Penguins Defeat BSens, Clinch Playoff Spot For 12th Straight Season

Saturday, April 12, 2014
With three games left in the regular season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins can begin to focus on fine-tuning their game and solidifying their playoff position after a 2-1 win over Binghamton clinched the Penguins a spot in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.

It's the 12th straight season the Penguins have qualified for the AHL's postseason, tied for the longest active streak with the Western Conference's Milwaukee Admirals who clinched a playoff spot earlier this week.

Tonight's win also moved the Penguins into sole possession of first place in the East Division, two points ahead of Binghamton though the BSens have a game-in-hand on the Penguins which they will make up when they face the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday.

The Penguins finish the weekend with a Sunday afternoon tilt against those same Toronto Marlies tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. ET. Tomas Vokoun gets the start for the Penguins against the Marlies.

The Penguins came ready to play and had some great chances to open the scoring in the first period but were unable to do so, failing to score on 1:39 of a five-on-three power play about seven and a half minutes into the contest.

Brendan Mikkelson rang the crossbar. Nick Drazenovic hit a post. Andrew Hammond made some impressive stops, including a glove save on Drazenovic on that 5-on-3.

A breakdown in the final minute of the period gave the BSens a 1-0 lead. Ryan Dzingel tallied his first pro goal with 47.0 left on the rebound of his own shot after a pass between defenseman behind the WBS net ended up on Shane Prince's stick. Prince centered to Dzingel, who beat Mannino on his follow-up attempt.

It was a night of firsts for BSens rookie Ryan Dzingel, who also got his first pro fight under his belt after a quick scrap with Pens rookie Josh Archibald 3:27 into the 2nd period.

It started to become more apparent as the game wore on that these two teams are division rivals. The physical play picked up in the middle frame, as the Penguins got to work looking to even things up.

After their 4th power play went unsuccessful and their 5th man advantage was shortened by a Kostopoulous hook late in the second period, I'm sure many fans in attendance were starting to get frustrated with their teams lack of special teams production.

Luckily for them, Carter Rowney chased down a Brendan Mikkelson clear-in off Andrew Hammond and roofed a puck in tight over the BSens goaltender with 15.7 seconds left in the period, tying the game at 1-1 with a shorthanded goal and sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

The Pens took the lead with 11:46 left in the third period after Scott Harrington finished off a WBS odd man rush started by Anton Zlobin and Nick Drazenovic.  Zlobin and Drazenovic broke in 2-on-1 before Drazenovic found Harrington trailing the play.

The Penguins needed to kill off back to back power plays shortly after taking the lead to preserve the win, a 15 save performance from Peter Mannino, en route to clinching their 12th straight postseason berth in the team's 15th season as an AHL franchise.


Peter Mannino got the start in net for the Penguins. Tomas Vokoun backed up Mannino tonight. Jeff Deslauriers is still out with a lower body injury.

On defense, Brian Dumoulin (left Friday night's game in third period) did not play tonight. Initial reaction from the team is that Dumoulin's injury is "minor". Nick D'Agostino returned to the WBS blue line in Dumoulin's absence.

Up front, Chuck Kobasew was the veteran scratch in what seems like a bit of a surprise considering he's scored 10 goals in 11 games with the team, including two last night. Tom Kostopoulos returned after a one-game stint as the veteran scratch.

Scott Wilson took warmups wearing #43 and was thought to be making his pro debut, but he was a late healthy scratch. Josh Archibald returned to the WBS lineup in for Bryan Rust, who made his pro debut with WBS last night up in Syracuse.

WBS Scratches: Philip Samuelsson (lower body), Brian Dumoulin (upper body), Zach Sill (upper body), Chuck Kobasew (veteran), Bryan Rust (ATO), Conor Sheary (ATO), Soctt Wilson (ATO) and Matia Marcantuoni (ATO)





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