Penguins Clinch AHL Playoff Birth For 11th Straight Season

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Penguins punch their ticket to the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs tonight with a 3-0 victory over the St. John's IceCaps, their 11th straight season with postseason hockey.

Could this be the year? That remains to be seen, but the Penguins improve to 7-0-0-1 in their last eight games. Dominik Uher led the way tonight with two goals. Jeff Zatkoff got his 5th shutout of the season, his second straight shutout, and hasn't allowed a goal in 126:44. Lots of good news coming out of the top minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The two teams hadn't played against each other since late January back in Wilkes-Barre as the puck dropped tonight, but the IceCaps were ready from the get-go.

The IceCaps hit the post on the opening shift and controlled play through the first 17 minutes, out-shooting the Penguins 6-1. That would change with the WBS 4th line on the ice late in the opening period.

Zach Sill got the puck to Bobby Farnham just beyond the nearside face-off circle. Farnham let go a shot toward IceCaps goaltender Mark Dekanich with Dominik Uher posted in front of him and Uher managed to get a piece of it, deflecting the puck into the net and giving the Pens a 1-0 lead with 2:09 left in the first period.

It was just Uher's 2nd goal of the season but a timely one nonetheless, changing the momentum after the IceCaps had been getting the better chances.

The Penguins took charge in the second period, out-shooting the IceCaps 12-4 and adding to their lead in an action-packed, high-paced middle frame.

First, it was Dominik Uher getting his second goal of the night in similar fashion to how he got his first one, tipping in a Brian Dumoulin shot at 9:08 to make it 2-0 Penguins. Farnham picked up his second assist of the night on the play.

Just over two minutes later, Trevor Smith connected on a long breakout pass to Paul Thompson. Thompson came in on a breakaway and scored his 19th of the season, extending the Penguins lead to 3-0.

Jeff Zatkoff, who kept the Penguins in the game during the first period, made some more dazzling saves in the middle frame to keep it at 3-0 heading into the third period.

The third period started off with a bang with a quick scrap between Zach Sill and Mathieu Tousignant just 18 seconds into the third.

It got ugly halfway through the third period, when Kael Mouillierat got a piece of Brian Gibbons up high in front of the WBS bench. Thirty-six penalty minutes were assessed as a result of the play after the gloves came off at 10:20 of the third.

Not a single penalty was called the rest of the way, making you wonder if there will be any carry-over hostilities when the two teams meet at 2:30 p.m. EDT tomorrow afternoon.


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net tonight, making his 5th start in the Penguins' last six games.

Injured list: Tom Kuhnhackl (out for season), Phil Dupuis (out indefinitely) and Derek Nesbitt (lower body injury, day-to-day)

Healthy Scratches: Scott Darling, Chris Barton, Reid McNeill, Chris Minella, Steve MacIntyre and Harrison Ruopp


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

Reese - Dumoulin
Mormina - Samuelsson
Grant - Wild


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