The Great Gibson - Admirals Edge Penguins 2-1

Friday, January 31, 2014
Pittsburgh native John Gibson shut the door on the Penguins tonight. Photo credit: @ItsJacki
The Norfolk Admirals capitalized on some Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins mistakes in the first period and leaned on their goaltender, John Gibson, in the final two periods to secure the 2-1 win. The win for the Admirals was their 12th straight over the Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena.

A good goaltending duel tonight between Eric Hartzell and the aforementioned Gibson, but it was the Admirals goaltender stealing the spotlight with 25 saves on 26 shots. Both goaltenders are playing at the top of their game right now, in what has been good rookie campaigns by both netminders so far this season.

Hartzell is now 5-2 in January with a 1.33 GAA, .944 SV% and one shutout. Gibson has been just as impressive for Norfolk and improves to 4-0-1 with the win, boasting a 1.16 GAA, .952 SV% and one shutout.

The Admirals win over the Penguins, paired with a Binghamton Senators loss tonight, tightens the East Division standings even more as the top three teams in the division are separated by five points. The Penguins get back at it tomorrow night at home against the Rochester Americans, while Norfolk continues their road trip tomorrow in Syracuse.

Recap after the jump.

The Penguins had a chance to score first after Norfolk's Steve Eminger was whistled for a double-minor high sticking penalty. The Admirals killed off the penalties and scored shorthanded to take a 1-0 lead on the Pens after a WBS turnover at the blue line. Maxime Sauve stole a puck and came in on a breakaway, beating Hartzell with a shot wired to the top shelf 6:24 into the game.

About five minutes later, the Admirals extended their lead to 2-0 after a pass from Jesse Blacker and subsequent shot from Devante Smith-Pelly was juggled and dropped by Hartzell.

Things looked like they were going from bad to worse for the Penguins in the 2nd period. Brian Dumoulin went into the end boards hard after sliding to block a pass on a Norfolk 2-on-1 chance and appeared to hyper extend his left knee as he went awkwardly into the boards. He left the ice with the help of WBS trainer Kyle Moore and team captain Tom Kostopoulos, not putting any weight on his left leg. Dumoulin did not return.

The Penguins cut the lead to one moments later, when Denver Manderson dug out a loose puck from the boards in the corner and fed it to the point to Reid McNeill. McNeill's shot deflected in off the skate of an Admirals defenseman 3:52 into the middle frame to give the Penguins some life in a 2-1 game.

That would cap the scoring, as the Penguins tried to find an equalizer in the third but were unsuccessful.

The Penguins power play went 0-for-5 tonight. Since a Scott Harrington power play goal 1:07 into January 18th's game against Portland, the Penguins power play has gone scoreless in their last 31 opportunities.


The Pens made no lineup changes from Wednesday, scratching defenseman Barry Goers and forward Zack Torquato, along with injured forwards Zach Sill and Adam Payerl.


Uher - Drazenovic - Zolnierczyk
Kostopoulos - Manderson - Zlobin
Thompson - Carman - Kuhnhackl
Farnham - Rowney - Leblond

Samuelsson - Despres
Harrington - Mikkelson
Dumoulin - McNeill


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