Ground Control To Major Tom - OT Victory Vaults Penguins Atop East Division

Saturday, April 5, 2014
In a defensively minded game between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Albany Devils on Tom Kostopoulos bobble head night, it was the Penguins captain setting up his team with 1-0 overtime victory after 61:02 of scoreless hockey.

It was the kind of play that has made Kostopoulos synonymous with Penguins hockey and a big reason why fans in northeastern Pennsylvania have grown to idolize the Ontario native. Kostopoulos forced a Devils defensive zone turnover as a lone forechecker and zipped a pass to a wide open Nick Drazenovic in the slot.

Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid made the initial stop on Drazenovic's one-time blast, but Drazenovic followed up his shot and his rebound attempt on the backhand just eluded Kinkaid to lift the near-sellout crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza into a frenzy.

Peter Mannino stopped all 25 shots he faced as March's goalie of the month has earned back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of the weekend. Mannino's latest shutout streak is now at 136:05.

The Penguins win, combined with Binghamton's 6-3 loss to Norfolk, moves the Pens into sole possession of first place in the East Division heading into Sunday afternoon's showdown between the Pens and BSens.
The Penguins were dominant at times in the first period much like they were last night, owning the puck possession battle and holding Albany without a shot through the first 14 minutes of the game.

The Pens had their chances in the opening frame, getting three power play opportunities in the first period but unable to capitalize on the man advantage. They appeared to take a 1-0 lead but the goal was waived off and the call on the ice was confirmed after a quick review that Harry Zolnierczyk made a distinct kicking motion resulting in the goal on the play. No goal.

The Pens saw their 7-0 shot advantage go the other way in the second period as the Devils had the decided edge in play, outshooting the Penguins 16-4 after they got things going late in the first frame, but between Mannino and Kinkaid there wasn't any pucks hitting the back of the net.


Peter Mannino got the start in net in back-to-back starts for the Penguins. Eric Hartzell backed up Mannino tonight and Jeff Deslauriers was given the night off.

Conor Sheary made his pro debut and as a bit of a rookie prank, Mannino stepped to the side before entering the playing surface and Sheary led the team onto the ice for warmups. Sheary replaced Josh Archibald on the third line.

Carter Rowney replaced Adam Payerl at the third line center position.

On defense, Nick D'Agostino didn't take  warmups and was replaced by Harrison Ruopp. The pairings were adjusted only leaving the middle pairing of Scott Harrington and Brendan Mikkelson intact to start the game.




WBS Scratches: Philip Samuelsson (lower body), Zach Sill (upper body), Nick D'Agostino (healthy), Adam Payerl (healthy), Josh Archibald (healthy), Matia Marcantuoni (healthy) and Bryan Rust (healthy).


Post a Comment