Deja Vu - Pens See Two-Goal Lead Turn Into Regulation Loss

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Jayson Megna was the lone bright spot in the WBS Penguins' 3-2 regulation loss at Hershey this evening.

For a second straight night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (9-7-1-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But for a second straight night, they allowed their opponent to tally three unanswered goals and drop their second consecutive 3-2 regulation loss - this one to the Hershey Bears (8-6-1-0)

Jayson Megna was playing at an NHL-level again tonight, tallying the first two goals of the game and giving the Penguins an early two-goal lead, but two power play tallies and a penalty shot goal by the Bears in the middle frame was enough to give Hershey the two points.

Both goaltenders - Jeff Zatkoff for the Penguins and Philipp Grubauer for the Bears - were very strong in net tonight. Zatkoff (3-4-0) stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced in the loss, while Grubauer (5-4-1) stopped 16 of 18 for the win.

The Penguins return home to host the Portland Pirates on Wednesday night, while the Bears travel to Allentown to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center in a mid-week East Division matchup.

In the first ten minutes of play, it was very evident that the Penguins were playing their third game in three nights and Hershey enjoyed a rare Saturday night off. The Bears were winning puck battles and out shooting the Pens 7-1, but Jayson Megna broke the scoreless tie 11:14 into the 1st period on a weird bounce on Grubauer.

Reid McNeill and Scott Wilson tallied assists on Megna's 7th goal of the season, and from there it seemed the Penguins found their legs and things began to even out.

The teams traded power plays in the tail end of the 1st and despite being out shot 12-4, and for the most part out-chanced and out-played, the Pens found themselves ahead by a goal after 20 minutes.

Megna put the Penguins up 2-0 on the opening shift of the 2nd period on a great individual effort. While 4-on-4, Megna stole a puck in the defensive zone and turned on the jets, blowing past everyone and scoring a breakaway goal on Grubauer 38 seconds into the middle frame.

The goal was Megna's 2nd of the night, his third two-goal game of the month and his 5th goal in three games against Hershey. The way Megna is scoring is impressive. He's using his speed on the edge to blow past defenders, but he's also creating turnovers with his speed on the fore-check and on the back-check in the neutral zone.

From there, the penalties started to catch up the Penguins. Jean-Sebastien Dea was penalized four times in the first two periods and the Bears capitalized on the latter two (EDIT: Dea's 2nd trip to the box in the 2nd period was to serve a Zatkoff tripping minor), as Philippe Cornet deflected a Tim Kennedy shot from the outside about five minutes into the middle period and Connor Carrick blasted a point shot past Zatkoff with just over four minutes left before the second intermission.

In similar fashion to last night's game, the Pens again saw a 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit. Chandler Stephenson was hauled down on a breakaway by Scott Harrington after a Philip Samuelsson turnover, and he converted on the penalty shot with 23.8 seconds left to put Hershey up 3-2 after two periods of play.

The Pens seemed to run out of gas in the third period, as the Bears largely controlled play like they did to start the game - out shooting the Pens 8-2 in first 15 minutes of the final frame. The teams traded power plays midway through the period after an early third period penalty on Dea, but ultimately the Pens couldn't muster enough offense to tie the game and force overtime.


1st Period

11:14: WBS - Megna (7) - McNeill, Wilson
12:19: HER - Mitchell, major (fighting)
12:19: WBS - Samuelsson, major (fighting)
15:32: HER - (PP) Walker, minor (holding)
17:04: WBS - (PP) Dea, minor (slashing)
18:58: HER - (PP) Kundratek, minor (tripping)
19:24: WBS - (PP) Dea, minor (tripping)

2nd Period

0:38: WBS - Megna (8) - unassisted
4:47: WBS - (PP) Dea, minor (delay of game)
4:59: HER - PPG Cornet (4) - Kennedy, Carrick
7:11: HER - Mitchell, major (fighting)
7:11: HER - Mitchell, game misconduct (two fight rule)
7:11: WBS - McNeill, major (fighting)
9:44: HER - (PP) Newbury, minor (slashing)
15:53: WBS - (PP) Zatkoff, minor (tripping) - served by Dea
16:44: HER - PPG Carrick (3) - Kennedy, Galiev
18:17: WBS - Farnham, major (fighting)
18:17: WBS - Leblond, minor (unsportsmanlike)
18:17: WBS - Leblond, ten-minute misconduct
18:17: HER - Byers, minor (instigating)
18:17: HER - Byers, major (fighting)
18:17: HER - Byers, ten-minute misconduct
19:36: HER - Penalty Shot Goal - Stephenson (2)

3rd Period

2:13: WBS - (PP) Dea, minor (tripping)
10:05: HER - (PP) Schilling, minor (tripping)
12:37: WBS - (PP) Dumoulin, minor (cross-checking)


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net this evening, with rookie Matt Murray backing him up.

No changes on defense as both Barry Goers and Alex Boak remained healthy scratches.

Up front, it was Adam Payerl in on the second line for Tom Kuhnhackl.

Team captain Tom Kostopoulos missed all three games this weekend tending to a family matter per head coach John Hynes.


Scott Wilson - Andrew Ebbett - Jayson Megna
Adam Payerl - J-S Dea - Bryan Rust
Sheary - Rowney - Archibald
Leblond - Uher - Farnham

Brian Dumoulin - Taylor Chorney
Scott Harrington - Philip Samuelsson
Reid McNeill - Derrick Pouliot

Jeff Zatkoff - Matt Murray

Penguins scratches: Alex Boak, Nick Drazenovic (lower body), Tom Kuhnhackl, Anton Zlobin (upper body), Tom Kostopoulos (personal matter) and Barry Goers.


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