The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins traveled by bus last night from northeastern Pennsylvania to Sprinfield, Mass. to take on the Falcons on a Sunday afternoon. The team was tired, having played three games in four days coming into this one. The Springfield Falcons were also playing their third game in three days. The first two periods came as expected, a rather tight low scoring game. But the Pens erupted in the last five minutes of the third period, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to score three goals in under four and a half minutes in route to a 4-2 win. The Pens are now a perfect 5-0 in non-divisional games and 17-4-0-0 overall.
The recap after the jump.
- Brad Thiessen started in net today for the Penguins and stopped 18 of 20 shots he faced. Thiessen is now 10-2 on the season and still appears to be the team's number one goalie, despite the rotation between himself and John Curry.
- Bryan Lerg replaced Joey Haddad on 4th line, an attempt to get some fresh legs in the lineup. Turned out to be a good decision.
- Chris Collins was still held out of the lineup. Hopefully his injury is minor as he is still considered day-to-day.
- The Pens got on the board first, set up by a great forecheck by Keven Veilleux. Veilleux won a battle along the boards, got the puck to Nick Johnson and went in front of the net. Johnson's shot was rebounded in by team captain Ryan Craig at 5:46 of the firstperiod.
- From there the Falcons top line of Tomas Kubalik, Chris D’Alvise and Dane Byers took over the scoresheet. Kubalik, who scored a hat trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a preseason game for the Columbus Blue Jackets, scored both goals for the Falcons. His first one came on the powerplay at 17:53 of the first period. Kubalik’s second was even strength at 11:59 into the second period. Kubalik now has nine goals on the season. Byers assisted on both goals and now has nine points in 11 games since joining the Falcons.
- The Pens had been outworking the Falcons and couldn’t find the back of the net. But at the 14:48 mark of the third period Veilleux made another great play and got the puck to Craig. Craig’s shot was banged home by Johnson to tie the game at two. The Penguins third line of Craig, Veilleux and Johnson had a strong game. Craig and Johnson both scored agoal and an assist and Veilleux helped set up both goals, while only getting credit for one assist on the scoresheet.
- Just 29 seconds later Steve Wagner fed Dustin Jeffrey with a great breakout pass. Jeffrey then split the defense and beat goalie Gustaf Wesslau to give the Pens a 3-2 lead.
- Bryan Lerg, who had fresh legs since he didn’t play last night, added an empty net goal against his former team in the last minute to seal the deal for the Penguins. Jeffrey added an assist on the empty netter and now has seven points (3G 4A) in his last four games