Penguins Shut Out By Admirals

Friday, January 9, 2015
Penguins fall to Norfolk at home for the second time this week.
The players in the locker room and the coaching staff probably won't admit it, but the Norfolk Admirals - last place in the Eastern Conference - have been a frustrating team to play against for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season, and especially this week in particular.

In five meetings against the Admirals this season, the Penguins are 1-3-1 and have scored a total of just six goals in those five games. Tonight, the Admirals shut out the Penguins 2-0 and really outplayed them for much of the night.

Emerson Etem scored on a shorthanded breakaway and Marc Cantin floated a point shot past Penguins starting goaltender Matt Murray minutes later and that's all Norfolk would need, behind 27 saves from Jason LaBarbera - his first shutout of the season. LaBarbera has been a Penguin-killer this season, going 4-1-0 with a 1.20 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. Outside of LaBarbera's win for Norfolk on opening night against Hershey on October 11th, the rest of his wins this season have come against the Penguins.

The Penguins (20-14-1-3) look to rebound tomorrow night in Syracuse against the Crunch, while Norfolk (14-19-1-2) travels to Hershey for a pair of games at Giant Center starting tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. ET.

A sloppy first period by all accounts for the Penguins, falling behind 1-0 while on a power play. After a neutral zone turnover, Max Friberg sprung Emerson Etem on a shorthanded breakaway. Murray appeared to make the save but with Conor Sheary chasing the play and falling into the goaltender, the puck managed to cross the line 11:11 into the first period.

The Penguins - and head coach John Hynes in particular - were upset with the lack of a too many men call about 15 seconds earlier when the Penguins sent a pass in front of the Norfolk bench that was blocked down by an Admirals player leaving the bench for a line change.

Moments later, a point shot wrister from Marc Cantin floated past traffic in front of Murray and into the net to extend the Admirals lead to 2-0 with 6:12 left in the opening period.

Later in the period, Nick Drazenovic went down after a hit by Max Friberg behind the play and headed to the locker room (he would return in the 2nd). The play went unpenalized and an already upset Hynes let referee Fred LeBlanc have it. He even stayed out after the period to chirp at LeBlanc on his way off the ice.

Tempers were flaring all period and a fight between Dominik Uher and Marc Cantin after the horn sounded really set the tone for how the rest of the game would be played.

The bad blood continued early in the 2nd period, with a scrum between Josh Archibald and Nathan McIver 2:31 into the period turning into Pierre-Luc Leblond and Jayson Megna coming in to defend a teammate.

About three minutes later, a big hit by Drazenovic on Friberg caused a melee. It was quite a sight to watch. As soon as Drazenovic crushed Friberg, everyone on the ice stopped playing hockey and started circling back looking for a fighting partner despite the puck heading in the opposite direction. Andrew O'Brien found his with Reid McNeill in another spirited fight.

All in all though, the Admirals frustrated the Penguins and controlled play through 40 minutes - outshooting the Penguins 12-5 in the middle frame and maintaining their two-goal into the third.

It was much of the same in the final frame, where the Penguins failed to score on a four-minute power play 3:53 into the third and another power play with 5:55 left in regulation. The Penguins went 0-for-6 on the power play tonight, and will look to get back in the win column tomorrow night up in Syracuse.


1st Period

2:30: WBS - (PP) Farnham, minor (interference)
7:32: WBS - (PP) D'Agostino, minor (delay of game)
10:28: NOR - (PP) Cantin, minor (roughing)
11:11: NOR - SHG Etem (6) - Friberg
13:48: NOR - Cantin (1) - Laganiere, Etem
20:00: WBS - Uher, major (fighting)
20:00: WBS - Cantin, major (fighting)

2nd Period

2:31: WBS - (PP) Leblond, minor (unsportsmanlike)
2:31: WBS - Megna, minor (slashing)
2:31: NOR - McIver, minor (roughing)
5:58: WBS - McNeill, major (fighting)
5:58: NOR - (PP) O'Brien, minor (roughing)
5:58: NOR - O'Brien, major (fighting)
13:04: NOR - (PP) LeBlanc, minor (hooking)

3rd Period

3:53: NOR - (PP) Wagner, double minor (high-sticking)
14:05: NOR - (PP) Cantin, minor (delay of game)


Rookie Matt Murray (29 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net tonight with veteran Jeff Zatkoff backing him up.

Recently re-assigned from Pittsburgh, defenseman Scott Harrington and forward Bobby Farnham returned to the WBS Penguins lineup. Alex Boak and Sahir Gill were scratched to make room.

Anton Zlobin is out for the season. Only other injury is to Adam Payerl, who is expected to be out a couple weeks yet.

WBS Scratches: Alex Boak (healthy), Anton Zlobin (out for the season), Adam Payerl (injured) and Sahir Gill (healthy).


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

Brian Dumoulin - Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill - Barry Goers
Scott Harrington - Nick D'Agostino

Matt Murray - Jeff Zatkoff


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