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Penguins punch playoff ticket again

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins clinched a berth in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown, Pa., on Wednesday night.

Kasperi Kapanen, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, notched a goal and an assist in his North American pro debut and Matt Murray, named to the AHL All-Rookie Team earlier in the day, stopped 30 shots for his 12th shutout of the season, one shy of the AHL record.

This will be the 13th consecutive postseason appearance — fifth under head coach John Hynes — for the Penguins (41-23-3-4, 89 points), the longest active streak in the league and the sixth-longest in AHL history. The Pens have also secured their 10th consecutive 40-win season.

Wilkes-Barre has won at least one series in 12 of the franchise’s 13 playoff appearances all-time, reaching the Calder Cup Finals in 2001, 2004 and 2008. The Penguins were Eastern Conference finalists in both 2013 and 2014.

Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs. For more information and daily updates on the playoff races, check out the official AHL Playoff Primer.