ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Chuck Kobasew had two goals and an assist for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, powering the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Albany Devils on Sunday at the famed Boardwalk Hall.
The victory was the sixth in the last seven games for the Penguins, who are now just one point behind the Binghamton Senators for the top spot in the East Division. With a tough three games in three days weekend, the Penguins earned four of six possible points.
Kobasew, who had played 32 games for Pittsburgh this season, has scored in each of his four games with WBS, netting five goals in all. The 11-year NHLer, who spent the majority of his career with Calgary and Boston, had just two goals with Pittsburgh.
The game-winner was set up by Scott Harrington, who had his stick slashed away by the Devils’ Adam Larsson but was able to send a lead pass ahead, springing Kobasew and Jayson Megna. Kobasew stuffed a rebound home past goalie Keith Kincaid to give the Penguins another one-goal win on the Jersey Shore.
The Penguins defeated Albany 2-1 on March 1.
Kobasew opened the scoring on the power play midway through the first period. Brian Dumoulin started the play, which went to Andrew Ebbett behind the Devils goal. Ebbett found Kobasew waiting in the slot to pump a shot past Kinkaid for a 1-0 lead.
That lead stood into the third period, where the Devils scored in the first minute of play. Scott Timmins won a faceoff in the Penguins’ zone and drew the puck back to Adam Larsson at the point. Larsson’s blast beat Jeff Deslauriers to tie the game at 1.
Albany took the lead on a shot Deslauriers would have liked to have held onto. Darcy Zajac led a Devils rush into the Penguins zone and fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle. Deslauriers got most of the blast, but the puck got through the netminder and trickled over the goal like to give the Devils a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
The Devils held their lead into the late stages of the contest, forcing the Penguins to pull Deslauiers for an extra attacker. After winning a draw with 1:17 remaining in regulation, the line of Kobasew, Ebbett and Beau Bennett, with the Penguins on a conditioning stint from Pittsburgh, charged into the offensive zone.
Bennett crossed the blue line and worked a give-and-go with Kobasew. He then hit the trailer, Brendan Mikkelson, who launched a rocket past Kincaid with 1:04 to go in the third period.
The goal was Bennett’s seventh of the season.
Deslauriers finished with 19 saves to record his 20th win of the season. The Penguins have won two of the three games against Albany this season. They meet again April 5 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Penguins are home Wednesday against the Providence Bruins before traveling to Virginia for a pair of games against the Norfolk Admirals this weekend.
Penguins 3, Albany 2, OT
Scoring-1, Penguins, Kobasew 4 (Ebbett, Dumoulin), 9:11 (PP). Penalties-Payerl Wbs (hooking), 1:53; Payerl Wbs (fighting), 7:50; Kelly Alb (instigating, fighting, misconduct - instigating), 7:50; Kostopoulos Wbs (high-sticking), 11:35.
Scoring- No Scoring.Penalties-Mikkelson Wbs (holding), 8:22.
Scoring-2, Albany, Larsson 3 (Timmins), 0:42. 3, Albany, Zajac 1 7:16. 4, Penguins, Mikkelson 7 (Kobasew, Bennett), 18:56. Penalties-No Penalties
Scoring-5, Penguins, Kobasew 5 (Harrington), 1:22. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Penguins 8-5-7-2-22. Albany 6-5-9-1-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Penguins 1 / 1; Albany 0 / 3.
Goalies-Penguins, Deslauriers 20-15-3 (21 shots-19 saves). Albany, Kinkaid 21-11-4 (22 shots-19 saves).
Referee - Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen - Bill Lyons (27), Matt McNulty (26).