Brian Gibbons has been a scratch lately. It’s perplexed me because it doesn’t seem that he is ever at issue whenever something goes awry for the Pens. John Hynes & Company have seen it another way, because Gibbons hasn’t been seen in a few games now.
Tonight, he drew back into the lineup and made his presence felt for all sixty minutes.
Riding a two goal game by Penguins rookie Tom Kuhnhackl, Gibbons and Kuhnhackl turn in a three point night and the Penguins defeat the Albany Devils 5-4 in a shootout.
A game, by all rights, the Penguins should have lost. Stark contrast by the game last night vs. Toronto. In fact, if the Pens would have lost this game, “Eggs for Sale” would have been the headline for this postgamer.
They didn’t, and are red hot. 8-2 in the last ten games after starting the season 0-4.
Brad Thiessen vs. Keith Kinkaid – The aforementioned Brian Gibbons and Tom Kuhnhackl were back in the lineup joined by Dylan Reese, Philip Samuelsson and Alex Grant. Lots of shuffling going on.
First Period: Simon Despres, who by all accounts had an awful game, had his pocket picked on the Devils blueline by Mattias Tedenby and the Devils were on the board first. Then Brian Gibbons fed Tom Kuhnhackl from below the goal line for the rookie’s first AHL goal. They reversed places later and Kuhnhackl fed Gibbons to make it 2-1. Then, on an Albany power play, Bobby Butler scores from the slot to make it 2-2. A huge goal for the Devils at the time, because their power play is putrid, I mean there is no other way nicely to put it. It is dead last. At the buzzer, Trevor Smith scores to make it 3-2.
Phew. What a period for both teams who played two games before and had to travel to get here.
Second Period: Nice flow between the two teams. Lots of good back and forth. Through a period of penalties, both teams come out unscathed. Then, locked out NHL-er Adam Henrique scores a nifty goal over the glove of Thiessen to even things at three a side.
Third Period: I’ll tell you. The Penguins just let the Devils run around on them. I haven’t seen much of the Devils this season, so really am not intelligent enough to speak on the last place showing they have put up so far, but it almost looked as if the Penguins were playing down to them. Penguins get a power play, Jacob Josefson scores a shorthanded goal on a rush after picking the pocket of Simon Despres. Later, Kuhnhackl set up by Jasyon Megna in the slot and he rifles it past Kinkaid to bring it even at four again. Both teams had chances late but it was on to….
Overtime: Nothing to see here. On to….
Shootout: Four rounds, no one scores. Jasyon Megna with a pretty dangle move and he scored the only goal in the shootout in Round 5.
Three Stars: 3) Bobby Butler (goal, assist, +1) 2) Brian Gibbons (goal, two assists, +2) and 1) Tom Kuhnhackl (two goals, assist +3)
Penguins are off again until Friday when they face the high flying Syracuse Crunch team.
Around the Division: The aforementioned Syracuse team absolutely bombed the Worcester Sharks 6-1. How deep are the Crunch? Eleven players registered a point in the win for the Crunch. The Bears are back in the win column beating the Toronto Marlies 4-2 in Chocolatetown. Hershey’s Jon DiSalvatore registered his 500th AHL point in the game.
Standings: Syracuse 26 — Binghamton 22 — Penguins 22 — Hershey 15 — Norfolk 14
Conference: 1) SYR (26) 2) SPR (24) 3) MCH (21) 4) BNG (22) 5) WBS (22) 6) BRI (20) 7)WOR (20) 8) CT (19)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
SendtoNews Highlights: Since it’s a neutral site, no idea if highlights will go up or not. Here is the website. If they go up later I will throw a link in.
I have to come up with some blog content between now and Friday. Don’t want this postgamer to sit stale all week up on the blog. Check back.