AHL Game Preview: WBS Pens Host BSens at 4:05 p.m. EST

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins (WBS) finish up a three game weekend with a Sunday afternoon home game against East Division leading Binghamton (BSens) at 4:05 p.m. EST.

Binghamton comes in riding a seven game winning streak, including a pair of overtime victories this weekend. Like the Pens, the BSens are playing their third game in as many days. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Binghamton Senators beat writer Matt Weinstein from the Press & Sun Bulletin to help break down today's match up. Some of his thoughts are below:

On driving forces behind the BSens' recent win streak:
"Their power-play has scored in six of the seven games (including five last night). Their top line of Hoffman-Da Costa-Schneider (Stone before his call up) have been dominant. Mike Hoffman has 14 points (4G-10A) and Da Costa has 11 (5G-6A) during the streak. Da Costa has a point in each game too. Their top PP unit now is Peterson-DaCosta-Schneider with Hoffman and Wideman at the point."
On Nathan Lawson getting the start today and how he has looked during this win streak:
"Lawson has looked very good especially since he started four straight games coming off an injury because (backup goaltender) Andrew Hammond had the flu. Lawson stopped 133 of 143 shots in that four game stretch with a .930 SV%."
On the BSens red-hot power play and guys to watch up front:
"Their PP is hitting on all cylinders like I mentioned above. In terms of lines, after their top line, Prince-O'Brien-Petersson is very speedy and skilled. Puempel and Robinson have been developing some chemistry lately as well with a few others taking up the third spot."
Weinstein's thoughts on today's matchup:
"Richardson always makes it a point to say how important these divisional matchups are and how important it is to play well against their rivals because you could always see them in the playoffs. After Saturday's game Richardson mentioned the playoff series from last year still bothers him and he knows it bothers his players too, so I expect them to be ready to play. The Penguins always match up well though."
Tune into Highland Park Hockey on Twitter tonight for all the latest in-game updates of tonight's AHL action. The puck drops at 4:05 p.m. EST. Roster notes, lineups and more after the jump.


WBS: 19-10-1-3, 42 points, Second Place East Division (Tied 5th - East)
Last Ten Games: 5-4-0-1

BSens: 21-9-0-3, 45 points, First Place East Division (3rd - East)
Last Ten Games: 7-2-0-1

WBS Leading Scorers: Tom Kostopoulos (12G-9A), Brendan Mikkelson (3G-16A), Harry Zolnierczyk (11G-7A)

BSens Leading Scorers: Mike Hoffman (16G-24A), Stephane Da Costa (12G-20A), Cole Schneider (11G-17A)


WBS - Eric Hartzell: 4-2-1, 2.20 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO
BSens- Nathan Lawson: 13-4-0, 2.43 GAA, .926 SV%, 0 SO


Injury Update: Bobby Farnham (undisclosed) missed practice on Monday and hasn't played the last three games. Peter Merth is day-to-day, but has been practicing with the team. C..J. Severyn won't play this weekend and is still considered week to week. Adam Payerl is out long term (3-4 months), recovering from an upper body injury suffered in the last game of November.

Harrison Ruopp and Barry Goers have been the healthy scratches on defense the past three games. Carter Rowney, recently recalled from Wheeling, was the 13th forward and a healthy scratch last night against Manchester.

Expected Lines

Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos 
Thompson - Carman - Zlobin
Uher - Torquato - Kuhnhackl 
Leblond - Manderson - Sylvester

Samuelsson - Dumoulin
Harrington - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - McNeill


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