Kostopoulos grabs 20th goal to lead Pens past Devils

WBS PenguinsATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Brendan Mikkelson and Tom Kostopoulos tallied third period goals to give the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 2-1 come from behind victory over the Albany Devils at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Penguins (30-20-3-4, 67 points) moved past the Devils (29-18-3-5, 66 points) and into sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

After being shut out in Syracuse on Friday night, the Penguins were held scoreless for the first 53 and a half minutes on Saturday.

Mike Sislo, who recorded a hat trick in the first meeting between the teams this season, gave the home club a 1-0 lead after the first period, capitalizing on a two-man advantage for his 18th goal of the campaign at 11:21.

That score held up through the first two periods, and could have been stretched even further early in the third, as the Devils received 5:57 of consecutive power play time after a high sticking double minor on Andrew Ebbett was followed by a delay of game infraction on Mike Carman.  But the Penguins penalty killers came up big to hold the deficit to one goal.

Brendan Mikkelson tied the game with a wrist shot through traffic at 13:33, and two minutes later the Pens received their third power play chance of the night when Corbin McPherson was shown to the penalty box for tripping.

Thirty-six seconds later, the Penguins grabbed the lead off of the stick of Kostopoulos.  The goal was the 20th of the season for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain, his 12th on the power play and his fifth game-winner – all tops on the team.

Peter Mannino stopped 19 shots to pick up his second win of the season with the Penguins, his first since a 28 save performance in a 3-2 win over the Worcester Sharks on October 19.

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