Three Goal Third Leads Toronto Past Penguins

Sunday, April 13, 2014
Through two periods of play, it looked like the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were well on their way to clean sweep of the three-game weekend.

They led the Toronto Marlies 2-0 on a first period power play goal from Adam Payerl 3:06 into the game and an early 2nd period goal from team captain Tom Kostopoulos, and held the Marlies to just eight total shots through the first 40 minutes. However it was the Marlies, led by defenseman T.J. Brennan, who rallied with three goals in the final 11:07.

Greg McKegg got the Marlies on the board with a power play goal and the Marlies got goals on back-to-back shifts as Brennan let loose a shot that eluded goaltender Tomas Vokoun 39 seconds later to even the score at 2-2 midway through the final frame.

After a Penguins timeout, the Marlies continued to press the Penguins - out shooting the Pens 13-5 in the 3rd - and were rewarded with a last minute goal from Kenny Ryan with 26.6 seconds left in regulation to steal the 3-2 regulation win.

The Penguins finish the regular season with two road games, featuring a big game Friday night in Binghamton in what could clinch the East Division crown for the winner. The Pens finish the regular season Saturday night in Utica against a Comets team that is four points out of the playoffs in the West.


Zach Sill returned to the WBS lineup for his first game since January 25th, centering the 4th line and playing on the PK as usual. He even got in a fight late in the second period with Toronto's Jamie DeVane. Sill replaced Mike Carman in the lineup.

Matia Marcantuoni made his pro debut, replacing Josh Archibald up front for the Penguins.

No changes were made on defense, with Philip Samuelsson (lower body) and Brian Dumoulin (upper body - "day-to-day") both out of the lineup.

Tomas Vokoun made his second of two starts on his conditioning stint with the AHL Penguins and stopped 18-of-21 shots in the loss, though none of the three goals allowed were justifiably Vokoun's fault.

A look at the division action and East Division scenarios for the Pens and BSens after the jump.

Around the division, the Binghamton Senators lost to the Hershey Bears in overtime. With the OT loss and a point earned in the standings, the BSens trail the Penguins by one point for first place with a game in hand on the Pens that they will make up on Wednesday night against these same Toronto Marlies.

Norfolk defeated Portland in a shootout, which keeps the Admirals tied with the Bears for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Bears hold the first tie-breaker with the Admirals (regulation/overtime wins), but the two teams play each other twice next week on Wednesday and Friday with the winner of that two-game series likely controlling their own destiny to the postseason.

The Penguins will wait for Binghamton to play Toronto on Wednesday before taking on the BSens in southern New York Friday night for the third time in less than two weeks. It'll also be the third time in less than two weeks that first place will be on the line in the meeting between the two teams.

The race for the East Division comes down to the result of Wednesday's Binghamton/Toronto game and Friday night's match up between the Pens and BSens, in essence:
A BSens win Wednesday night forces the Penguins to have to win Friday and also Saturday night against a Utica Comets team that could very well be fighting for their playoff lives in the last game of the season. 
If the BSens pick up a point Wednesday, it'll be a two-game race for the Division with the winner of Friday's meeting only needing a point on Saturday to claim the division crown.
If the BSens lose in regulation Wednesday, the Penguins can wrap up the East Division title with a win in Binghamton Friday night.
Should the BSens lose in regulation Wednesday and defeat WBS on Friday, they'll be one point ahead and need just one point Saturday against Norfolk in the BSens' season finale to clinch the East Division crown.


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