Pen­guins down Bing­ham­ton

The Citizens' Voice - - Sports - BY TYLER PICCOTTI STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: tpic­cotti@cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570-8212089; @CVPic­cotti on Twit­ter

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.

Stan­ley visit

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.

Ros­ter move

En­forcer Tom Sestito cleared waivers and was re­as­signed to Wilkes-Barre/ Scran­ton. He was a scratch for Fri­day’s game.

DAVE SCHERBENCO / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Pen­guins’ Jarred Ti­nordi and Tris­tan Jarry look to stop the puck as Bing­ham­ton’s Blake Speers digs in.

DAVE SCHERBENCO / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Pen­guins’ Daniel Sprong tries to move the puck as Bing­ham­ton’s Bran­don Gignac chops at it.

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