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Blueger Stays Hot, But Penguins Fall to Phantoms, 3-2

January 8, 2018 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins News Release

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms engaged in a tightly contested affair on Saturday in both teams' final game before the holiday break, with the Phantoms narrowly pulling off a 3-2 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Teddy Blueger scored for the third time this weekend, but his continued hot streak couldn't put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (16-9-2-1) over the top in this down-to-the-wire contest with its Pennsylvania Turnpike rival.

The Penguins opened the scoring late in the first period when a rip at the top left circle from Zach Aston-Reese was deflected by Teddy Blueger and over the shoulder of Phantoms netminder Dustin Tokarski at 18:16.

Chris Conner eventually pulled Lehigh Valley even with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with his own shot from the top of the left circle at 16:35 of the second period. The Penguins showed no quit as they pushed the puck right back down to the Phantoms end, and Ryan Haggerty stuffed a loose puck through Tokarski two minutes after Conner tied the game.

Midway through the third period, Lehigh Valley's Nicolas Aubé-Kubel snuck one underneath Casey DeSmith on a one-timer, knotting things up, 2-2.

The Phantoms took their first lead of the game with 6:07 remaining in regulation after a stifled breakout by the Penguins resulted in Conner setting up Oskar Lindblom with a slick drop pass in the slot. Lindblom's goal resulted in his third point of the night (1G-2A) and put Lehigh Valley ahead, 3-2.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled DeSmith in favor of an extra attacker with 1:43 still left in the game, but the equalizer never materialized, and the Penguins were unable to force overtime for the third-straight game.

DeSmith stopped 29 of 32 shots in the effort, while Tokarski denied 39 of 41 Penguins bids.

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