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Penguins jump on Monsters' backup goalie to romp, 5-2

Mar. 18—Jet Greaves needed a night off. Unfortunately for the Monsters, backup goaltender Malcolm Subban had an off night in his debut as a member of Cleveland's AHL team.

The visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored twice on Subban in the first period, once in the second and twice in the third period on March 18 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to topple the Monsters, 5-2. One day earlier, the Monsters edged the Penguins, 3-2, in overtime with Greaves between the pipes.

Greaves was first in the AHL in saves (1,149), third in appearances (40) and first in wins (27) before any games March 18 were played.

Subban, acquired on March 8 by the Columbus Blue Jackets from the St. Louis Blues for future considerations, was 11-14-4-0 with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL in 2023-24 before being traded to the Blue Jackets, who assigned him directly to the Monsters. The Blue Jackets are the Monsters' parent club in the NHL.

"Subbs has been here for over a week now," Monsters coach Trent Vogelhuber said after the game. "We know he's a good goalie so we wanted to get him in there.

"They (the Penguins) scored a couple faceoff goals on point shots and three goals they got a tip in front. We know that's how they play. They want to shoot with traffic in front and they got rewarded three times. We have to be better blocking shots and have to pick up (the opponent's) sticks when they find their way in. It's something we talked about. We just didn't do a good enough job of it."

Subban was a first-round draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 2012. The 30-year-old netminder, who last played in the NHL in 2021-22 when he appeared in four games with the Buffalo Sabres, stopped higher quality chances by the Penguins on March 18 than the goals he allowed.

The Monsters offense sputtered without their top three scorers, all of whom were recalled by the Blue Jackets this month. They managed to beat the Griffins and Penguins, both 3-2 in overtime, without Trey Fix-Wolansky, Jake Christiansen and Brendan Gaunce, but the magic didn't work in the rematch with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jake Gaudet and James Malatesta scored goals for the Monsters, who are now 35-19-3-3 with 12 games left in the regular season. The Monsters are first in the North Division with 76 points. Syracuse, with a game in hand, is second in the division with 74 points.