WBS Penguins Down Charlotte 6-3, Need One Point

Friday, April 1, 2011
Paul Thompson made his AHL debut tonight and played well.
The magic number for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins is now down to just one point after their rather dominant 6-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers tonight. Without Brett Sterling and Tim Wallace, the Pens were still able to manage 32 shots and six goals. They were outright dominant through the first two periods and got goals from six different guys.

The Pens stay in town for another home game tomorrow night against the Rochester Americans. This blog now has its own Twitter feed. Follow @H_P_Hockey for all of your Penguins news, scores, updates, injuries, interviews and more!

Recap after the jump.

Jason DeSantis got the Penguins going 5:08 into the first period while the Pens were on a power play. DeSantis called for the puck from his point position and took a feed from Petersen and buried the puck past Justin Pogge for the 1-0 lead.

Petersen would make it 2-0 on a nice breakaway goal after a great pass up the middle from Robert Bortuzzo. That goal came about three and a half minutes after DeSantis' power play tally. Geoff Walker made it 3-0 after a chip into the zone from Keven Veilleux. Walker came in 1 on 4 and shot a puck past Pogge and blew the game wide open at 13:27.

Charlotte's Jacob Micflikier got the Checkers on the board with just under five minutes left in an action-packed first frame but Bryan Lerg's shorthanded tally from Zach Sill and Bortuzzo put a damper on any thoughts of a Charlotte comeback. The Pens took the 4-1 lead into the dressing room and never really looked back.

Corey Potter would score on a point shot in the second period to make it a 5-1 game, giving Paul Thompson his first pro point with the assist along with David Marshall. Charlotte would cut the lead to 5-3 on goals from Micflikier and Zac Dalpe but a Veilleux empty netter sealed the deal for the Pens 6-3.

As for the injuries, Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie told me he spoke with head coach John Hynes after the game and was told that Wallace will be out about a week with an undisclosed injury. Hynes also said that none of the current injured Pens (Mormina, Sterling, Wallace, Wagner and Vitale) are in danger of missing any playoff games. All good news as I don't mind guys resting up for the playoffs with home ice throughout the playoffs all but clinched.

As for the new guys, I saw Brandon DeFazio talking with fans before the game. He said he had just got into town and just signed with Wilkes-Barre. He expects to be in the lineup tomorrow night.  Paul Thompson made his AHL debut tonight and I thought he did pretty well playing mostly with Nick Petersen and a rotated center. Thompson drew a penalty on his first shift and got an assist on Corey Potter's goal in the second period. Another guy making his Penguins debut tonight, Viktor Ekbom, looked pretty good too. He made some nice passes and also played well defensively.

With Sterling and Wallace out of the lineup, expect both Thompson and DeFazio to play tomorrow night. Not sure about Ekbom's status for tomorrow night but he certainly didn't hurt his chances with his performance tonight.  The Pens went with 11 forwards and seven defenseman tonight. Expect the regular 12/6 tomorrow night.

I'll have a game preview for tomorrow sometime in the afternoon with a game thread at 6:30 p.m. EST. Puck drops at 7:05.


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