HERSHEY — After bouncing around between the AHL and the ECHL last season and suiting up for four different teams, goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is hoping for some stability in his second stint with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
“As a hockey player you want stability, but it’s a word that doesn’t seem very common for many of us,” Deslauriers said following Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Hershey Bears.
Still, Deslauriers has brought plenty of stability to the Penguins preseason in the two games he played. On Friday, he stopped all six shots he faced during while in net for the second half against the Rochester Americans. Against the Bears on Saturday, Deslauriers stopped 21-of-23 shots in a period-and-a-half, including some highlight reel saves.
His biggest saves on the night came in the third period when he stopped a one-timer from T.J. Syner in front and a wrister from Chay Genoway who was alone at the post.
Deslauriers attributed his success in net to the Penguins system.
“I know where the shots are going to come from and what we will allow and what we’re not going to give up,” he said. “I had a couple breakdowns that you have to address, but that’s part of the game. I have to take the good and bring it for the next time I get that call.”
When and where that will be isn’t known, as Deslauriers is in camp on a tryout basis. Still, for a player who has bounced around between so many teams over the last few years, Deslauriers does have the advantage of being in familiar territory. He played in 40 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2006-07 and was very familiar with what to expect with playing a game in Hershey, where more than 4,400 fans turned out for an exhibition game.
“Wilkes-Barre and Hershey have a long history and you never come here on a vacation. It’s going to be a tough, gritty game,” he said. “I won here before and I know I can win here again.”
And Deslauriers hopes it will be as a member of the Penguins.
• Despite the lopsided scored, head coach John Hynes saw plenty of positives in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Bears.
“It was a good test for our team and there’s really a lot of positives,” he said. “It wasn’t the best team game overall, but there were a lot of good performances.”
• Adam Payerl scored the lone goal for the Penguins in the first period. Former Penguin David Marshall had two goals and two assists for the Bears.
• Saturday’s game featured plenty of rough stuff. Chris Minella dropped the gloves with Hershey’s David Marshall in a spirited second period scrap. Later, Peter Merth and Brandon Segal dropped the gloves but never got going. In the third period rookie Cody Sylvester, who scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Penguins on Friday, dropped the gloves with Garrett Mitchell and held his own. Later in the game Scott Zurevinski fought Hershey’s Patrick Wellar.
• Andy Chiodo started the first half of Saturday’s game and allowed four goals on 13 shots.
• The Penguins wrap up the preseason tonight at 5:05 p.m. as they host Hershey at the Mohegun Sun Arena. Hynes said forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Brian Dumoulin could make their first appearances of the preseason. D Harrison Ruopp and LW Bobby Farnham won’t play, he said.
• Hynes will have to choose from four goaltenders as far as who gets playing time tonight. In addition to Eric Hartzell, Chiodo and Deslauriers, netminder Peter Mannino is ready to join the mix. Mannino has been out with an injury all of training camp but Hynes said he is ready to return and could see action tonight.