Round 2, Game 5: WBS Penguins Pregame Report

Friday, May 6, 2011
Steve Wagner leads the WBS Penguins with 3 playoff goals. Can he add to his total tonight?

Down 3-1 in the best of seven series, the comeback begins tonight at 7 p.m. EST when the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins take on the Charlotte Checkers in Game 5 at the Times Warner Cable Arena in North Carolina.

In a year where a series lead in the playoffs has been anything but secure, the WBS Penguins will look to come back from a 3-1 deficit yet again. Those fans who were on board back when the Penguins were down 3-1 to Bridgeport in a best of seven series in 2005 know nothing is over until a team wins four games. This organization has done it before with their backs against the wall and what better time to repeat history than the present?

The Penguins switched back to 12 forwards and 6 defensemen in Game 4, with Carl Sneep being the odd man out. While nothing is set in stone, look for Pens to go back to the 11/7 lineup tonight with Sneep in and either David Marshall or Paul Thompson being the healthy scratch. Other scratches tonight should include Jesse Boulerice (healthy) and Ben Street (DTD), who skated with the black aces squad yesterday and is closer to making a return to the lineup.

One thing is certain with the lineup and that is that Brad Thiessen will be in net for the Pens tonight. Thiessen has been playing much better than his 5-5 record suggests. He's allowed a total of six goals in four of his five losses and his numbers are still impeccable with a 1.60 GAA and .942 SV%.

Projected Lines
Keven Veilleux - Ryan Craig - Geoff Walker
Brett Sterling - Joe Vitale - Nick Petersen
Chris Collins - Zach Sill - Tim Wallace
Bryan Lerg - Paul Thompson/David Marshall

Robert Bortuzzo - Brian Strait
Corey Potter - Steve Wagner
Joey Mormina - Andrew Hutchinson/Carl Sneep

Brad Thiessen

If the Penguins scorers can find the score sheet (and that's a big if) this series could easily be headed back to Wilkes-Barre with the momentum on the Penguins side. They have held a potent Checkers offense to just six goals through the first four games. With some timely goal scoring, I will see you all at the Mohegan Sun Arena tomorrow night for Game 6. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend a potential Game 7 on Monday as I am flying to Orlando for the week on Sunday morning.

A little something to get you fired up for Penguins playoff hockey tonight!


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