Sebastien Caron made 32 saves as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won a big gut-check game in Hershey on Sunday, shutting out the red-hot Bears, 3-0, before 6,550 fans at the Giant Center.
The win capped a hectic four days for the Penguins, a span that began with the promotion of head coach Michel Therrien to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Wilkes-Barre won two of its three games on the weekend, improving to 23-2-2-1 on the season and opening up a five-point lead over Hershey atop the East Division.
Lasse Pirjeta, who joined the Penguins from Pittsburgh as part of Thursday’s shakeup, tallied a goal and an assist for Wilkes-Barre, as did Guillaume Lefebvre. Colby Armstrong added his 10th goal of the season.
Caron is 2-1-0 in three starts for Wilkes-Barre this season. The shutout was the ninth of his AHL career.
The Bears lost in regulation for just the second time in their last 22 games. Hershey is 1-3-0-1 against the Penguins this season, and 18-2-2-3 against the rest of the AHL.
Elsewhere on Sunday:
Patrick Lalime made 44 saves and Jon DiSalvatore scored on the fifth and final shootout attempt as Peoria snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over Chicago… Mark Cullen‘s hat trick led Norfolk to a 5-2 win at Bridgeport… Dan Ellis earned his third win in just over 48 hours, making 23 saves as Iowa beat Omaha, 3-1… Jarkko Immonen and Nigel Dawes scored in the second period to help Hartford beat Lowell, 3-1, the Wolf Pack’s 12th straight game with a point (8-0-1-3)… Greg Classen broke a tie on a 5-on-3 power play at 6:08 of the third period, and Milwaukee held on for a 5-4 win over Cleveland… Corey Perry scored another goal, Ryan Getzlaf recorded two more assists and Gregg Naumenko made 34 saves as Portland moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-1 win over Albany… Cory Pecker‘s second goal of the game came with 6:15 left in regulation and helped Binghamton to a 5-3 win at Rochester… J.F. Racine made 27 saves as Toronto doubled up Hamilton, 4-2… Eric Manlow scored twice as Grand Rapids snapped a five-game slide with a 4-3 win over Syracuse.