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Penguins Unload Seven In Albany

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NHL veteran Miroslav Satan, playing his first AHL game in nearly 14 years, had a goal and three assists to lead the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins past the River Rats at the former Knickerbocker Arena.

Satan, 34, was named the game's first star. His goal, which gave the visitors a 4-1 lead 3:56 into the second period, was his first in the AHL since netting a hat trick for the Cape Breton Oilers in a 5-3 loss to Prince Edward Island on March 29, 1995. His last AHL game was three days later.

Defenseman Andy Wozniewski had two goals for the Pens (42-22-2-2), who beat Albany for the second time in four days. Today's game was a makeup from Feb. 22, postponed following the Rats team bus crash three days prior.

Albany trailed 2-0 in the game's first 6:56, and were down, 4-2, heading into the third period. Mike Angelidis and Jerome Samson had the Rats goals, Samson extending his goal streak to four games.

Its losing streak now at three games, Albany finished 1-4 on their four-game, six-day homestand. The Rats return to action Friday night in Providence.

NOTES: Defenseman Bryan Rodney was lost due to injury in the second period, and did not play the third ..... The Brooks brothers, new majority owners of the Philadelphia Phantoms, visited with Pens coach Todd Reirden after the game. The brothers also own Wilkes-Barre's ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, and are eyeing the Glens Falls Civic Center as a possible temporary home for the Phantoms franchise until a new arena is built in Allentown, PA.

WB/Scranton 3 1 3

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http://dailygazette.com/weblogs/janack/200...guins-postgame/

The River Rats followed a familiar script to close their four-game homestand, falling behind early and never catching up in what turned into a 7-2 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the former Knickerbocker Arena.

Albany was down, 2-0, less than seven minutes into the game, 3-1 after one period and 4-2 heading into the third, when the Pens tacked on three more goals. The seven allowed matched a Rats season high, reached Dec. 6 at Wilkes-Barre (L 7-3) and Feb. 14 at home to Lowell (L 7-4).

"I thought it was a lot better start tonight. We had some chances but we woudln't shoot the puck," Rats head coach-GM Jeff Daniels said. "We had two two-on-ones early and a power play early and didn't get any shots on it.

"Then they go down and score and we're a very fragile team right now that's struggling with confidence. It's tough to come back when you get yourself in a hole lke that, and unfortunately, that's what we've been doing lately."

With their third straight loss, the Rats fell to 29-32-3-3 and are looking at a bleak, at best, playoff picture. With 64 points and only 14 games left, the most they can finish with is 92. Binghamton, holders of the East Division's last playoff spot, has 80 points with 12 games left. Any combination of 12 points, either won by the Senators or lost by Albany, will add up to elimination.

"It's frustrating, not coming out with the efforts that we want to, especially against a team like that," defenseman Mark Flood said. "Our goal is not to give up and never lose faith. We've got a real good group of guys in this room. At points it is frustrating. It would be nice to have a better result, especially at home."

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Bryan Rodney, the Rats top defensive scorer with 32 points (3g, 29a) in 49 games, was hurt midway through the second period and did not return. He is out indefinitely.

"We're not sure how long that will be," Daniels said. "That could be a big loss if it's for an extended period of time."

Rodney and Brett Carson are not only Albany's top defensive pairing, but they are on the Rats' top power-play and penalty kill units.

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NHL veteran Miroslav Satan, 34, made his debut for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, scoring one goal and setting up three more in his first AHL game since April 1, 1995 with the Cape Breton Oilers.

His power-play goal 3:56 into the second period gave the Pens a 4-1 lead. It was his first goal at the AHL level since scoring a hat trick for Cape Breton in a 5-3 loss to Prince Edward Island on March 29, 1995.

"I don't remember much. I remember a few players and coaches I played for and played with," Satan said. 'The game itself I didn't know what to expect. The first period I was just trying to wait to see what was going on out there.

"Being on a new team and playing with new guys against a team which you never seen before, I didn't know what to expecct. For me, it was more of a learning proccess how things work so I can adjust my game to it."

Pens coach and ex-Rats defenseman Todd Reirden has been impressed by Satan since his arrival last Thursday, more than a week after he cleared NHL waivers and was assigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins to clear salary cap space. Satan is making $3.5 million this season.

"Since the minute he got down here, he's been extremely professional," Reirden said. "His work ethic's been great and his attitude's been phenomenal. He's fit in really well and, obviously, his skill level takes care of itself out there. He made some really nice plays.

"It's not an easy situation. We've spent a lot of time talking about it. He's played in the National Hockey League for a thousand straight games, and to come back to this league, you have two choices to make. Certainly, from the start of things here he has taken the high road. I'm really happy with what he's shown us so far."

Satan has 354 goals and 721 points in 1,012 games for four NHL teams, reaching the Stanley Cup finals with Buffalo in 1999.

"He's a 40-goal scorer in the NHL and he showed that on his goal," Daniels said. "Just the patience of kind of taking that little extra step and putting it off the post and in. That's an NHL goal and that's why he's played for so long and done so well up there. He's another guy to add to their lineup that's already stacked to begin with. They're going to be a tough team to beat.

"Obviously, he's a guy that can score. He's good on the power play on the half-wall and down low. Anytime you get guy that comes down, you don't want to show him too much respect and be in awe of him. This past week, we spent too much time on our heels and gave them too much time and space. It's no different tonight with him. You have to play him hard, just like anybody else."

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Jerome Samson buried a power-play rebound in the third period to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games and make him the third Rat to reach 20 on the season, after Michael Ryan, now with the Carolina Hurricanes, and captain Pat Dwyer ..... Brandon Sutter was scoreless and minus-1 with four shots for Albany. He was formally assigned to the Rats on Monday by Carolina, eight days after returning from a two-week conditioning assignment ..... With Sutter's return, forward Patrick Bordeleau was returned to ECHL Florida .....

Ex-Rats forward Chris Minard remains tied for Wilkes-Barre's single-season goal-scoring record with 31 .... Meanwhile, teammate Janne Pesonen had two assists to give him 68 points, breaking Toby Petersen's single-season scoring record set in 2000-01. When told of Pesonen's mark, Pens defenseman Ben Lovejoy quipped, "Miro will break that by Sunday." ..... Lovejoy (plus-41) and partner and ex-Rat Joey Mormina (plus-36), who rank 1-2 in the AHL in plus-minus, were not on the ice for any of the nine goals scored .....

Albany does not play again until Friday night in Providene. Its next home game is March 22, when the Rats will wear special McDonald's-themed sweaters that will be auctioned off for charity. Game time vs. Philadelphia is 5 p.m.

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