WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. River Rats

Last Game Recap:
The Penguins failed to clinch a playoff spot on Wednesday night; falling 1-0 to the Norfolk Admirals.

The only goal of the game was a power play goal scored by Mark Parrish at 13:47 of the first period. The Penguins put 29 shots on rookie netminder Dustin Tokarski, but nothing got past; even with five power play opportunities.

Tokarski got his fourth shutout of the season in the win; while Brad Thiessen was the losing goaltender with 24 saves on 25 shots.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Brad Thiessen (WBS): 24 saves
2. Mark Parrish (Norfolk): power play goal
1. Dustin Tokarski (Norfolk): 29 save shutout

Alex Grant
Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Ryan Bayda
Joey Haddad
Keven Veilleux

WBS Current Record: 39-33-2-3 (83 points; third place in East Division)

Scoreboard Watch: The Penguins are one point ahead of Norfolk for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the East Division. They are also one point behind Lowell and two points ahead of Bridgeport for the final playoff spot in the division playoffs. If the playoffs were starting today, Norfolk would take the fourth playoff spot with no division cross over (Norfolk and Bridgeport both have 82 points, but Norfolk has 38 wins to Bridgeport’s 36). The Penguins would be playing Albany if the first playoff game were today.

The Pens will have another chance to clinch the playoffs tonight. According to the AHL website, the Pens can clinch a spot under two scenarios:
-A win over Albany and a Norfolk loss to Hershey
-An overtime or shootout loss to Albany and a Norfolk regulation loss to Hershey

Key Matchups:
Norfolk vs. Hershey (7:15 p.m.)
Bridgeport vs. Lowell (7:00 p.m.)

News and Notes:
The Penguins concluded their regular season series with Norfolk on Wednesday. The Admirals won the series six games to four.

Next Game:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Albany River Rats
When: Friday, April 9, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Last Meeting Recap:
Albany claimed a 5-4 shootout victory from the Pens back on March 13. In regulation, Jacob Micflikier led Albany with two goals. Konstantin Pushkarev, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, and Tim Wallace scored for the Penguins. Jeffrey also got an assist on Wallace’s goal while Chris Lee led the Pens with a +3 rating. However, the Penguins were largely unsuccessful against Mike Morrison in the shootout with only Jeffrey converting a chance; while Drayson Bowman and Bryan Rodney scored for the River Rats to get the win.

About the River Rats:

NHL Affiliate:
Carolina Hurricanes
ECHL Affiliate: Florida Everblades

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 42-28-3-5 (92 points; second in East Division)
Goals For/Against: 238/225
Power Play Away: 14.4% (21st)
Power Play Overall: 16.6% (18th)
Penalty Kill Away: 81.1% (17th)
Penalty Kill Overall: 82.6% (15th)

Last Game:
Albany's last game was just under a week ago, when they defeated Adirondack by a score of 4-2 last Saturday. Jacob Micflikier scored on a penalty shot. Brad Herauf, Zac Dalpe, and Steven Goertzen also scored for the River Rats; who are already in the playoffs as the second seed in the East Division.

Ali’s Analysis:
The Penguins may have only lost 1-0 on Wednesday but they will have to play better if they want to clinch a playoff spot in tonight’s game. Failing to convert on numerous power play chances and tallying only three shots on goal in a period is no way to win a hockey game, but it is even more unacceptable to play like that under pressure. The Penguins will have to attack the net harder and get their power play unit working again. There is still a very real possibility of losing out on the playoffs; so the mistakes must be kept to the minimum.

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