Game Preview: Bears at Penguins, 7:05 PM
February 21, 2020
Tonight, the Hershey Bears face-off with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the ninth time in 2019-20. Hershey enters with a 5-2-0-1 record in their current season-series against the Baby Pens.
Hershey Bears (32-16-3-3) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (25-20-3-5)
February 21, 2020 | 7:05 PM | Game #55 | Mohegan Sun Arena
Referees: Alex Ross (7), Mike Sheehan (74)
Linesmen: Bill Lyons (27), Tom DellaFranco (71)
LAST TIME OUT:
The Hershey Bears scored three in the third period on Sunday night to bounce past the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5-3, at Giant Center. Tied 2-2 after 40 minutes, Bobby Nardella scored a highlight reel goal at 8:50 to shift the game in Hershey's favor. Beck Malenstyn added a key insurance marker which later stood as the game-winner, and Brian Pinho iced the game with an empty net goal at 19:49. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were last in action on Saturday, falling 3-2 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Jamie Devane and Joe Blandisi were the Pens lone goal scorers.
POWER PLAY STREAK:
Hershey’s power play has goals in a season-high six straight games, going 9-for-28 in the stretch, good for 32.1%. The Bears power play has climbed to 21st in the AHL at 16.8%, a rise of five positions and 2.8% since the streak started on Feb. 7. The last time the Bears had power play goals in six straight games came during the 2016-17 campaign. The club scored power play goals in eight consecutive games from Dec. 11-31, 2016, going 14-for-41 (34.1%) in the span.
LEASON FOR THREE:
Brett Leason matched a career-high, three-point performance with a trio of helpers on Sunday night. Leason's previous three-point performance came on Dec. 1 against the Hartford Wolf Pack at Giant Center. Leason completed his previous three-point night with an overtime game-winning goal to down Hartford, 4-3, after tallying two assists in regulation. The rookie forward became the sixth Bears skater to register a three-assist night this season, joining Garrett Pilon, Mike Sgarbossa, Matt Moulson, Philippe Maillet (3), and Christian Djoos. In total, Bears skaters have tallied three-point nights on 20 occasions this season. Maillet leads the way with six three-point games.
WINNING IN WILKES:
The Bears enter tonight 14-4-0-2 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their last 20 meetings dating back to the start of 2018-19. Hershey has won three straight at Mohegan Sun Arena since Jan. 3, and hold a 3-0-0-1 road record in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season with one more visit after tonight. Last season, Hershey dominated their season-series versus the Pens, totaling a 9-2-0-1 record through 12 meetings. In six road meetings between the Bears and Pens in 2018-19, the Chocolate and White were victorious five times (5-1-0-0).
HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE:
On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins completed a swap with the Montreal Canadians organization to send a familiar face to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Penguins received Riley Barber and Phil Varone in exchange for Joseph Blandisi and Jack Lucchini. Both Barber and Varone have been assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Barber is a fifth-year professional and spent his last four seasons with the Hershey Bears before signing with Montreal during free agency last July. From 2015-19, Barber skated in 237 games with the Chocolate and White and produced 180 points (90 goals, 90 assists). The Pittsburgh native recorded 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 39 games with the Laval Rocket prior to the trade. Barber appeared in 10 games against the Baby Pens in 2018-19 and totaled 10 points (seven goals, three assists).
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