ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Penguins' tight defence shut down the IceCaps and helped clinch a playoff spot in the process.
Dominik Uher scored two goals and Jeff Zatkoff posted a 19-save shutout as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defeated St. John's 3-0 in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
Bobby Farnham had two assists and Paul Thompson added a single for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (41-28-4).
The first period featured a total of only eight shots, but that didn't surprise IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge.
"Well, we know they've allowed the fewest goals against in the league, they defend well," he said. "We realized we had to work to get to the net front, we had to play in those hard areas, we had to find ways to get past their first layer. We didn't find ways to do that."
St. John's (31-35-6) had 16 saves from Mark Dekanich.
The Penguins got on the board regardless thanks to a giveaway in the IceCaps' zone, which Uher scored on at 17:41.
IceCaps defenceman Travis Ramsey tried to send a no-look pass out of the zone, but it was picked off. Farnham fired a shot on net that Uher tipped past Dekanich on only the second and final Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shot of the period.
The second period saw a lot more jump from St. John's, with the team putting 12 pucks on net, but they got the same result.
St. John's newly-acquired centre Mathieu Tousignant, playing in his first game with the club after being loaned from the Texas Stars, felt the game was closer than the scoreline.
"We could have ended up with a better hand, we had a couple chances tonight, but that's the way it is," said Tousignant.
"That's the beauty with hockey, we play them again tomorrow."
The Penguins extended their lead to two on Uher's second goal of the night at 9:08.
Farnham again fired the puck on the net for Uher to tip in, but this tip bounced off the ice and snuck past Dekanich.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton added an insurance goal at 12:22 from Thompson.
The IceCaps got caught pinching as Will O'Neill and Ramsey were both up ice when Thompson found ice behind them.
A nifty breakout pass set him off on the breakaway and he made a nifty backhand-forehand move before shelving the puck for his 19th goal of the year.
The rough stuff broke out in a big way at 10:20 in the third period after an elbow by St. John's Kael Mouillierat got under the Penguins' skin.
A total of 36 penalty minutes were assessed, including two misconducts.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0 for 5 on the power play and St. John's was 0 for 2.