The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (15-4-0-0) are still ahead of the pack approaching the 20 game mark on the season. After a perfect 9-0 start on the season, the AHL Penguins continue to be one of the elite, upper tier teams in the entire league, let alone East Division, where they have four points and a game in hand on the second place Norfolk Admirals (11-5-3-1) who beat the Pens 3-1 in the only meeting between the teams thus far.
The Pens play host to the Rochester Americans (9-11-1-0) tonight at 7 p.m. I will use this period as a sort of mini-thread as I plan on posting some between period updates to add to any WBS conversation in the comments. A look at the the Pens tough 4 games in 5 nights schedule, and more specifically a look at tonight's matchup. Listen to the game for free here and much more after the jump.
Up to This Point:
-The Pens are in the midst of another tough 4 games in 5 nights.
-On Wednesday, the Pens shutout the Albany Devils 3-0. John Curry got the shutout, Dustin Jeffrey scored a shorthanded goal and assisted on a powerplay goal and former Hershey Bear agitator Louis Robitaille actually dropped his gloves against the Pens (though not against Jesse Boulerice but rather Geoff Walker).
-The Pens played in Binghamton on Thanksgiving night, an annual game the Binghamton Senators play against different teams each year. The Pens let a 2-1 lead slip away and ended up dropping the game 5-2. Brad Thiessen had a rough night in goal giving up five goals on 36 shots, but the game wasn't entirely his fault. The Pens went 1 for 7 on the powerplay only scoring on a two-man advantage, while also surrendering two powerplay goals on just five penalty kills. Eric Tangradi had an eventful first period. He scored his third goal of the season to give the Pens a 1-0 lead under six minutes in, and fought Colin Greening four minutes later. Brett Sterling added a goal and an assist for Pens who have given up 5 goals to the Senators twice this season.
- I expect to see Curry start in goal tonight. He got the shutout on Wednesday and Thiessen gave up five goals on Turkey Day.
- Look for Jeffrey and Sterling to continue to play well, they've both had the hot hand lately. Jeffrey is up to 15th in the AHL in scoring with seven goals and 14 assists in 19 games.
- Rochester Americans rookie forward Eric Selleck should be a marked man tonight after his questionable hit on Robert Bortuzzo in the previous meeting between the teams. Selleck has three assists and 66 penalty minutes in 17 games this season.
- This game has the heavyweights with veterans Jesse Boulerice for the Pens and former Philadelphia Phantom Triston Grant for the Americans. Grant recorded 236 penalty minutes last season and has plenty of fights in his six seasons in the AHL. Boulerice has been keeping his gloves on and adding on the scoresheet. He has four fighting majors on the year but has added a goal and two assists in the last three games.
- The Penguins are 9-1 on the road this season but haven't been as impressive at home, going 6-3 at the Mohegan Sun Arena