Bears Shutout Pens, Rematch Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Going to start this recap with an impressive stat courtesy of Pens' beat writer Jonathan Bombulie. Since turning pro in 2009, Braden Holtby is now 14-6-1 with six shutouts against the Penguins. The rest of the Bears' goalies against the Pens in that span: 8-10-1. It's safe to say that Holtby is a Penguins killer.

Holtby was credited with a 33 save shutout tonight, and his biggest save came with about two minutes left in the game. Trevor Smith got around a Bears defenseman with a nifty move and appeared to have beaten Holtby on a wrap around attempt, but Holtby's skate got a piece of Smith's wrap around shot, preserving a 1-0 lead.

The Bears took the 1-0 lead 3:56 into the game after Brian Strait's pass out of the zone went right to Ryan Potulny. Jeff Zatkoff stopped Potulny, but Garrett Mitchell slapped home the rebound into an empty net.

From there the Penguins played better, but couldn't find the back of the net. They held the Bears without a shot for more than 16 minutes in the 2nd period and actually outshot the Bears 20-8 through the final 40 minutes.

The Penguins pulled Zatkoff with about 1:05 to play and an Alex Grant turnover to Jeff Taffe ultimately sealed the deal. Taffe's empty net unassisted goal with 48 seconds left gave the Bears the 2-0 final score.

The two teams rematch tomorrow night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Roster Notes
  • It was Jeff Zatkoff vs. Braden Holtby in net tonight for the Pens and Bears, respectively.
  • Simon Despres returned to the WBS lineup after a six game absence with an undisclosed injury. Joe Morrow was scratched to make room. 
  • Alex Grant played on the 4th line and the point on the power play. 
  • Steve MacIntyre and Joey Mormina were the other healthy scratches.
  • Beau Bennett (undisclosed), Jayson Megna (undisclosed), Tom Kuhnhackl (upper body) and Keven Veilleux (knee) are still out of the lineup.


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