He’s done it.
After six tries, John Hynes has finally done it.
Win 116 is in the books after beating not only the best team in the East Division but the best team in all the AHL as the Penguins beat the Crunch 3-2 in a thrilling game.
John Hynes is the winningest head coach in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins history.
Jeff Zatkoff vs. Dustin Tokarski. Brian Dumoulin, Jayson Megna, Beau bennett, Tom Kuhnhackl, Steve MacIntyre, Keven Veilleux and Simon Despres were your scratches. Alex Grant moonlighted at forward tonight.
First Period: One of the things that were handcuffing the Pens in the losing streak was 0-27 on the power play. Well, Paul Thompson finally broke through to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. Alex Killorn then tied the game but :14 later off a faceoff Joey Mormina shot a puck which must have surprised Tokarski and it beat him, giving the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Jeff Zatkoff was really sharp and on form this period and really all game, making save after saves.
Second Period: Penguins power play was really scrambly after the Thompson goal. Syracuse easily killed every chance afterward and nearly scored shorthanded on a few. Even strength, Eric Tangradi shot a puck that Trevor Smith scored on a rebound giving the Pens a 3-1 lead. Later, Tyler Johnson copies the rebound goal and makes it 3-2.
Third Period: No scoring, but the period and game overall really felt like a heavyweight fight. Crunch don’t register a shot on goal until about 7:44 left in the third period. Pens really clamped down and didn’t allow the Crunch to get to Zatkoff, and when they did, Zatkoff was up to the task. Crunch pulled Tokarski late, got a power play, but the Pens held on and won.
Three Stars: 3) Alex Killorn (goal, even) 2) Radko Gudas (two assists, +2) and 1) Trevor Smith (game winning goal, +2)
Around the Division: Hershey is shutout at home by the Springfield Falcons 1-0. Binghamton rolls Rochester 5-1. The Norfolk Admirals won in overtime 2-1 vs. the Albany Devils.
Standings: Things are getting tight in the division. Syracuse 38 — Binghamton 35 — Pennguins 30 — Hershey 30 — Norfolk 27
Conference: 1) SYR (38) 2) SPR (37) 3) POR (34) 4) BNG (35) 5) PRO (32) 6) WOR (31) 7) WBS (30) 8) HER (30)
SendToNews Highlights: May be up at some point. I will link in if I see them.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers have won six games in a row. They beat the Elmira Jackals 4-2.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Next blog update may not be until the Gameday setup against Hershey on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) – You can always follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or now on Instagram and have a see at the terrible pictures I take and put up there. I am late to all this popular stuff.