Penguins/Bears PREVIEW 3/1

Friday, March 1, 2013
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins look to bounce back from Wednesday night's loss with a Friday night showdown with the Hershey Bears.

Expected Starting Goalies

Brad Thiessen (WBS): 12-9-1, 2.44 GAA, .910 SV%, 4 SO
Dany Sabourin (HER): 7-8-3, 2.60 GAA, .909 SV%, 0 SO

Breaking Down the Matchup

Hershey: 4th Place East Divison, 25-21-3-5 = 58 points
PENGUINS: 3rd Place East Division, 29-23-2-1 = 61 points

Leading Scorers

Hershey: Jeff Taffe (12G, 34A), Jon DiSalvatore (14G, 22A), Casey Wellman (10G, 25A)
PENGUINS: Chad Kolarik (20G, 25A), Riley Holzapfel (16G, 19A), Trevor Smith (16G, 19A)

Re-Visiting the Rivalry

The Penguins and Bears are all too familiar with each other. And there is a clear sign from both sides that these two teams just don't like each other. I guess that happens when you see the same team on the schedule 12 times. 

The Penguins host the Bears tonight in what could be a pivotal game in the standings. Entering tonight's game, the Penguins lead the Bears by three points for 3rd place in the East Divison. The Bears have played one less game.

A regulation loss would leave the Bears nipping at the heels of the Penguins: a one point differential and a game in hand. A regulation win extends the lead to five points, while also keeping up in the playoff push in the Eastern Conference.

For the Penguins, Alex Grant and Chris Collins have practiced this week and are set to return to the lineup tonight. Whether or not Hynes decides to insert them in the lineup is another thing. Paul Thompson and Steve MacIntyre are getting closer but neither have practiced with the team this week. Phil Dupuis has been out of the lineup since missing the  game against Norfolk on January 15th. Tom Kuhnhackl is out for the season as he has been listed for awhile.

I'll have the latest on who's starting for the Penguins tonight as well as updates of all the action and a recap with thoughts from the players and coaches shortly after the game. Follow on Twitter tonight with @H_P_Hockey.

Injured list: Tom Kuhnhackl (upper body), Paul Thompson (upper body), Phil Dupuis and Steve MacIntyre.

Healthy Scratches: Cody Wild, Christian Minella

Expected lineup:

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

Reese - Dumoulin
Grant - Mormina
Samuelsson - Morrow


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