
Rochester took a 5-3 win from the visiting Penguins back on January 23. Joe Vitale put the Penguins on the board 4:46 into the first period, but Rochester got two goals from former Penguin Jeff Taffe; as well as markers from Daniel Steiner and Michal Repik to secure the win. Luca Caputi and Chris Conner also scored for the Penguins. Brad Theissen stopped 20 shots to take the loss.

About the Americans: NHL Affiliate: Florida Panthers
ECHL Affiliate: Florida Everblades

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 38-29-2-0 (78 points; second in North Division)
Power Play Away: 14.5% (23rd)
Power Play Overall: 18.3% (13th)
Penalty Kill Away: 77.3% (26th)
Penalty Kill Overall: 80.7% (20th)

Goals For/Against: 214/212

Last Game: Binghamton handed Rochester their third loss in five games by defeating the Americans 4-2. Graham Mink and John de Gray scored for the Americans, but it was Binghamton goalie Chris Holt who put the nail in the coffin by scoring an empty net, power play goal at 19:36 of the third period. Holt became just the 10th goalie in AHL history to be credited with a goal.

Ali’s Analysis:
In order to earn a split in the season series with Rochester, the Penguins should show the kind of resilience that got them the win against a much weaker Springfield team. John Curry should also get the start tonight since it is a back to back set and Thiessen had a weak performance last night. However, tonight a strong start is important because Rochester has shown the ability to take over games even when the Penguins are doing things right.

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