Penguins down Binghamton
WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Unlike in Wednesday’s opening preseason game, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were the aggressors from the opening puck drop on Friday night.
And thanks to their talented young forwards, they quickly turned those opportunities into goals.
Adam Johnson scored in his first game with the Penguins, and Daniel Sprong and Zach AstonReese both had two assists in the first period as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton cruised by the Binghamton Devils, 6-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Captain Tom Kostopoulos picked up an early goal and assist for the Penguins, who fielded a lineup closely resembling the one that will take the ice in next weekend’s season-opener.
“I thought we came out hard,” Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli said. “Our systems and our structure. I thought we played with pace. We were fast. I thought special teams were pretty good.
“Overall, for our first game, we were pleased.”
Garrett Wilson opened the scoring for the Penguins 5:36 into the game on a nice feed from Kostopoulos in front of the net. Then, the powerplay unit went to work.
Skating on a 5-on-3 midway through the period, Kostopoulos poked home a rebound to give the Penguins a two-goal edge. Then with the second penalty drawing to a close, Johnson threw a puck at the net from a bad angle, and it pinballed off Scott Wedgewood for a 3-0 lead.
“I think (the power-play) did a pretty good job of creating momentum,” said Sprong, who had helpers on both tallies. “With (Lukas Bengtsson) moving the puck up top, it’s pretty easy to play with a guy like that. (Kostopoulos) experienced, talking to some of us young guys. I think we’re all just trying to get on the same page.”
Tinordi, Kevin Czuczman and Dominik Simon later scored for Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton.
Tristan Jarry got the start in net and was the victim of a screened tip-in during the first period, but otherwise looked solid and made 15 saves.
Binghamton never made any charge toward evening the score and was plagued by the penalty bug that hampered the Penguins on Wednesday. The Devils committed nine minor infractions, including four slashes.
Former Penguins defenseman Tim Erixon played on the blue line and assisted on the Devils’ first goal in the opening period.
Kostopoulos picked up a Gordie Howe hat trick in the second period by dropping the gloves with Binghamton’s Brandon Baddock, who had cross-checked Penguins defenseman Jarred Tinordi as he lay on the ice. Tinordi immediately went to the locker room and did not return. There was no update on his condition after the game.
The team announced Friday that season ticket holders will get a chance to see the Stanley Cup up close on Oct. 25.
The Cup, as well as the Prince of Wales, Conn Smythe and Maurice Richard trophies, will be on display from 4:30-6:30 at the F.M. Kirby Center in WilkesBarre.
Because of time constraints, only season ticket holders can attend and get a picture with the Cup.
Enforcer Tom Sestito cleared waivers and was reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton. He was a scratch for Friday’s game.
Penguins’ Jarred Tinordi and Tristan Jarry look to stop the puck as Binghamton’s Blake Speers digs in.
Penguins’ Daniel Sprong tries to move the puck as Binghamton’s Brandon Gignac chops at it.