On Saturday night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins became the first team in the American Hockey League to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs when they defeated the Worcester Sharks by a score of 5-3.
The Sharks led 2-1 after the first period, but in the second period, the Penguins took over the game with a Brett Sterling power play goal 39 seconds into the middle frame. Corey Potter then added a second power play tally at the 10:48 mark.
Worcester tied the game early in the third period on their second power play goal of the game. However, Tim Wallace scored two goals, including an empty net goal as time expired, to give the Penguins the victory and their ninth consecutive berth in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Penguins Defeat Charlotte in Possible Playoff Preview
The Penguins returned to action this afternoon as the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, made their third trip to Mohegan Sun Arena.
After a scoreless first period, Nick Petersen put the Penguins on the board at 10:02 of the second period. It was Petersen’s first AHL goal.
The team was able to hold on to the lead for the rest of the period. In the third, Zach Sill scored his ninth point in 10 games by getting the Pens on the board just 21 seconds into the period. Geoff Walker added his second assist of the game on the goal.
Chris Terry scored for the Checkers with 4.8 seconds left in regulation, but that was the only offense Charlotte would get. The Penguins wrapped up a 2-1 victory and their 50th win of the season, securing their fourth 50-win campaign in franchise history.
According to theahl.com, if the playoffs started today, the Penguins would be taking on the Checkers in the East Division Semifinals. The Penguins would have the first seed and have home ice advantage, while Charlotte would be the fourth seed.
Breaking the Record
Should the Penguins defeat the Albany Devils on Wednesday, they will tie a team record with 51 wins. The record was previously set (and matched) in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 campaigns.
With the way the Penguins’ season has been going, a new franchise record of at least 52 wins should be set by the end of the regular season.