Though the Connecticut Whale dropped a pair of games this past weekend to open up the AHL season, forwards Kris Newbury and Kyle Jean are off to fast starts, and the team's power play has been blistering hot.
Newbury (pictured), the 30 year-old veteran center, scored a pair of goals in Friday night's 6-4 loss to Bridgeport and added another Sunday afternoon against St. John's. Newbury, who has scored his three goals while taking only seven shots, is tied for the early-season league-lead in goal scoring with Tyler Johnson of Syracuse. All three of his goals have been scored on the power play where the Whale have excelled, converting on five of its first 12 opportunities this saeson.
Jean, the 22 year-old rookie, followed up an impressive goal and assist debut Friday by netting a power play goal on Sunday. He has taken a team-high 12 shots so far and is the only player to hold a positive plus/minus rating (+1) after two games.
Both Newbury and Jean have three points, two shy of the league-lead of five held by Syracuse's Cory Conacher.
Ranger first-round draft picks Chris Kreider (2009) and JT Miller (2011) both have two points throught the first pair of games with the Whale. Both Kreider and Miller earned assists on Friday and picked up an assist each on Sunday.
With Cam Talbot sidelined with a foot injury, Jason Missiaen and Scott Stajcer each received a start in goal for the Whale this past weekend. Missiaen took the loss on Friday night, lasting two periods and surrendering five goals on 38 shots. Stajcer, who closed out the game vs. Bridgeport, went the distance on Sunday, stopping 22 of 25 shots in a 3-2 defeat.
The Whale are off today and return to practice Tuesday. They skate on the road against Norfolk Friday and Saturday nights.