Penguins Put Senators On The Brink

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used another strong start and clutch goaltending in the third period to extend the series lead to 2-0 in the best-of-five series against the Binghamton Senators.

Jeff Zatkoff played another strong game in net, stopping 35 of 37 shots, and putting the Penguins in good position heading into Thursday's Game Three at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

"The next game is always the most important game, whether you've won it or lost it," head coach John Hynes said of Thursday's Game Three in Wilkes-Barre.

The Penguins were granted a power play on the opening shift of the game when Riley Holzapfel was clipped with a high stick. He wasn't allowed to take the first shift of the power play, but it didn't stop him from making his presence felt with the second unit. Holzapfel beat Lawson 2:48 into the first period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

Much like in last night's Game One, the BSens answered back when Matt Puempel found open ice and took a pass from Mark Stone and fired one past Zatkoff to tie things up at one heading into the first intermission.

Chris Collins, playing in his first game of the playoffs tonight, played a gritty game and gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead after a battle with the much bigger Hugh Jessiman. Collins was taken out by Jessiman, but Collins got right back up and took a pass from Brian Dumoulin. Collins saw Paul Thompson dashing to the net and fired a sneaky shot that found its way past Lawson to regain the lead for the Pens.

"It's been a long season for me but to come in here and be able to contribute and help the team win is a great feeling," Collins said. "I'm happy to be here in Wilkes-Barre on a team with a great group of guys. It's an exciting time of year. This is the reason I play hockey."

The turning point of the hockey game came in the waning moments of the middle frame. With a line of Warren Peters, Zach Sill and Jayson Megna on the ice, the Penguins were looking to hold onto the 2-1 lead and take it to the third period. But after a net-mouth scramble, Peters found the back of the net with 1.6 seconds left to extend the lead to 3-1. A two goal lead heading to the third period was the difference tonight.

"It was a battle," Peters said. "Games were back and forth. They were pretty even. Our goaltender did a great job and you need that in the playoffs." 

The Senators didn't quit, but couldn't draw within one until there was 18.6 seconds left in the game, due to the play in net by Zatkoff. The Penguins played a tight defensive game in the third period and hold on with the 3-2 win tonight. 

The Penguins will have tomorrow off before resuming practice on Tuesday, so check back for the next update after practice on Tuesday.


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net for Game Two, stopping 35 of 37 shots to pick up the win.

Only lineup change was Chris Collins in for Dominik Uher.





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