Stopped in the Shootout: Pens Fall 2-1 to Bears

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The troubles in the shootout continue for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as they fall 2-1 tonight in the shootout to the Hershey Bears. The Pens are 0-3 on the season in the shootout and 1-for-13 on shootout attempts. Only Tom Kostopoulos (tonight) has scored on one.

The Penguins pick up a point in the standings and now trail Binghamton by one point for first place in the East Division. Hershey gets the win and climbs out of the East Division basement. The Penguins still lead the season series with the Bears with a record of 5-0-1-1 and look to avoid dropping three straight games when they host the Syracuse Crunch on New Years Eve.

The teams traded early power plays in the first period, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard.

A very chippy first period, as three pairs of players dropped the gloves in the first, though only Philip Samuelsson and Matt Watkins were actually able to throw any punches.Two separate fights were broken up by linesmen before they were allowed to get started in Bobby Farnham vs. Chay Genoway and Harrison Ruopp vs. Ryan Stoa, respectively.

In all, 54 penalty minutes were handed out in a scoreless first 20 minutes of play. The Bears held a 12-9 shot advantage but the Penguins had the better chances, including a 2-on-1 stop by Bears netminder David Leggio on Paul Thompson and an unsuccessful shorthanded breakaway attempt by Pierre-Luc Leblond.

The Penguins had the jump in the second period, jumping out to a 6-1 shot advantage in the first seven minutes of the middle frame before the Pens opened the scoring.

Barry Goers carried a puck into the offensive zone and found Denver Manderson just above the faceoff circle. Manderson's shot was stopped by Leggio but the rebound was left at the top of the crease and former Bears forward and current Penguin Mike Carman smacked home the rebound to put the Pens in front 1-0 with 12:33 left in the second period. It was Carman's third goal of the season and his second against the Bears in Giant Center this year.

The Bears responded with a decided advantage of play in the second half of the middle frame, tying the game with 7:29 left after a defensive zone turnover by the Penguins. Nicholas Deschamps and Ryan Stoa were aggressive on the forecheck to cause the turnover and they got it back to David Kolomatis on the point, whose shot eluded Hartzell and evened the game 1-1.

Despite playing in their third game in as many nights, it was the Bears with the extra jump in their step in the third period, out shooting the Penguins 14-6 in the final frame. The teams traded power plays, but no one was able to score in regulation, sending the game to overtime. The Penguins power play finished 0-for-5 on the night.

It was all Penguins in the overtime session, out shooting Hershey 7-1 in the extra frame, but the Pens couldn't find the game winner and ultimately fell in the shootout tonight.

Roster Notes

Eric Hartzell got the start in net and was phenomenal, stopping 33 of 34 shots in the loss including all 14 shots he faced in the third period.

Reid McNeill made his return to the WBS lineup, appearing his first game since the Bears and Penguins last played on December 13th.

Tom Kuhnhackl, who was a healthy scratch last night against Norfolk, was back in the lineup tonight.

Defenseman Nick D'Agostino and Dustin Stevenson were the healthy scratches tonight. Peter Merth (day-to-day), C.J. Severyn (week-to-week) and Adam Payerl (long term) are on the WBS injured list.


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