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Baby Pens Can Advance Wednesday

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins can punch their ticket to the East Division Finals with a win this Wednesday night against the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center. Game time is 7:00pm.

The Penguins have taken a commanding three games to none lead in the East Division Semifinals series, following a 2-1 overtime win in Hershey on April 16, and back-to-back home wins (6-2 and 5-1) this past Saturday and Sunday in Wilkes-Barre.

Only two teams in the history of the American Hockey League have come back to win a seven game series after trailing 3-0 (1960 AHL Semifinal, Rochester defeated Cleveland; 1989 Southern Division Final, Adirondack defeated Hershey).

WHEN UP 3-0: The Penguins have taken 3-0 series leads only two other times in team history (2001 Western Conference Semifinals vs. Philadelphia; 2001 Western Conference Finals vs. Hershey). Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went on to win both of those series, needing six games to take out the Phantoms and sweeping the Bears, en route to the 2001 Calder Cup Finals.

WITH A CHANCE TO CLINCH: The Penguins have an all-time record of 10-5 in games when they have a chance to clinch a playoff series.

IN GAME FOUR: The Penguins have a record of 7-8 in Game Fours, and a record of 3-4 in road Game Fours.

INDIVIDUAL PENGUINS PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Individual tickets for home games C and D are now on sale. If the Penguins lose in Hershey on Wednesday, Game C would take place Friday night at 7:05pm. If the Penguins win Wednesday, the date, time and opponent for Game C will be determined by the outcome of the Philadelphia Phantoms-Albany River Rats series. Tickets can be purchased at the Wachovia Arena Box Office, through www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 570-693-4100 and at all TicketMaster locations.

SERIES NOTES

  • With their 5-1 win in Game Three, the Penguins have evened their all-time playoff record against the Bears at 8-8. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been outscored by Hershey, 37-42.
  • Tim Brent leads all scorers in the series with six points (3+3), and carries a three-game scoring streak into Game Four. His three goals are tied for tops in the series with Hershey’s Andrew Gordon.
  • Thus far, 14 different Penguins players have recorded at least one point in the series, as opposed to five players for the Bears.

NOTES FROM GAME THREE:

  • Dennis Bonvie appeared in his 99th career AHL playoff game, and his 100th professional playoff game overall. He suited up for one game with the Boston Bruins during the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
  • John Curry became the second Penguins goaltender to win his first three playoff games with his 5-1 victory in Game Three. Andy Chiodo picked up wins in his first three playoff appearances with the Penguins during the 2004 East Division Semifinals vs. Bridgeport (Game 5, April 22 – 2-1 OT; Game 6, April 23 – 5-0; Game 7, April 25 – 3-2 OT).
  • Chiodo went on to start Game 1 of the East Division Finals vs. Philadelphia, allowing four goals in just over a period before being pulled in favor of Sebastien Caron, who went on to earn the victory. Chiodo returned to the pipes for Game 3, posting a 3-0 win, and followed that up with a 2-0 shutout in Game 4 before dropping a 4-2 decision in Game 5, meaning he actually won his first five decisions.
  • Alex Goligoski recorded two assists in the first period of Game Three, tying the team record for assists in a playoff period. It was the 16th time a Penguins player had accomplished the feat.

NOTES FROM GAME TWO:

  • The Penguins tied the team record for goals in a home playoff game with six, which was previously set three times (4/19/03 vs. Grand Rapids; 5/23/01 vs. Saint John; 4/18/01 vs. Syracuse).
  • Nathan Smith attempted the first penalty shot in Penguins playoff history, failing to convert against Frederic Cassivi at 7:21 of the first period.
  • Dennis Bonvie appeared in his 98th career AHL playoff game, moving him into sole possession of 10th place on the league’s all-time list. John Stevens is ninth with 102 games.
  • The win upped the Penguins record in Game Twos to 6-11 overall and 6-3 at home.
  • Tim Brent notched two goals in the game, the 22nd time in team history a player has netted multiple goals in a game.

WORKING OVERTIME: The Penguins have played 85 postseason games during the past nine years, with 26 of those going to overtime (30.6% of all games).

The Penguins have posted a 16-10 record in overtime games in the playoffs (11-6 on the road, 5-4 at home).

WIN IN HERSHEY IS SWEET: The Penguins’ 2-1 overtime win in Game One was the team’s first playoff victory at the Giant Center in six tries. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dropped Games Three and Four of the 2006 East Division Finals to the Bears by 4-1 and 1-0 scores, then fell in Games One (4-3), Two (4-3, 2OT) and Five (7-6, OT) of the 2007 East Division Finals.

The Penguins won Games Three and Four of the 2001 Western Conference Finals in Hershey (5-4 in OT & 3-1), but those games were played in the old Hershey Park Arena.

PENS DEBUTS: Five Penguins appeared in their first AHL postseason contests last Wednesday night in Hershey: goaltender John Curry, defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Alex Goligoski, and forwards J.M. Daoust and Nick Johnson.

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