LOWELL, Mass. — Adam Berkhoel probably took a nap when the bus departed Tsongas Arena Wednesday night.
He probably sported an ear-to-ear grin, too.
Berkhoel faced 46 shots and stopped them all in powering the Penguins to a 5-0 whitewash of the Lowell Devils.
Offensively, the visitors put the game away with four second-period goals.
The game was close throughout the first period, as both teams were getting scoring chances but neither could convert. The Devils outshot the Penguins 17-10 in the first period, but Berkhoel got to every loose puck to keep the game scoreless.
The second period started just like the first. For the opening eight minutes of play, both teams were evenly matched. The game remained scoreless until Penguins center Jeff Taffe scored on a deflection in front of the Devils goal.
After a Lowell defensive miscue, defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote made a quick pass to Janne Pesonen, who fired a shot at the top of the left circle. Taffe tipped the shot past Lowell goalie Scott Clemmensen to take the 1-0 lead.
The first goal was a spark for the Pens, as they went on to score two more goals in 4:22. Winger Chris Minard skated through the top of the left circle before firing a quick shot over the right shoulder of Clemmensen for a 2-0 advantage.
Just 29 seconds later, Taffe netted his second goal of the contest after T.J. Kemp made a great pass in the slot to find Taffe, who shot a one-timer past the left pad of Clemmensen.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored again to make it 4-0 with 1:14 remaining in the second period. Pens winger Luca Caputi took the puck behind the net as Clemmensen slid to his right to protect the wide post. Caputi slammed on the brakes and made a great play, stickhandling by a Lowell defenseman and tucking the puck into the net.
Lowell replaced Clemmensen with Dave Caruso in net for the third period, but the Penguins added another goal with just under three minutes to play. Pesonen sniped a quick shot over Caruso’s left shoulder for an unassisted goal to lead 5-0.
The Penguins continue their lengthy road trip with a game at Manchester tonight.