Behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender John Muse’s terrific performance, the Penguins drew within a point of clinching the final playoff position in the Atlantic Division while Muse stopped all 33 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Binghamton Devils on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
With the loss, the BDevils own the worse record in the league at 26-39-6-0, 58 pts. and a 0.408% that supports their unfortunate position. Changes are coming I’m going to assume during the off-season with Binghamton at the bottom of the barrel once again.
Defenseman Chris Summers scored the lone goal in the first period with three players planted in front of Devils’ netminder Evan Cormier for his second of the season for the veteran. Devils’ D in reacting was slow in this one, as this has been a problematic issue all season long.
Penguins pulled ahead 2-0 in the middle frame on a backdoor pass from Ethan Prow behind the goal line to Sam Lafferty who had an empty net to opt on with Cormier caught out of position.
Two more goals in the final period would wrap it up for the Pens by ex-Devils’ forward Joseph Blandis followed by rookie Brandon Hawkins on an empty-netter for his first professional goal.
Shots in favor of the Pens by a slight margin, 35-33.
Line-Up, Game #71
Forwards: Studenic - Pietila - Quenneville, Gignac - Schmelzer - Lappin, Baddock - Sharangovich - Saracino, Krushelnyski - Larsson - Dudek
Defensemen: Hammond/Murphy, White/Ramage, Jacobs/Gryba
In Goal: Evan Cormier, Cam Johnson
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Blake Speers, Eric Tangradi, Colby Sissons, and Nikita Popugaev
Post Game Notes
- F Ryan Schmelzer was all over the ice tonight and contributed on killing off an extended 5v3 man advantage for the Penguins during the opening twenty minutes. You can check up on the latest for Schmelzer here.
- Devils, with the worse record in the AHL, have lost 31 of 32 games when trailing after two periods this season.
- Bingo with a ton of penalties that mounted for several minutes in the box during the first period. Fortunately, they were able to them kill off 5 of 6 with Schmelzer, Tariq Hammond and John Ramage.
- There was a serious lack of emotion by the Devils obviously being shutout. Frustrated to say the least.
- The number of games left is five within the last nine days remaining in the 2018-’19 season.
#1. John Muse (33 saves), #2. Sam Lafferty (1g, 1a), #3. Chris Summers (1g)
The first of a three-in-three weekend for the Devils as Binghamton returns home on Saturday to faceoff with the Toronto Marlies.