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Hershey @ WBS Penguins 11/25

Friday, November 25, 2011
Colin McDonald has been the best offensive weapon the Penguins have had against the Bears this season.
The Penguins are back in action tonight in a matchup of the top two teams in the East Division. A big proverbial "4 point game" tonight as the Penguins currently have a three point lead on Hershey for first place. A win could extend the lead to five, but a regulation loss closes the gap to one point and the Bears still have played two less games.

WBS Penguins: 19 games played, 10-5-1-3, 24 pts - 1st Place East Division
Hershey Bears: 17 games played, 8-4-3-2, 21 pts - 2nd Place East Division

For the Bears, they look to close in on first place in the division coming off a 4-3 over Providence in their last game. They lost by the same score to the Penguins when they last played and are looking for a better effort tonight.

For the Penguins, the team really needs to have a strong start to the game. The Pens gave up four goals in the first period in Wednesday's 7-5 loss to Syracuse and can not afford to put themselves in a similar hole against a team with the depth of the Bears. Big test tonight for the players to bounce back after a disappointing performance in their last game.

As for the lineup, expect most of the guys who were healthy scratches on Wednesday to be back in the lineup. I would definitely pencil in Brian Gibbons and Carl Sneep back into the lineup for Ryan Schnell and Alex Grant. After Munroe allowed three goals on his first three shots, I would think you'll see Brad Thiessen between the pipes.

Players to Watch

Hershey: Kieth Aucoin leads all players in the league with 20 assists. The Penguins need to take away his time and space and play disciplined to avoid sending guys to the box. Aucoin doesn't take well to the physical play so taking the body will be important, though Aucoin tends to be light on his skates and easily knocked down.

WBS: Bryan Lerg scored two goals last night, his first two goals of the month. Hopefully he's back on track. Colin McDonald has six points (2G-4A) in four games against Hershey this season. Simon Despres scored the game winner in overtime in the last meeting between the two teams.

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