Penguins Rally Falls Short, BSens Win East Division Title

Friday, April 18, 2014
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins nearly did the impossible tonight, coming back in a game they trailed 5-0 at one point, but ultimately come up short in a 5-4 loss to the Binghamton Senators. With the regulation win, the BSens have won the East Division and leave the Penguins with either the 5th, 6th or 7th seed pending the outcome of tomorrow night's games.

The Penguins can clinch the 5th seed tomorrow with a point of any kind in Utica against the Comets. With Providence winning in overtime tonight, they can still catch the Penguins in standings as can Albany. Both the Bruins and Devils trail the Penguins by one point with all three teams having one game left on the regular season schedule tomorrow night.

The eight playoff teams in the Eastern Conference are decided, as Norfolk eliminated Hershey with a 3-1 win tonight, but only the top four seeds are set as Manchester, Springfield, Binghamton and St. John's have the top four spots in that order.

The Penguins only possible first round opponents are now Springfield, Binghamton or St. John's.

Quick recap after the jump.

Ryan Dzingel raced to a loose puck in the corner and fed a perfect pass to Shane Prince in the slot, who buried a puck past Mannino to put the BSens on the board 2:49 into the contest.

The Penguins responded with some sustained pressure in the middle of the opening period, but were unable to get one past BSens netminder Andrew Hammond. Andrew Ebbett had a pair of chances and the top line was getting consistent pressure, just unable to finish.

A big turnover by Simon Despres ultimately ended up in the back of the WBS net as Despres pass from behind the net was intercepted between the face-off circles and fired home by Jean-Gabriel Pageau with 2:42 left in the first period.

Pageau continued his strong play into the second period, tallying a power play goal 18 seconds into the middle frame to extend the BSens' lead to 3-0. David Dziurzynski made it 4-0 a few minutes later on a 3-on-1 rush and Pageau completed the hat trick 6:26 into the middle period to make it 5-0 on his second power play goal of the period.

From there, Adam Payerl got the Pens on the board 20 seconds later and things got heated. Harry Zolnierczyk clipped Chris Wideman with a knee and started a mini-brawl. Then the BSens spent the next shift going after Chuck Kobasew.

Bobby Farnham finished a good effort on the PK with a shorthanded goal with 6:02 left in the 2nd to make it a 5-2 game and give the Pens some hope heading into the third.

The Pens dominated the third period, outshooting the BSens 26-7 in the final frame. They made it 5-3 with 7:50 left in regulation when Andrew Ebbett re-directed a Chuck Kobasew centering pass. The two connected again with 2:36 left in the game with Ebbett returning the favor to Kobasew for his 11th goal in 12 AHL games with WBS this season.

The Penguins had several great chances to tie the game in the waning moments but BSens netminder Andrew Hammond stood tall and got the job done for the home team.

The Penguins close the regular season with a trip to Utica tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. ET.


Peter Mannino got the start in net for the Penguins.

Brian Dumoulin and Simon Despres returned to the WBS blue line, while Reid McNeill (lower body) and Harrison Ruopp sat out to make room.

Up front, Harry Zolnierczyk and Chris Conner returned to the WBS lineup, sending Spencer Machacek (veteran) to the scratched list.





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