#AHL Game Preview: #WBSPens Host Hershey

Friday, December 13, 2013
Pens and Bears battle at 7:05 p.m. EDT. It's rivalry night!

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (WBS) continue their home stand against East Division rival Hershey (HER) tonight at 7:05 p.m. EDT. 

The Bears prevailed in overtime the last meeting on November 30th at Giant Center despite another strong third period comeback from the Penguins to salvage a point. The win last time out was the first win for the Bears over the Pens in the season series (WBS currently leads 4-0-1-0).

Although the Penguins have had early season success against the Bears, injuries and call ups have taken their tole on the AHL lineup, especially up front. The Pens did get forwards Nick Drazenovic, previously injured, and Harry Zolnierczyk, back from Pittsburgh, in Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to Springfield.

One thing is for sure, and that is no matter the records or rosters on either side, the games between the Pens and Bears have been pretty evenly contested. Both teams have an OT win against each other, while all three of the Penguins other wins were late game one-goal games:
Sat 10/12: Hershey - 1 at Penguins - 3
Fri 11/1: Hershey - 2 at Penguins  - 3 OT  
Sat 11/2: - Penguins - 4 at Hershey - 2
Sat 11/16: Hershey - 1 at Penguins - 3
Sat 11/30: Penguins - 2 at Hershey - 3 OT

Tune into Highland Park Hockey on Twitter tonight for all the latest in-game updates of tonight's AHL action. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. EDT. Roster notes, lineups and more after the jump.

By The Numbers 

WBS: 13-6-1-2, 29 points - First Place East Division (3rd - East)
Last Ten Games: 5-4-1-0
HER: 9-8-2-3
, 23 points, Fifth Place Northeast Division (11th - East)
Last Ten Games: 5-4-0-1

WBS Leading Scorers: Brian Gibbons (8G-17A), Tom Kostopoulos (8G-9A), Brendan Mikkelson (2G-14A)

HER Leading Scorers: Casey Wellman (7G-6A), Jeff Taffe (7G-6A), Peter LeBlanc (6G-6A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

The Washington Capitals sent goaltender Michal Neuvirth to Hershey on a conditioning assignment, but the Bears have already confirmed that David Leggio will start tonight and that Neuvirth will get the nod on home ice tomorrow night at Giant Center against Binghamton.

WBS - Eric Hartzell: 2-1-0, 2.34 GAA, .918 SV%, 1 SO

HER - David Leggio: 5-6-2, 2.87 GAA, .912 SV%, 0 SO

Penguins Roster Notes

Reid McNeill returned to the WBS lineup and it was a good vote of confidence by the coaching staff to insert him into the lineup on the top shutdown pairing with Philip Samuelsson.

Peter Merth didn't take the warmup skate and the team has him back on the injured list.

Paul Thompson tallied his first goal of the season last night and looks to get back on track.

Updated injury list:

Peter Merth (lower body, day-to-day)
Dominik Uher (upper body - out since 11/27, two weeks)
Adam Payerl (upper body - out since 11/30, 3-4 months)

Expected Lines

Zolnierczyk - Gibbons - Zlobin
Thompson - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Farnham - Carman - Leblond

Kuhnhackl - Severyn - Sylvester

McNeill  - Samuelsson
Harrington  - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - Ruopp

Expected Scratches: Peter Merth, Dominik Uher, Adam Payerl and Denver Manderson


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