AHL Game Preview: Penguins Continue Road Trip in Norfolk

Friday, January 24, 2014
Zach Sill returns tonight for the WBS Penguins against the Norfolk Admirals. Photo credit: Amy's WBS Penguins Picture Page.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (WBS) continue the second half of their six-game road trip this weekend, starting with a pair of games in southern Virginia against East Division foe Norfolk Admirals (NOR).

Tonight's puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. Follow live in-game updates via Highland Park Hockey on Twitter right here. Also stay tuned for a recap of tonight's game shortly following the conclusion of the game.

Breakdown of the numbers, roster notes and an attempt at expected lineups after the jump.

The AHL Penguins are 2-1 on their current road swing entering the 4th game of six, avenging a 5-1 loss to the Providence Bruins last Friday night with wins over Portland, 4-2, and the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, 5-1.

Coming into the weekend, the Pens are just one point behind East Division leading Binghamton. They also received help from Pittsburgh in the form of center Zach Sill, who skated with the AHL Pens in Norfolk at this morning skate today.

The Admirals have been tough to beat in regulation, having lost in regulation only once in the last eight games. Getting at least one point in the standings almost every night, at 5-1-0-2 in their last eight games,  has brought the Admirals within three points in the East Division.

With a pair of games against the team directly ahead of them in the division race at home this weekend, now is as good a time as ever to make a statement. They have a good goaltending tandem of John Gibson and ex-WBS goalie Brad Thiessen that keep games close and make Norfolk a tough opponent every night. They're a hard-working, highly-competitive team led offensively by rookie forwards Rickard Rakell and Max Friberg as well as second year pro Emerson Etem. 

By The Numbers

WBS: 24-12-1-3, 52 points - Second Place East Division
Last Ten Games: 7-3-0-0

NOR: 21-13-1-6, 49 points - Third Place East Division
Last Ten Games: 6-2-0-2

WBS Leading Scorers: Tom Kostopoulos (15G-12A), Harry Zolneirczyk (13G-11A), Nick Drazenovic (8G-15A)
NOR Leading Scorers: Rickard Rakell (10G-18A), Emerson Etem (11G-15A), Max Friberg (11G-11A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

WBS - Jeff Deslauriers (16-10-1, 2.36 GAA, .903 SV%, 1 SO)
NOR - John Gibson (12-9-4, 2.48 GAA, .917 SV%, 3 SO)

Expected Lineups


Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Uher - Torquato - Zlobin
Kuhnhackl - Sill - Thompson
Farnham - Carman- Leblond

Samuelsson - Despres
Harrington - Mikkelson
Dumoulin - McNeill

WBS Scratches: Nick D'Agostino, Harrison Ruopp, Denver Manderson,Carter Rowney and Adam Payerl


Etem - Steckel - S.Pelly
Friberg - Wagner - Whitney
Cramarossa - Sauve - Stortini
Laganiere - Kurtz - Ezekiel

Exelby - Vatanen
Gagne - Yonkman
Blacker - Grant

NOR Scratches: Mat Clark, Stefan Noessen, Ryan Parent, Rikard Rakell, Stefan Warg, Steve Eminger, Chad Painchaud, Andrew O'Brien and Charles Sarault.


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