High-Flying Affair Sees Penguins Fall to Marlies, 4-2
TORONTO, Ont. - In a clash of the top two teams in the AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell to the Toronto Marlies, 4-2, at Ricoh Coliseum.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (32-15-2-1) carried a two-goal lead into the second intermission after two-quick strike tallies early in the middle frame, but a four-goal final period by the home team proved to be the difference.
The match-up lived up to the billing of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown with a thrilling first period as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Toronto combined for 30 total shots in the opening frame, but no goals. Both goalies, the Penguins' Matt Murray and Marlies' Antoine Bibeau, made double-digit saves to keep the contest scoreless after the first 20 minutes.
One minute and eleven seconds into the second period, the Penguins broke the tie with a power play goal from Anton Zlobin.
A mere 46 seconds later, Kael Mouillierat unloaded a screaming slap shot past Bibeau and put the Penguins up, 2-0.
T.J. Brennan made it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season, the most among AHL defensemen, 34 ticks into the third period.
Toronto tied the game, 2-2, courtesy of a power play from Connor Brown at 9:34 of the third.
The Marlies established a 3-2 lead when Willie Nylander picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and fired it past Murray at 13:04 of the third frame.
Zach Hyman earned Toronto an insurance marker with his third assist of the game, feeding Brett Findlay on the backdoor for a 4-2 lead with 4:58 left in the game.
Murray was handed the loss, but made 36 saves for his fifth performance with 35 stops or more this season. Bibeau finished the game with 28 saves.
Both the Marlies and Penguins converted once on three power plays given to them over the course of the contest.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's next game is Sunday evening against the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at Blue Cross Arena is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
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