Kostopoulos Completes Comeback, Penguins Perfect in Atlantic City

Saturday, March 1, 2014
After going 120:39 between goals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored two goals in a span of 2:35 in a third period come-from-behind win over the Albany Devils in Atlantic City. I doubt the team is staying in town, but they should roll the dice at the Trump Casino if they are. The Pens are a perfect 3-0 all-time in games played in Atlantic City.

A very fortunate comeback in a big game for the Penguins, who for the time being have leapfrogged the Devils and Hershey Bears to move to 6th in the Eastern Conference.

Through the first two and a half periods, it was a low-scoring and rather uneventful 1-0 hockey game with team defense on full display. After killing off three straight minor penalties in the first half of the third period, the Penguins mounted the offensive attack, which had been held to just nine shots on goal through 40 minutes of play.

The Penguins don't play again until a Friday night matchup with the Western Conference's Utica Comets, so I'll have some exclusive content for the website during the week including the WBS February Grades post and Highland Park Hockey's first look at the 2014 Calder Cup Playoff races in both the Eastern and Western Conference, among any other noteworthy breaking news with the NHL's Trade Deadline fast approaching.

Recap after the jump.

The Penguins got into penalty trouble in the first period, taking three penalties in the first 10:41 of the game including two 60 seconds apart in the middle of the period.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead on the two-man advantage, as Mike Sislo got to a loose puck on the rebound of an Adam Larsson point shot 11:21 into the period. Sislso's 18th of the season was also assisted by Kelly Zajac.

The defensive battle continued in the second period, as the blocked shots by the Devils starting catching up with them. Several Devils players were hobbled by WBS shots and I'm sure some defensemen got their money's worth out of their shin pads tonight.

Down 1-0 entering the third period, the Penguins put themselves into penalty trouble again. The Penguins were able to kill off Ebbett's double minor for high sticking, but Mike Carman put the Penguins shorthanded for the following two minutes with a delay of game penalty while trying to clear out a puck at the tail end of the PK. Luckily the Pens were able to kill all six minutes of penalties to give themselves a chance down 1-0 in the final 13 minutes of regulation.

The Pens got the game-tying goal with 6:57 left in regulation as a Brendan Mikkelson blast from the point eluded Keith Kinkaid. Harry Zolnierczyk and Bobby Farnham collected the assists on Mikkelson's 6th of the season.

Zolnierczyk drew a penalty on the next shift and after Spencer Machacek missed an empty net chance, captain Tom Kostopoulos swatted home the puck to put the Pens in front 2-1 with 3:52 left in regulation.

The Devils mounted one last push in the waning moments with their goaltender pulled, but couldn't find an equalizer and see a 1-0 third period lead turn into a 2-1 regulation loss.


Peter Mannino got the start in net tonight after stopping 18 of 19 in relief of Jeff Deslauriers last night.

Tom Kuhnhackl and Anton Zlobin re-joined the Penguins, but were both scratched along with defenseman Barry Goers. Same lineup as last night for WBS minus the change in net.


Uher - Ebbett - Machacek
Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Payerl - Manderson - Megna
Farnham - Carman - Leblond

Samuelsson - McNeill
Harrington - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - Ruopp

WBS scratches: Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Zach Sill (upper body), Tom Kuhnhackl (healthy), Anton Zlobin (healthy) and Barry Goers (healthy).


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