AHL Game Preview: WBS Pens Host Manchester at 7:00 p.m. EST

Saturday, January 4, 2014
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (WBS) return home for a Saturday night match up with the Manchester Monarchs (MCH) at 7:05 p.m. EST, in a battle of two of the Eastern Conference's top five teams. The Monarchs come into tonight's game at the Mohegan Sun Arena tied for first place in the conference, while the Pens come in tied for the fifth best record.

It's the second and final scheduled meeting between the two teams this season. The Penguins beat Manchester 4-3 in overtime back on Sunday, October 20th at the Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire. Brendan Mikkelson scored the OT winner for his first goal of the season.

Last night in Binghamton, the Monarchs rallied late in the third period to tie the game at 4-4 before dropping the game 5-4 in overtime. Jean-Francois Berube stopped 26 of 31 shots he faced in the loss. The Penguins scored with 3:59 left in regulation to tie Hartford 1-1 on Harry Zolnierczyk's 11th of the season. Nick Drazenovic and Paul Thompson scored for the Pens in the shootout, as Thompson's goal in the sixth round completed the WBS comeback.

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. EST. Roster notes, lineups and more after the jump.


WBS: 19-9-1-3, 42 points, Second Place East Division (Tied 5th - East)
Last Ten Games: 6-3-0-1

MCH: 22-8-2-4, 50 points, First Place Atlantic Division (Tied 1st - East)
Last Ten Games: 6-3-1-0

WBS Leading Scorers: Tom Kostopoulos (12G-9A), Brendan Mikkelson (3G-16A), Harry Zolnierczyk (11G-6A)

MCH Leading Scorers: Jordan Weal (8G-20A), Brandon Kozun (9G-17A), Tanner Pearson (12G-10A)


WBS - Jeff Deslauriers: 14-7-2, 2.14 GAA, .910 SV%, 1 SO
MCH - Jean-Francois Berube: 13-8-2, 2.45 GAA, .915 SV%, 0 SO


Injury Update: Bobby Farnham (undisclosed) missed practice on Monday and hasn't played the last two 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 two games. Carter Rowney, recently recalled from Wheeling, was the 13th forward and a healthy scratch last nit against Hartford.

Expected Lines

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

Samuelsson - Dumoulin
Harrington - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - McNeill 

Expected Scratches: Peter Merth, Harrison Ruopp, Carter Rowney, Bobby Farnham, Adam Payerl, Barry Goers and C.J. Severyn.


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