Penguins Shutout Binghamton, Head Into Break Atop East Division

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were without arguably their top four defensemen tonight - Brian Dumoulin, Taylor Chorney, Scott Harrington and Derrick Pouliot - but the remaining blue liners for the Pens stepped up their game and they got a stellar performance in net from Jeff Zatkoff too in route to a 3-0 shutout win over the Binghamton Senators.

As a team, the Penguins have allowed just 14 goals in their 10 games.

It was a night of firsts for rookie defenseman Alex Boak, who was credited with his first career AHL goal after a scoring change on the first goal of the game. Boak also tallied an assist on the Pens' 2nd goal for his first career multi-point game at the pro level.

Nick Drazenovic and Conor Sheary tallied goals less than a minute apart to break open the game early and Zatkoff stopped all 35 shots that came his way to help preserve the win and two more points in the standings.

The win, coupled with an overtime loss by Hershey, gives the Penguins (17-10-1-2) a five point lead in the East Division heading into the holiday break.
The Penguins weren't concerned about their lack of experienced defensemen in the first period. In fact, the puck was rarely in the defensive zone in the first 20 minutes of play. It was just about as good a period as you could ask from the Pens.

At the tail end of a BSens minor penalty, Alex Boak wound up a shot from the point that ricocheted off of Dominik Uher's stick and blooped up into the air above Greenham and back down into the net. Uher's 5th of the season was assisted by Boak and Marcantuoni 8:36 into the first frame.

With about seven minutes to play in the period, Nick Drazenovic wheeled a puck through the neutral zone, dangled across the blue line and fired a laser of a wrist shot past Greenham's blocker to extend the Pens' lead to 2-0. Jayson Megna and Boak picked up the assists on Drazenovic's 4th of the season.

Then, 45 seconds later Conor Sheary made it a 3-0 Penguins lead - scoring his 8th goal of the season unnassisted with 6:16 left in the opening period. Sheary skated the puck right up the ice and right into the slot before firing a high hard shot that eluded Greenham.

From there, the Pens did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone and keeping second and third chances against Zatkoff to minimum. After allowing three power play goals on four penalty kills last night against Albany, the Pens killed off all five Binghamton Senators power plays - including three in the third - to prevent the BSens from clawing their way back into the game.

Things got chippy in late in the third period. A line brawl broke out and featured a pair of fights between Barry Goers and Shane Prince and Carter Rowney and Alex Grant. Goers, on his way off the ice to the WBS locker room after his fight, threw his hands up in the air to wave at the BSens fans. Perhaps some bad blood will carry over into the next matchup between these two teams next Friday night back here in Binghamton.


1st Period

3:48: BNG - (PP) Claesson, minor (holding)
6:13: BNG - (PP) Mullen, minor (roughing)
8:36: WBS - Uher (5) - Boak, Marcantuoni
12:59: WBS - Drazenovic (4) Megna, Boak
13:44: WBS - Sheary (8) - unassisted

2nd Period

0:25: WBS - (PP) Rowney, minor (interference)
10:32: BNG - (PP) Mills, minor (boarding)
12:10: WBS - (PP) D'Agostino, minor (interference)

3rd Period

4:39: WBS - (PP) Boak, minor (delay of game)
17:16: WBS - Kostopoulos, minor (interference)
17:23: WBS - Goers, major (fighting)
17:23: WBS - (PP) McNeill, minor (roughing)
17:23: WBS - Rowney, major (fighting)
17:23: WBS - Rowney, game misconduct (secondary altercation, 46.7)
17:23: BNG - Grant, major (fighting)
17:23: BNG - Grant, game misconduct (secondary altercation, 46.7)
17:23: BNG - Prince, major (fighting)
19:51: BNG - Dziurzynski, minor (slashing)


Jeff Zatkoff (35 saves - 35 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Penguins, while Matt Murray - who played last night vs Albany - was the backup. It was Zatkoff's 2nd shutout of the season.

With Derrick Pouliot and Taylor Chorney called up to Pittsburgh, the WBS Pens signed Paul Cianfrini to a PTO from Wheeling and he made his WBS and AHL  debut. Clark Seymour also slotted in, making his second career AHL appearance.

No changes up front as Sahir Gill was a healthy scratch for the second straight night.


Adam Payerl - Carter Rowney - Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl - Nick Drazenovic - Jayson Megna
Conor Sheary - J-S Dea - Josh Archibald
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Matia Marcantuoni - Dominik Uher

Reid McNeill - Barry Goers
Nick D'Agostino - Alex Boak
Paul Cianfrini - Clark Seymour

Jeff Zatkoff - Matt Murray


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