AHL Game Preview: Penguins Finish Three-Game Weekend in Hershey

Sunday, February 9, 2014
The Penguins look to finish the weekend strong with a win over their biggest rival.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (28-16-1-3) finish off a three games in three nights weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey for a Sunday evening showdown with their biggest rival, the Hershey Bears (25-16-3-3). 

This is the ninth of 12 scheduled meetings between the two teams. The Penguins own the season series at 5-1-1-1, but the Bears have won three out of the last four meetings including the last three played in Giant Center.

Puck drops tonight at 5:00 p.m. EST. For all the latest on today's action from Giant Center, follow along on Twitter (@H_P_Hockey), now conveniently placed on the left hand column of the Highland Park Hockey web page so those who don't use Twitter can still follow the game.
The Penguins rebounded after back-to-back regulation losses last weekend with a pair of wins this weekend, a convincing 5-1 win over Portland on Friday and a 3-2 decision over Adirondack last night. With a win tonight, not only will the Penguins have swept the weekend set, but they'll move into a first place tie with the Binghamton Senators. 

The Hershey Bears have turned things around in 2014 and have won eight of their last ten games, including a 2-1 win over Portland last night. If the Bears can make it four in a row over the Penguins at Giant Center, they'll move into a third place tie in the East Division with Norfolk.

A breakdown of all the numbers, stats and notes with a look at the expected starting goaltenders and more after the jump.

Season Series
1. Saturday 10/12/13, HER - 1 @ WBS - 3
2. Friday 11/1/13, HER - 2 @ WBS - 3 OT
3. Saturday 11/2/13, WBS - 4 @ HER - 2
4. Saturday 11/16/13, HER - 1 @ WBS - 3
5. Saturday 11/30/13, WBS - 2 @ HER - 3 OT
6. Friday 12/13/13, HER - 3 @ WBS - 5
7. Saturday 12/28/13, WBS - 1 @ HER - 2 SO
8. Sunday 1/26/14, WBS - 0 @ HER - 2
9. Sunday 2/9/14, WBS @ HER
10. Saturday 2/15/14, WBS @ HER
11. Sunday 2/16/14, HER @ WBS
12. Tuesday 2/25/14 HER @ WBS

By The Numbers

WBS: 28-16-1-3, 60 points, Second Place East Division (4th - East)
Last Ten Games: 6-4-0-0

HER: 25-16-3-3, 56 points, Fourth Place East Division (9th - East)
Last Ten Games: 8-2-0-0

WBS Leading Scorers: Tom Kostopoulos (17G-14A), Harry Zolnierczyk (15G-12A), Nick Drazenovic (9G-18A)

HER Leading Scorers: Brandon Segal (14G-23A), Jeff Taffe (13G-19A), Ryan Stoa (9G-18A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

WBS: Eric Hartzell (10-5-1, 1.80 GAA, .925 SV%, 3 SO)
HER: Philipp Grubauer (8-5-1, 2.18 GAA, .925 SV%, 2 SO)

For the Penguins

Pittsburgh announced Saturday that they re-assigned forwards Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons and Harry Zolnierczyk to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, presumably for at least the eight games while the NHL Penguins are on a break for the Olympics in Sochi.

Gibbons and Megna did not play last night and aren't expected to be in the lineup tonight either. Per team sources, the two are expected to join the team sometime later next week.

In addition to that, the WBS Penguins announced they've loaned forward Denver Manderson, who was a healthy scratch last night, and re-assigned defenseman Barry Goers to the Wheeling Nailers. Goers was also released from his professional tryout contract (PTO).



Uher - Drazenovic - Zolnierczyk
Kuhnhackl - Carman - Rowney
Farnham - Torquato - Leblond

Despres - Samuelsson
Harrington - Mikkelson
McNeill - Ruopp

WBS Scratches: Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Brian Gibbons (healthy), Zach Sill (upper body), Jayson Megna (healthy), Spencer Machacek (undisclosed), Nick D'Agostino (healthy) and Adam Payerl (upper body)




HER Scratches: Stanislav Galiev, Tomas Kundratek, Garrett Mitchell, Chay Genoway, David Kolomatis, John Mitchell, Nathan Walker, Patrick Wellar and Derek Whitmore


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