BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (March 10, 2012) – Rhett
Rakhshani scored with 1:20 left in regulation to force overtime, but
Cal O’Reilly and Colin McDonald scored in the shootout as the
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-4
on Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena. With the win, the Penguins
improve to 35-19-2-5. The Sound Tigers have now lost two straight games
in the shootout, but have recorded points in 24 of their last 26 games
as their record stands at 32-19-3-5.
The Penguins struck twice in the opening frame to take an early two-goal lead. McDonald put the Penguins on top with a power play goal at the 7:00 minute mark, one-timing a blocked shot from the right circle past Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin. A turnover behind the Sound Tigers net led to the Penguins second goal. Geoff Walker picked off a clearing attempt in the low slot and had his backhand attempt stopped by Poulin, but Nick Petersen buried the rebound to put the Penguins up two goals at the 9:42 mark of the first period.
The Sound Tigers evened the score with two quick strikes late in the second period. Kael Mouillierat’s shot from the left slot was stopped by Penguins goalie Scott Munroe and deflected up into the air in front of the crease. Tony Romano settled the bouncing puck and beat Munroe for his eighth goal of the season to cut the Sound Tigers deficit to one with 5:17 left in the second period. Tyler McNeely then tied the game just 37 seconds later, banging a rebound past Munroe to tie the score at two.
Justin DiBenedetto gave the Sound Tigers their first lead of the game 1:17 into the final frame. Trevor Frischmon put the puck towards the crease from the left circle, and DiBenedetto grabbed it and backhanded it home for his 17th tally of the season to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 lead. That advantage was short-lived, however, as Ben Street answered nine seconds later with a backhander to tie the score at three. Street gave the Penguins a lead with a power play goal at 6:20 of the third period, firing a deflected pass from the left circle over Poulin’s right shoulder to put the Pens back in front 4-3. However, Rakhshani would force overtime with his 13th goal of the season, taking a feed from Mouillierat in the slot and firing past Munroe with Poulin pulled for the extra attacker.
The game went to overtime and eventually the shootout, where O’Reilly and McDonald both beat Poulin high in the first and third rounds. For the second straight night, the Sound Tigers were unable to score in the bonus round, as Sean Backman, Jon Landry, Rakhshani and Romano were all stopped by Munroe.
The Sound Tigers close out their weekend tomorrow afternoon against the Norfolk Admirals at 3:00 p.m. on Andrew MacDonald Bobblehead Day, where the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive an Andrew MacDonald Bobblehead Doll.