Trading Places: Gibbons Re-Assigned, Megna, Conner, Despres Recalled

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Jayson Megna impressed in his first NHL stint and has a second crack at the NHL lineup tonight.

The revolving door of injured bodies in Pittsburgh and recalled skaters from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continued today. The latest news from Pittsburgh is that Paul Martin has a broken tibia and will be out 4-6 weeks. Also, forward Matt D'Agostini has been claimed on waivers by the Buffalo Sabres.

Add that to these injured players - Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass, Chuck Kobasew and Rob Scuderi, and forwards Jayson Megna and Chris Conner and defenseman Simon Despres were on their way to Pittsburgh last night to make it for today's NHL Penguins game day skate.

So for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (WBS) tonight against the Adirondack Phantoms (ADK), they will be without five of their top nine scorers (Ebbett, Despres, Conner, Megna and the injured Nick Drazzenovic). Add Zach Sill as another guy in Pittsburgh and not on the AHL Penguins roster, and the AHL Pens are missing five forwards and a defenseman from their regular lineup.

Leading scorer Brian Gibbons, recently re-assigned from the NHL club, and Harry Zolnierczyk will have to lead the way. I also think this is a great chance for a guy like Paul Thompson, Dominik Uher or Tom Kuhnhackl to get some added playing time and separate themselves from the pack tonight too.

Expected Starters in Net

WBS - Jeff Deslauriers: 10-3-2, 2.34 GAA, .900 SV%, 0 SO
ADK - Yann Danis:  3-3-2, 2.70 GAA .893 SV%,1 SO

For The Penguins

Pierre-Luc Leblond skated in practice yesterday and looks set to return to action tonight. Three forwards have been called up from Wheeling in Denver Manderson, Cody Sylvester and yesterday the addition of Carter Rowney.

Here's some insights from Wheeling Nailers beat writer Shawn Rine on Rowney:
"Hard-working, end-to-end guy capable of playing in all situations. Very deserving of a chance in the AHL."
This isn't Rowney's first cup of coffee at the AHL level. Rowney appeared in four games with the AHL's Abbostford Heat (Calgary Flames), tallying one goal at the end of the 2012-13 season.

On defense, Peter Merth practiced with the team yesterday and looks to make his season debut this week. With seven defenseman, one of Merth or Dustin Stevenson will be in the lineup in place of the called up Despres.

The roster moves have left the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 13 healthy forwards and seven healthy defensemen. Judging from line rushes I saw yesterday, and tinkering a bit from the roster moves, a look at the WBS projected lineup heading into tonight's game:

Zolnierczyk - Gibbons - Uher
Kuhnhackl - Carman - Kostopoulos
Farnham - Payerl - Thompson
Sylvester/Rowney - Manderson - Leblond

Samuelsson - Dumoulin
Harrington - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - Merth/Stevenson


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