The 2013–14 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season is the franchise's 15th season in the American Hockey League, which began on October 5, 2013. The team saw several roster changes from the previous season, including the loss of its top three scorers.
A Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Hall of Fame was created to celebrate the team's 15th season, with the inaugural inductions to be two players and a builder who will be voted on by fans, media and personnel. Effective this season, Mike O'Brien became the Penguins' play-by-play announcer, replacing long-time broadcaster Tom Grace. Teddy Richards, who had been the WBS Penguins equipment manager for 11 years, was promoted to the Pittsburgh Penguins staff. Over the summer, WBS Penguins head coach John Hynes ran the on-ice portion of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization's development camp, and later coached the Penguins' prospects in a rookie tournament that started in London, Ontario. They were ultimately eliminated from the tournament by a 3-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks' rookies.
Before the preseason began, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's starting goaltender Jeff Zatkoff temporarily became the Pittsburgh Penguins back-up goalie due to Tomas Vokoun suffering an injury. Following a training camp began on September 21 at Ice Rink at Coal Street Park, the Penguins played four preseason games: two against the Rochester Americans on September 25 and 27, and two against the Hershey Bears on September 28 and 29. Both Rochester match-ups were decided in overtime, with the Penguins losing the first one 3–2, and winning the second 2–1. Cody Sylvester's game-winner was initially waved off by the referee, but upon further review was deemed a good goal. The Penguins also split their preseason series against Hershey. They lost 6–1 in the first game, with Adam Payerl scoring their only goal, but won the second game 2–1, with Samuelsson scoring the game-winner. Manderson and Minella were loaned to ECHL's Wheeling Nailers after the preseason games concluded.
2013–14 Preseason Game Log: 2–1–1–0 (Home: 2–1–0–0; Road: 0–0–1–0)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won their first six games of the season, marking their best start since winning nine straight games in 2010–11. They scored a league-leading 27 goals in the season's first six games, compared to 15 goals in that time the previous season, and they showed particular strength in the third period, where they outscored their opponents 15–4 across the six games. They won their season opener 5–2 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on October 5, breaking the tie with two goals 11 seconds apart in the third period. Chris Conner scored two goals, including the game-winner. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also won their home opener on October 12, defeating the Hershey Bears 3–1 after scoring two goals in the final three minutes. The Penguins defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6–3 the next day, coming back from a 2–1 deficit by scoring five goals in the third period. Kostopoulos scored two power play goals in the game.
Brian Gibbons scored five goals for the Penguins in October, becoming the second-leading scorer in the league.
Zolnierczyk and Conner, each of whom had three goals in the first three games of the season, were called up to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly afterward. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next won three games in as many days from October 18 to 20, including a 3–2 comeback victory over the Worcester Sharks on October 19 in which they scored three goals in the third period, two of which came from Tom Kühnhackl. They also defeated the Manchester Monarchs 4–3 the next day when Mikkelson scored within 22 seconds of the overtime period. Gibbons had two goals and two assists, marking his fourth multi-point game in six games. Forward Jayson Megna was recalled to the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 24, while Conner and Zolnierczyk were sent back down.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton suffered their first loss of the season on October 25, falling 4–3 to the Binghamton Senators. The Penguins rallied from a 3–1 deficit in the third period to tie the game, bringing their third period rate of outscoring opponents to 17–4, but nevertheless lost in the shootout. Gibbons scored his fifth goal of the season and 14th point, making him the second-leading scorer in the league. The game marked the seventh consecutive game with the Penguins scoring at least three goals, but also the first in which they allowed a power play goal in the first period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton saw their first regulation loss on October 26 in a 2–1 decision against the Norfolk Admirals. In contrast to their previously strong third periods, the Penguins gave up the tie-breaking goal, took three penalties and failed to capitalize on two power plays. Goalie Eric Hartzell, who had not played a game all season due to an injury, was assigned to ECHL's Wheeling Nailers on October 31.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won two consecutive games against the Hershey Bears on November 1 and 2, the first time having done so since 2005. The Penguins won the first 3–2 in overtime after Mikkelson scored a power play goal with 25 seconds left in the extra period. Deslauriers also stopped a penalty shot from winger Matt Watkins in overtime. The game marked the third time in four games that the Penguins won after trailing the first two periods. The Penguins won the second Hershey game 4–2, coming back from an early 2–0 deficit after scoring on three of 22 shots in the second period.
* = Division leaders are seeded 1, 2, and 3 in Conference standings.
The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. y–indicates team has clinched division and a playoff spot x–indicates team has clinched a playoff spot e–indicates team has been eliminated from playoff contention
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins entered the Calder Cup playoffs as the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. They began the playoffs playing the Binghamton Senators where they went on to win the series in 4 games. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals they had a rematch from last season against the Providence Bruins. The series ended in a thrilling Game 7 where the Penguins claimed an early 5–0 lead in the 2nd period and the Bruins scored a shorthanded goal late in the period. They would add 3 more goals in the 3rd to come within one of tying, but the Penguins were able to hold on and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season.
They faced the St. John's IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Finals where they fell behind 3-1 after game 4. They were able to force a game 6 where they eventually lost 5-0 and the IceCaps won the Richard F. Canning Trophy.
2014 Calder Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Binghamton Senators: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won series 3–1