PHILADELPHIA 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
Stefan Ruzicka netted a pair of goals and added an assist as Philadelphia opened the East Division finals with a 5-2 road win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday at the Wachovia Arena.
Ruzicka, who had a team-high 10 points (4-6-10) in 10 regular-season games against the Penguins, tallied the eventual game-winner at 5:23 of the second period.
Rookie Jonathan Matsumoto opened the game’s scoring with a power play marker for Philadelphia at 14:03 of the first period.
The Phantoms then got two goals in a 13-second span during the second. Jared Ross made it a 2-0 game at 5:10, and Ruzicka followed with his first of the night at the aforementioned 5:23 mark.
After the Penguins’ Connor James put his club on the board at 7:23, Ruzicka netted a power play goal with only 13 ticks left in the period, making it a 4-1 game.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Tim Brent notched his league-leading sixth goal of the playoffs at 13:11 of the third, but Philadelphia rookie Andreas Nodl scored into an empty net in the final minute for his first career playoff tally.
Philadelphia goaltender Scott Munroe earned the victory with 31 saves on 33 shots, helping the Phantoms improve to 6-0-0-0 at the Wachovia Arena this season.
The Penguins will host Game 2 of the series on Saturday night.