Elliott Helps WBS Penguins Past Cleveland
Defenseman Stefan Elliott is one of the new additions hoping to kickstart the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins power play this season.
He did just that on Thursday against his former team.
Elliott assisted goals by Garrett Wilson and Sam Lafferty on the man-advantage, and the Penguins handed the Cleveland Monsters their first loss of the season with a 3-0 decision at Quicken Loans Arena. Anthony Peters made 28 saves to pick up his second win in net.
The turning point
Lafferty’s tally 6:15 into the second period gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton some much-needed insurance against a Cleveland team that had been averaging nearly five goals per game.
After the Penguins (2-0) won a board battle in the left corner, Elliott worked the puck to Sam Miletic moving toward the right side. The latter fed Lafferty, who threw the puck toward the net and off the skate of a Cleveland defender. The redirection eluded goaltender Jean-Francois Berube and gave the Penguins their two-goal edge.
The Monsters (3-1) were bitten by the penalty bug for the rest of the period, preventing them from trying to cut into the deficit. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, meanwhile, was able to cruise with relative ease through the final frame.
■ Elliott, the third star, played 199 regular season games with the Monsters from 2011-15; his two points on Thursday were his first as a Penguin. His point shot in the first period was tipped in front by Wilson, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the lead to stay.
■ Wilson has at least a point in five of his last six games, dating back to last season. He received No. 2 honors.
■ The shutout is Peters’ first since Jan. 24 against Hershey and only his second in the AHL. He was a deserving top star.
Stat to know
Anthony Angello gave the Penguins their third power-play goal late in the game. Prior to Thursday, they had scored multiple power-play goals in only one of their past 10 games.
The Penguins didn’t generate many glorious scoring chances at even strength, but they held the edge in puck battles and had consistent pressure into the Monsters zone. That kind of effort is what creates, in this case, 11 power-play opportunities and should make Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tough to beat on any given night.
■ The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lineup was the same as it was in Saturday’s home opener. One notable player not skating was forward Derek Grant, who was reassigned by Pittsburgh on Thursday to make room for goaltender Tristan Jarry.
■ This was the lone game in the AHL on Thursday. With the win, the Penguins moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic with Charlotte.
Penguins 1 1 1 — 3 Cleveland 0 0 0 — 0
First period: Scoring - 1, WBS, Wilson (Elliott), 6:48 (PP). Penalties - Cle, Letestu, interference 4:26; Cle, DeSalvo, hooking 5:24; WBS, Prow, slashing 15:21.
Second period: Scoring - 2, WBS, Lafferty (Miletic, Elliott), 6:15 (PP). Penalties - Cle, Sam Vigneault, hooking 0:43; WBS, Wilson, hooking 2:20; Cle, Carlsson, interference 5:08; Cle, Sherwood, slashing 8:24; WBS, Summers, interference 12:27; WBS, Lafferty, roughing 16:28; Cle, Dalpe, cross-checking 16:28; Cle, Gerbe, roughing 16:28; Cle, Cross, interference 19:40.
Third period: Scoring - 3, WBS, Angello (O’Neill), 14:43 (PP). Penalties - WBS, Aston-Reese, roughing (double minor) 1:49; Cle, Gerbe, roughing (double minor) 1:49; WBS, Johnson, hooking 1:49; Cle, Cross, interference 8:15; WBS, Wilson, holding the stick 9:09; Cle, Prapavessis, tripping 10:52; Cle, Someyby, cross-checking 13:08; Cle, DeSalvo, cross-checking 16:53; WBS, Trotman, tripping 19:33.
Shots on goal: WBS 18 10 11 - 39; Cle 12 9 7 - 28.
Goaltenders: WBS, Peters (28 saves on 28 shots); Cle, Berube (36 saves on 39 shots).
Power-play opportunities: WBS 3 of 11; Cle 0 for 6.
Referees: Brandon Biggers and Michael Markovic. Linesmen: Ray King and Brendan Lewis.
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-821-2089; @CVPiccotti on Twitter