Penguins Show Resiliency in 2-1 Shootout Loss at Hershey
HERSHEY, Pa. - The regular season was so successful for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears that they milked its last game down to the very last second.
The Penguins battled through a tightly contested affair with the Bears and overcame eight trips to the penalty kill and a late-game goalie change to force extra time in an eventual 2-1 shootout loss.
"I'm proud of our guys. It's very resilient the way they performed," said Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli. "This is a tough building to play in and to never give up and battle like that, it's good.
"It makes you feel really good heading into the playoffs even though we didn't get the result we wanted."
After two scoreless period of hockey, the Hershey Bears broke the 0-0 tie with a power play goal from Jakub Vrána at 4:53 of the third period.
Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith made 21 saves on 22 shots before suffering a lower body injury in the third period that took him out of the game. DeSmith, who finished the three-game weekend with a .950 save percentage, was replaced between the pipes by a fellow rookie netminder, Sean Maguire.
Maguire battled off all three shots he faced in his first AHL appearance after Dustin Jeffrey scored a tying tally with just 3:17 left in the third.
The Penguins had to kill off 1:16 of five-on-three power play time for the Bears to start the overtime period and rose to the challenge. In fact, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ended up outshooting Hershey 2-1 in OT, but neither team was able to score in the sudden death frame.
Maguire denied Vrána on the Bears' first shootout attempt, but Christian Djoos and Riley Barber were able to convert for the win. Both of the Penguins' shooters, Carter Rowney and Dustin Jeffrey, had their shots stopped.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completes the regular season 43-27-4-2, in third place in the Atlantic Division, and now awaits the Providence Bruins for the first round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Game 1 of the best-of-five series between the Bruins and Penguins will be this Wednesday, Apr. 20, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop for Game 1 is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The Penguins' full first round schedule is as follows:
Game 1 - Wednesday, Apr. 20 - Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2 - Thursday, Apr. 21 - Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3 - Saturday, Apr. 23 - W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 4 - Monday, Apr. 25 - W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 5 - Tuesday, Apr. 26 - W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
*if necessary... All times Eastern
Individual playoff tickets are now on sale in addition to postseason ticket packages. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every home game in the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every home game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Individual game tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home playoff games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
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