Zlobin, Mannino Lead Penguins Past Hamilton

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A convincing 5-1 home win tonight for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins over the Hamilton Bulldogs in the team's first home game since February 25th.

The win gives the Pens three straight victories and with Norfolk's 3-1 loss to Binghamton tonight, the Pens have moved into first place in the East Division with a crucial Saturday night matchup against Norfolk coming up tomorrow night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Anton Zlobin had his biggest game in a WBS uniform, tallying three points (2G-1A) for the first time in his AHL career. Peter Mannino, making his 3rd start in the team's last four games, stopped 26 of 27 to improve to 4-1-1 on the season.

Andrew Ebbett, Denver Manderson and Harry Zolnierczyk all added two points each for the Pens, who are 3-0-0-1 in their last four games and have gone from "on the bubble" in the AHL's Eastern Conference playoff race to a Divison leader with the 3rd seed.

What a difference a weekend makes.

The Penguins got off to a quick start in the first period, getting two special teams goals in the opening period to jump in front 2-0.

While shorthanded, Andrew Ebbett was spilled on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. He converted on his attempt, putting the Pens in front 1-0 with 8:15 left in the first frame.

About three minutes later while  on the power play, Anton Zlobin worked a puck into the slot and wristed one past Devan Dubnyk to extend the WBS lead to 2-0. Credit Denver Manderson with a nice feed to Zlobin. Harry Zolnierczyk added a second assist on the goal.

Hamilton cut the WBS lead in half late in the first period on a rebound goal by Mike Blunden, but that's as close as the Bulldogs would get.

The Pens outshot the Bulldogs 7-4 in the middle frame, scoring two goals 23 seconds apart in the second half of the period to extend their lead to 4-1.

First Chuck Kobasew, making his WBS debut tonight, found the rebound of a Dominik Uher shot and beat Dubnyk with the second chance effort. On the very next shift after the goal, Brian Dumoulin flung what seemed to be a harmless wrist shot from the point on net and it eluded Dubnyk, giving the Pens a three goal lead heading into the third period.

Robert Mayer came on in relief of Dubnyk, a former WBS goaltender during the split affiliation with Edmonton, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots through 35:16 of work.

The Penguins played defense-first in the third period and despite being outshot 9-5, added to their 4-1 lead with 7:17 left in regulation on a great effort from Zlobin, who tallied his 8th of the season and second of the evening to cap the scoring at 5-1 in favor of the Pens.


Jayson Megna was called up to Pittsburgh today, leaving an open spot in the WBS lineup.

Chuck Kobasew made his WBS debut tonight. To make room under the veteran limit, the Pens scratched Spencer Machacek.

On defense, Barry Goers was the lone healthy scratch.






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