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Pens Hold Off Amerks 4-3, Win 16 Out of First 20 Games

Geoff Walker, left, benefited in his first game on the team's top line with the game winning goal and an assist on the Pens first goal tonight.
Geoff Walker, left, benefited in his first game on the team's top line with the game winning goal and an assist on the Pens first goal tonight.

Despite getting out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and outshooting the Rochester Americans 29-8 through the final two periods, the Pens needed a 3rd period goal from Geoff Walker, his first of the season, to preserve a 4-3 win at the Mohegan Sun Arena. 

The top line of Dustin Jeffrey, Tim Wallace and Geoff Walker played very well scoring both the first and last goal of the game for the Pens.  Jeffrey continues to rack up points with his team leading 8th goal, and the assist on Walker's game winner in the third.  He now has 23 points (8G-15A) in 20 games this season.  Jeffrey has definitely earned the next call up if/when Pittsburgh needs a forward.  Wallace also added two assists tonight.

John Curry got the win for the Penguins, stopping 19 of 22 shots.  Curry is now 7-2 on the season with a 2.43 GAA and a .909 SV%.  Brad Thiessen (9-2, 2.08 GAA .927 SV%) should get the start tomorrow in Springfield.

More of the recap after the jump.

Rochester began the game with a powerplay after Joe Vitale took an early penalty in the first minute of play.  The Amerks got some good early chancesbut they were denied by John Curry. 

The Pens got on the board first at the 4:44 mark when Jeffrey lit the lamp with his linemates Walker and Wallace getting the assists.

Jesse Boulerice, unhappy with Eric Selleck because of his high hits the last time the team’s met, went after Selleck during their first shift on the ice together, but Selleck backed down.  The two would later drop the gloves at center ice in the second period and Boulerice gave Selleck a shot of his own medicine with a few shots to the face

Chris Collins was scratched tonight with what was called a minor injury.  His status for tomorrow is much in doubt to this point. ECHL call up Joey Haddad replaced him in the lineup, rather than the usual 13th forward Bryan Lerg.  Haddad played on the fourth line with Boulerice and Zach Sill adding an assist on the Boulerice's 3rd goal of the season about halfway into the first period.

Eric Tangradi scored 67 seconds later and it appeared as though the Pens would roll over the Americans. Tangradi tipped in a Robert Bortuzzo point shot. Joe Vitale also assisted on the goal.

A late hit by Haddad gave the Americans a power play they would score on.  Curry was screened and the puck found its way in off the post with 19 seconds left in the period.  The goal gave the Americans life going into the second frame.

The Pens took a 3-1 lead into the locker room. All three wbs goals were at even strength. The lone Americans goal a power play tally in last 20 seconds.

Although they outshot the Pens 14-11 in the first period, the Americans got themselves back into the game in the second period, despite being outshot 19-4.  The Americans got goals about three minutes apart from Kenndal McArdle, his seventh of the season, and Mike Kotska to tie the game at three heading into the third.

The Pens never trailed in the game and continued to outplay and outshoot the Americans in the third.  They outshot the Americans 10-4 in the third period and with the help of the Walker's game winning goal, held off the Amerks 4-3.