Penguins: Weekend Scouting Report
After losing both games of a home-and-home series with the Syracuse Crunch last weekend, the Penguins have three chances to rebound this weekend. They’ll host the Milwaukee Admirals and Rochester Americans before heading south to take on the rival Hershey Bears, all in succession.
Opponent: Milwaukee Admirals
When: 7:05 p.m. tonight
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena
About the Admirals: Through Wednesday, Milwaukee is in second place in the Central Division at 11-8. A pair of former Penguins have played prominent roles with the team; Harry Zolnierczyk has eight goals and 14 points, while Trevor Smith has nine points in 10 games. Anders Lindback has anchored the team in net with an 11-4 record, but the longtime goaltender was recalled by Nashville on Thursday. Juuse Saros, who backed up Pekka Rinne in the Stanley Cup Final, was sent down. The Penguins’ power play could encounter more trouble, as the Admirals have one of the league’s best (86.2 percent). Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has not played Milwaukee since the 2004 Calder Cup Final.
Opponent: Rochester Americans
When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena
About the Americans: The Amerks are behind only Toronto in the North Division at 11-5-2-1. The team got a big boost Monday when Seth Griffith was reassigned from Buffalo — he has 202 career AHL points. Rochester is middle of the pack in terms of both power play (18.9 percent) and penaty kill (82.3). Goaltender Linus Ullmark was called up to the Sabres on Thursday; it is uncertain if he’ll remain with the team through the weekend.
Opponent: Hershey Bears
When: 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Giant Center
Season series: The Penguins are 2-0-0-1 against Hershey this season, the last matchup being a 5-1 win on Nov. 12.
About the Bears: Through Wednesday, Hershey stands at 9-9-0-3 and is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. However, the team is 6-3-0-1 in its last 10 games. Chris Bourque leads the offense, and the league, with 27 points in 21 games. Goaltender Pheonix Copley has been solid since his return from injury, going 5-2-2 with a 2.28 GAA. The Penguins might actually have the advantage playing on the road; the Bears have lost three of four at Giant Center, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 7-2-0-1 in its last 10 trips to Chocolatetown.
¦ Forward Christian Thomas is three games away from his 300th in the AHL. He played in 65 games for Hershey last season.
¦ This is the Penguins’ second series of three games in three days this season. The first was Oct. 13-15, when they won two of three contests.
¦ The Penguins are only 3 for their last 40 on the man-advantage.
Follow staff writer Tyler Piccotti @CVPiccotti on Twitter for live updates during each game and visit the Penguins Insider blog at citizensvoice.com for additional content.