Entering Wednesday night's games at the DCU Center, the Worcester Sharks had the 26th-ranked home power play in the AHL at 13.2 percent while their opponents, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, had an AHL leading 87.8 percent penalty kill on the road.
The result? The Sharks offense exploded with four power play goals on eight opportunities in a 5-1 win over the Penguins. Defenseman Adam Comrie had a four point night, including his first career AHL goal, Bracken Kearns had a three point night with two goals and Harri Sateri made 28 saves for his 13th win of the season as the Sharks moved to within one point of the Connecticut Whale for the eighth seed in the AHL Eastern Conference.
After a scoreless first period that saw seven minor penalties assessed, center Marek Viedensky put the Sharks up 1-0 just 16-seconds into the second period with a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season, when he slammed the puck into an open net after Comrie's blast of a shot from the right point that went a mile wide came in front off the lively end board. Sharks captain John McCarthy was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which was Viedensky's fourth of the season and second in as many games.
The Sharks extended their lead to 2-0 at 16:13 when rookie Daniil Tarasov corralled a Yanni Gourde pass at the side of the net, displayed some fancy stick work and fired a backhander past the blocker of Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for a power play goal, his ninth goal of the season. Sharks rookie Freddie Hamilton was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which held up as the game-winning-goal.
At the start of the third period, the Penguins came out with some added spark to their game but the Sharks were able to weather the storm. At 9:20, Comrie blasted a laser of a shot past Zatkoff from on top of the right face-off circle for a power play goal after corralling a Bracken Kearns pass from the left corner. McCarthy was credited with the secondary assist.
Penguins alternate captain Warren Peters ended Sateri's shutout bid when he deflected a Joe Morrow shot from the left point past Sateri at 10:32 for his 10th goal of the season. Just 74-seconds later, Kearns answered back for the Sharks when he got behind the Penguins defense and slid a backhander past Zatkoff for his team leading 16th goal of the season. Comrie and Sateri were credited with the assists.
Kearns would strike again at 13:44, this time on the power play, for his 17th goal of the season to seal a 5-1 Sharks win. Comrie, who made a sweet across-the-crease pass to Kearns on the right side, and Tarasov were credited with the assists.
NOTES... Shots were 40-29 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 4-for-8 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 13-12-3 with a 2.55 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage... Comrie's game-winning-goal against the Portland Pirates on March 10 was changed to Marek Viedensky's goal... Viedensky now has a two-game goal streak... Tarasov had a game high seven shots on goal... Gourde had an assist and three shots on goal in his first game back with the Sharks after being called up from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on March 11... Gourde had 10 points (4-6-10) with nine penalty minutes, including one fighting major, and 25 shots on goal in eight games played with the Bulls... Also on March 11, defenseman Matt Pelech was returned to Worcester from San Jose while right winger Tommy Grant was reassigned to San Francisco... Mike Brennan (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr) and Denny Urban (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks are 4-0-1 in their last five home games at the DCU Center... This was the second of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0-0 against the Penguins this season, 12-10-1-4 at the DCU Center and 28-23-1-6 with 63 points overall.
1. Bracken Kearns - Sharks (2-1-3)
2. Adam Comrie - Sharks (1-3-4)
3. Marek Viedensky - Sharks (1-0-1)