Fast Start Aids Pens in 4-2 Win

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Penguins got off to a fast start in the first and finished off the Binghamton Senators in third, winning 4-2 over one of their East Division foes, a feat that hasn't been accomplished with much regularity this season.

The Penguins got a goal scoring surge midway through the first period, scoring three goals in a span of 4:52.

First, Riley Holzapfel fed Chad Kolarik in the slot. Kolarik's shot was stopped by Nathan Lawson but Trevor Smith tapped home the rebound at 11:35 to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.

"When I'm playing well, I'm playing well. And when I'm not you know I'm not," Kolarik said.

Tonight, the top line of Holzapfel, Smith and Kolarik led the way.

On the top lines next shift, Holzapfel again found Kolarik open in the slot. This time Kolarik didn't leave a rebound, picking the top corner with a snipe show wrist shot. Dylan Reese picked up a secondary assist on the Pens' 2nd goal at 14:38.

Chris Collins found a streaking Paul Thompson down the wing and Thompson buried it past Lawson for his 16th of the season. Robert Bortuzzo, playing in his first AHL game since mid-January, added a secondary assist to make it 3-0 Penguins.

"I thought we did a good job in the first period," Bortuzzo said. "We knew they were going to make a push."

The Senators battled back in the second period, and avoided a blow out early killing off several penalties in the first five minutes. They then got on the board when Corey Cowick tapped a rebound past Zatkoff with 7:09 left in the second period.

Binghamton came out hard early in the third period and got within one 5:30 into the third period when a  Hugh Jessiman point shot eluded Zatkoff.

But the Penguins didn't flinch, going right back to work and drawing two more power plays midway through the third period. On their seventh power play of the night, the Penguins cashed in.

Joey Mormina fed a pass across to Alex Grant, and Grant's shot from the point deflected off Brian Gibbons' stick and found the back of the net just six seconds after the power play had started. The Penguins held onto the 4-2 lead and turned it into two points tonight.


"We were doing the right things, getting a lot of chances. Fortunately tonight they went in," Thompson said. "That top line did a great job tonight to get us going and when things are going in for other guys it gives you a little extra confidence."

"We really got off to a good start and we were able to establish our forecheck," head coach John Hynes said. "We wound up getting some momentum from that and the guys made some good plays. It was good to see the confidence with the puck."

"I play hockey because I love playing hockey games," said Bortuzzo. "It had been a little while before I got in some and I figured this was the best for me. Like you said, it was exciting to get out there and play a hockey game."


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net, stopping 28 of 30 shots tonight to pick up his 21st win of the season.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo played in his first game since February 28th (Pittsburgh), and his first AHL game since 1/11 against Hershey.

Healthy scratches tonight were Clark Seymour, Cody Wild, Christian Minella and Steve MacIntyre. Tom Kuhnhackl is out for the season (Out since 12/1/12) and Phil Dupuis is still out indefinitely (Out since 1/15/13).


Holzapfel - Smith - Kolarik
Collins - Peters - Thompson
Uher - Gibbons - Payerl
Farnham - Sill - Megna

Reese - Dumoulin
Mormina - Grant
Bortuzzo - Samuelsson


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