AHL Penguins Shutout Binghamton, Wideman Recalled By Ottawa

Friday, January 2, 2015
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins posted their second straight shutout - a 5-0 win over Binghamton tonight - to increase their East Division lead over the idle Hershey Bears to six points.

The Penguins (20-12-1-2) got a total team effort. They scored three goals in a span of 4:10 in the first eight and a half minutes of the game and rode a 30-save shutout performance from rookie goaltender Matt Murray (7-6-2, 3 SO's) to victory.

Nick Drazenovic led the way with two goals and an assist, while Conor Sheary (1G-1A), Tom Kostopoulos (0G-2A) and Taylor Chorney (0G-2A) all tallied two points each for the Penguins. Rookies Sahir Gill and Matia Marcantuoni also tallied their first career AHL goals in the win for the Pens, who travel to Hershey looking to extend their East Division lead to eight points over their intra-state rival tomorrow night at Giant Center.

For the BSens, head coach Luke Richardson was unsure of which defenseman was going to get called up to Ottawa when I caught up with him post-game, but Chris Wideman appeared to be getting several handshakes and pats on the back from his teammates before exiting with his equipment separate of the rest of the team - an indication he's heading to the NHL to meet up with the Ottawa Senators in Boston for their game tomorrow afternoon against the Bruins.

Richardson did say the plan was to have defenseman Marc Methot in town tomorrow and in the lineup against the Syracuse Crunch tomorrow night. Richardson also said he planned going into the weekend to have Andrew Hammond start tonight and have newly-signed goaltender Peter Mannino (a former WBS Penguin) make his BSens debut tomorrow night at home.

The Penguins were off and running in the opening period, with the top line of Sheary, Drazenovic and Kostopoulos leading the way early on.

Sheary made a nice move to get himself to the slot with the puck, opening up Kostopoulos below the left-wing face-off circle. Sheary fed a pass to the team captain, who quickly fired a one-touch pass across the top of the crease to Drazenovic for a tic-tac toe goal 4:09 into the 1st period to give the Pens an early 1-0 lead.

The top line wasn't done there either, as Drazenovic got a puck back to Taylor Chorney on the point 2:35  later and Sheary tipped Chorney's point shot past Andrew Hammond to extend the Pens lead to 2-0.

Just 1:35 after that, Sahir Gill got credit for his first AHL goal on a bit of a broken play to give WBS a commanding 3-0 lead 8:19 into the contest. Carter Rowney added the lone assist on Gill's 1st of the season.

Matt Murray needed to be sharp in the first period, turning aside all 17 BSens shots he faced in the first 20 minutes of action. He also faced a Ryan Dzingel breakaway late in the first after the Pens killed off two penalties in the second half of the period. A power play goal from Binghamton late in first period might've swayed the momentum heading into the second period, but not tonight. The Pens played with fire and weren't burnt in the first frame.

The Pens continued to pour it on in the second period, getting a goal off the rush to make it a 4-0 game. Zack Torquato skated the puck up ice on a 3-on-2 and fed Chorney with a pass. Chorney's shot was stopped by Hammond, but the rebound squirted to the forward crashing the net and Matia Marcantuoni tallied his 1st career AHL goal to put WBS ahead by four just over six minutes into the middle frame.

On a power play with Patrick Mullen off for tripping J-S Dea in the slot, the Penguins power play made it 5-0 with 6:11 left in the 2nd period. Brian Dumoulin purposely put a point shot wide looking for a re-direct, but instead it bounced off the back wall to Kostopoulos, who found Drazenovic in the slot for his second goal of the night and seventh on the season.

The Penguins clamped down defensively from there, only allowing five shots from the BSens in the third in route to their second consecutive shutout victory of the week. The Penguins haven't allowed a goal in 142:14 dating back the 2nd period of their game against Norfolk last Sunday.


1st Period

4:09: WBS - Drazenovic (6) - Kostopoulos, Sheary
6:44: WBS - Sheary (10) - Chorney, Drazenovic 
8:19: WBS - Gill (1) - Rowney
8:47: BNG - Kramer, major (fighting)
8:47: WBS - Leblond, major (fighting)
10:11: WBS - (PP) Archibald, minor (high-sticking)
15:07: WBS - (PP) Chorney, minor (hooking)

2nd Period

6:17: WBS - Marcantuoni (1) - Chorney, Torquato
12:40: BNG - (PP) Mullen, minor (tripping)
13:49: WBS - PPG Drazenovic (7) - Kostopoulos, Dumoulin

3rd Period

10:28: WBS - (PP) Dumoulin, minor (hooking)
14:28: BNG - (PP) Schneider, minor (cross-checking)


Matt Murray (30 saves - 30 shots) got the start in net for the Penguins, with Jeff Zatkoff backing him up.

Defenseman Paul Cianfrini was released from his PTO and returned to Wheeling (ECHL) earlier today, leaving the AHL Penguins with an extra healthy body at both the defenseman (Clark Seymour) and forward position (Patrick McGrath) heading into the weekend.

WBS Scratches: Patrick McGrath (healthy), Anton Zlobin (out for the season, shoulder surgery), Adam Payerl (out several weeks) and Clark Seymour (healthy)


Conor Sheary - Nick Drazenovic - Tom Kostopoulos
Sahir Gill - Carter Rowney - Josh Archibald
Tom Kuhnhackl - Jean-Sebastien Dea - Dominik Uher
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Matia Marcantuoni - Zack Torquato

Taylor Chorney - Brian Dumoulin 
Reid McNeill - Barry Goers
Nick D'Agostino - Alex Boak

Matt Murray - Jeff Zatkoff


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