Saturday's Morning Skate 12/6

Saturday, December 6, 2014
With several regulars out of the lineup, rookies Conor Sheary & Jean-Sebastien Dea look to lead the way for the Penguins.
All five teams in the East Division were in action last night as several teams kicked off their respective three games in three nights weekend.

Last night, I was live from the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as East Division rivals clashed for the fourth of 12 scheduled meetings in the regular season. A battered and depleted Penguins roster put together one of the team's most solid efforts of the season in a big win over a slumping Phantoms team that is now 1-3-1-0 in their last five games.

Tonight, I'll be at the brand new and beautiful PPL Center as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms look to avenge last night's loss to the Penguins when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. I'll have full in-game and post-game coverage complete with live in-game updates on Twitter ---> @TonyAndrock_TCG. I'll also be updating the Penguins game against Hershey over at @H_P_Hockey.

East Division Standings (through 12/5's games)

1. WBS Penguins (13-8-1-1) - 28 points
2. Hershey (12-8-1-1) - 26 points
3. Binghamton (10-8-2-1) - 23 points
4. Lehigh Valley (9-9-2-0) - 20 points
5. Norfolk (9-13-0-0) - 18 points

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 5, Lehigh Valley - 1

In Wilkes-Barre, no problems for the Penguins Friday night against the Phantoms despite having several regulars out of the lineup, as they rolled past their East Division rival in route to a 5-1 win at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Team captain Tom Kostopoulos led the way with two goals, while Conor Sheary had a game-high three points (one goal, two assists) for the Penguins. Adam Payerl and Carter Rowney each tallied two assists for the Pens in the win as well. Jeff Zatkoff stopped 21 of 22 shots for his 6th win of the season. After a slow start to the year by Zatkoff, he's 3-1-1 in his last five games with a shutout.

Rob Zepp returned to the Phantoms net after missing the last three games with a lower body injury, but was replaced about halfway through regulation by Anthony Stolarz after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Brett Hextall broke Zatkoff's shutout bid with 6:22 left in regulation for his first goal of the season.

The Penguins look to continue their stout defensive play in a home-and-home series with the Hershey Bears to finish the weekend, while the Phantoms return home to start a home-and-home series of their own against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown.

Hershey - 6, Bridgeport - 3

In Hershey, the Bears keep pace in the East Division with the Penguins with an impressive 6-3 win over the Sound Tigers Friday night - breaking open a one-goal game in the third period with four goals.

Stanislav Galiev led the way with two goals and an assist, giving him goals in four straight games. Chris Conner added a goal and two assists, Chris Brown tallied a pair of third period goals and Tim Kennedy had a game-high four points (four assists) in the win for the Bears.

Scooter Vaughn, Colin McDonald and Mike Halmo tallied goals for the Sound Tigers in the loss, while David Leggio was victimized for six goals against on 24 shots.

The Bears travel to Wilkes-Barre to start a home-and-home series with the Penguins, while the Sound  Tigers trek to Allentown for a home-and-home series of their own against the Phantoms.

Springfield - 3, Norfolk - 2

In Springfield, the red-hot Falcons won their 10th straight game Friday night in a game they never trailed against the Admirals.

Marko Dano, Ryan Craig and Trent Vogelhuber tallied goals for the Falcons while Austin Madaisky and Denny Urban recorded two assists each. Goaltender Anton Forseberg stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced to pick up his 10th win of the season.

Max Friberg tallied a shorthanded goal in the 2nd period and Nic Kerdiles added a power play goal in the 3rd, but that's as close as the Admirals would get. Yann Danis stopped 27 of the 30 shots that came his way in the loss.

Springfield puts their 10-game win streak on the line tonight in Hartford, while the Admirals continue their weekend road trip in New England with a visit to the Verizon Wireless Arena to take on the Manchester Monarchs.

Binghamton - 4, Rochester - 1

In Rochester, the BSens take care of the Americans with a total team effort, including a 29-save performance from Scott Grennham. Cole Schneider and Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied a goal and an assist each, while Derek Grant and Max McCormick also recorded goals for the BSens in the win.

Johan Larsson scored the lone goal in the loss for the Americans, while Nathan Lieuwen stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced. Rochester travels across the Thruway and takes on Syracuse tonight while the BSens return home to host the Adirondack Flames.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Worcester - 1, St. John's - 0
Portland - 3, Manchester - 2 (SO)
Syracuse - 6, Hartford - 5

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Portland @ Albany, 5:00 p.m. ET
Worcester @ St. John's, 6:00 p.m. ET
Springfield @ Hartford, 7:00 p.m. ET
Norfolk @ Manchester, 7:00 p.m. ET
Rochester @ Syracuse, 7:00 p.m. ET
Adirondack @ Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. ET
Bridgeport @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. ET
Hershey @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m. ET


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