Game Preview: Bears at Devils, 7:05 PM
February 14, 2020
Tonight, the Hershey Bears begin a home-and-home set against the Binghamton Devils to kickoff the first of four meetings in 2019-20. Both teams will rematch tomorrow night at Giant Center before the Bears conclude three games in three nights on Sunday with a 5 PM puck drop versus the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Hershey Bears (31-15-2-3) at Binghamton Devils (22-23-4-0)
February 14, 2020 | 7:05 PM | Game #52 | Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena
Referees: Brandon Blandina (39), Tyson Stewart (85)
Linesmen: Julien Fournier (56), Jason Brown (44)
LAST TIME OUT:
The Hershey Bears completed a weekend sweep last Sunday, winning 5-2 over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. Matt Moulson and Garrett Pilon both scored in the game's opening 3:01, but Lehigh Valley rallied to draw even with goals by Steven Swavely and Isaac Ratcliffe in the following period. Tied at 2-2 in the 3rd period, Moulson scored his second goal of the game at 9:11. Brett Leason tallied his second goal of the season at 14:07, and Brian Pinho iced the game with an empty net goal at 19:21. On Wednesday night, the Binghamton Devils outshot the Syracuse Crunch, 33-18, but fell by a 1-0 margin. The lone goal was scored by Syracuse's Daniel Walcott only 13 seconds into the game. Binghamton's power play finished the night 0-for-7 in the loss on home ice.
Defender Christian Djoos tied an AHL career-high with three assists in a single game last Sunday in Lehigh Valley. Prior to Sunday, Djoos' last three assist game with the Chocolate and White came nearly three years ago on Mar. 11, 2017, on the road against the Binghamton Senators. The fifth-year pro also recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in last Saturday's 5-2 win against Springfield. Djoos' trio of assists on Sunday marked the first time in his professional career he totaled three points in consecutive games. The Gothenburg, Sweden native was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday for the period ending Feb. 9 after registering seven points (one goal, six assists) last weekend.
Similar to Bears defender Christian Djoos, forward Philippe Maillet is fresh off a three assist, three-point performance on Sunday night, and has recorded consecutive three-point games. Identical to Djoos, Saturday and Sunday marked the first time Maillet recorded three-point nights in consecutive games. Maillet finished the weekend with six points (two goals, four assists) after being held in check Friday, Feb. 7 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and rattling off three points in each of the next two nights. Sunday marked Maillet's team-best, sixth three-point game of the season. Second best on the club to Maillet with multiple three-point nights are Djoos (2), Travis Boyd (2), Garrett Pilon (2) and Matt Moulson (2). Since Jan. 1, Maillet ranks third in the AHL in points, scoring 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 18 games. Only Iowa’s Sam Anas and Gerald Mayhew (27 points each) have tallied more points.
THE HERSHEY ROAD-E-O:
The Bears tied a season-high with five consecutive wins away from Giant Center last Sunday in Lehigh Valley. Hershey has not lost on the road since Jan. 22 at Springfield in a 5-2 defeat. Since then, the Chocolate and White bounced back with a 5-2 victory at Springfield on Jan. 24, a dramatic 3-2 shootout win in Providence on Jan. 25, and wins in Bridgeport, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Lehigh Valley on Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and Feb. 9. In the last five road games, Hershey has not allowed more than two goals in a single contest, outscoring the opponent 20-9. The Bears last road winning streak of five games ranged from Dec. 6, 2019 to Jan. 10, 2020 before ending on Jan. 14 in Charlotte. Tonight, the Chocolate and White seek six consecutive road wins for the first time since the 2014-15. In 2015, the Bears won six straight outside of Giant Center from Jan. 9 to Feb. 15, before dropping a 5-3 decision to the Binghamton Senators on Feb. 20.
Hershey’s penalty kill went a perfect 11-for-11 last weekend. The Bears are now ranked 1st in the AHL at 88.3%. The last time Hershey finished a season with the league’s best penalty kill was 2014-15 when Hershey was an impressive 87.5%. The Bears power play also had a big last three games, scoring in each contest, going 5-for-12, good for 41.7%.
Last Sunday, Hershey improved to 22-4-0-1 when scoring the game's first goal...The Bears are 8-2-0-0 in Friday road games this season...Hershey's overall road record sits at 13-9-1-1...The Chocolate and White enter tonight with 25 games remaining in 2019-20. Ten of the remaining contests are against North Division opponents (Binghamton 4, Cleveland 3, Laval 1, Syracuse 1, Toronto 1)...The Bears are 6-3-0-1 against the North and 3-2-0-0 in North Division arenas...Hershey's last game played at Binghamton was on Jan. 16, 2019. Ryan Sproul scored 3:20 into sudden-death overtime to help the Bears to a 1-0 overtime win. The victory marked Hershey's third consecutive game with the standings point before an eventual franchise record, 17-game point streak. Ilya Samsonov recorded his 2nd professional shutout, and his second in consecutive starts after blanking the Lehigh Valley Phantoms four nights prior...Matt Moulson scored his 300th AHL point in Sunday’s win at Lehigh Valley…Garrett Pilon has points in three straight games, scoring two goals and two assists…Bobby Nardella has assists in three straight games, posting four helpers in the stretch.
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