SYRACUSE, NY – The Syracuse Crunch have earned points in three consecutive games, but fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-2, in a shootout tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Each team scored twice on the man-advantage, with the Crunch going two-for-two and the Penguins two-for-seven. Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun allowed two goals on 25 shots in his first game since being assigned to W-B/Scranton from Pittsburgh on a conditioning stint, while stopping four shootout attempts. Crunch netminder Cedrick Desjardins allowed two goals on 31 shots and two goals on five shootout attempts.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 4:56 into the opening frame. Andrew Ebbett fed Chuck Kobasew, whose shot from the top of the left circle evaded Desjardins. Brian Dumoulin picked up the secondary assist.
The Crunch retaliated with a power-play goal of their own at the 8:18 mark of the first period. Vladislav Namestnikov’s blast from the right circle snuck between Vokoun’s pads to knot the score at 1-1. Dmitry Korobov and Brett Connolly earned assists on the play.
The Crunch power play unit struck again to go ahead, 2-1, with 3:51 to play in the period. After drawing a slashing call against Penguins Carter Rowney, Jonathan Marchessault threw the puck on net from the left circle, where it was redirected past Vokoun by Jon DiSalvatore.
The Penguins evened the score at 2-2, 7:28 into the second period. With the Crunch serving a minor for too many men on the ice, Kobasew backhanded a rebound past Desjardins for his second power-play goal of the game. Machacek and Dumoulin were credited with the helpers.
Neither team was able to score in the third period or overtime frame, forcing a shootout. Vokoun stopped all four Crunch shooters, while Anton Zlobin and Spencer Machacek each scored to hand the Penguins the 3-2 victory.
CRUNCHABLES: Herni Ikonen made his Syracuse Crunch debut while Kristers Gudlevskis and Cedric Paquette both made their NHL debuts with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight…With an assist tonight, Brett Connolly has points in eight of his last nine games…He has four goals and seven assists during that span…After tallying two power-play goals tonight, the Crunch have scored on the power play in eight of their last nine games and are 13-for-35 in that span.