PENGUINS SCOUTING REPORT: Nov. 14
Opponent: Springfield Thunderbirds
When and where: 10:35 a.m. today at MassMutual Center
Season series: This is the second of six meetings between the teams. The Penguins won the first, 3-2 in a shootout, on opening night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Online: The game will be streamed on AHL TV and at wilknews.radio.com.
About the Thunderbirds: Springfield is one of the teams in the Atlantic Division’s logjam, entering the game in third place at 7-3-0-2 but having lost three straight. The team is led by a former Penguin in both goals (Paul Thompson, 7) and points (Harry Zolnierczyk, 14). Goaltender Samuel Montembault has improved significantly in his second season with a 2.54 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. The Thunderbirds are not an ideal opponent given the Penguins’ recent struggles on the penalty kill; Springfield ranks first in the division at 24.6 percent.
■ This is the first of three morning games for the Penguins this season.
Although such matchups definitely pose a quirk in the schedule, the team doesn’t expect them to pose any sort of significant challenge in terms of preparation.
“It’s good because we’re on the ice at 10:30,” head coach Clark Donatelli said last week. “We’re used to getting after it at 10:30 at practice, so it shouldn’t be a factor for guys in terms of their mindsets.”
■ Donatelli hinted that forward Joseph Cramarossa could return to the lineup at some point this week. The 26-year-old had 12 points in 28 games after joining the Penguins last season.
■ Derek Grant has goals in three of his four games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
— TYLER PICCOTTI