Pens score first.
A power play goal.
Scored by Brian Dumoulin.
In the first period.
Pens hang on the remainder of the game and get a 23 save shutout by Brad Thiessen and win 1-0.
Really had to check myself during both intermissions to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, with the losing funk that the Pens have been in of recent.
I said on the blog here this afternoon that this game vs. the Bears was a must win for the Penguins. The Pens certainly played like it tonight. The Bears, who won 7 straight road games, down two players due to in game injuries (Jeff Taffe and Evan Barlow, both first period) valiantly give the Penguins all they can handle in the third period. It seemed at times that you were waiting for things to go wrong for the Pens, but it never happened.
A great win, by all accounts. About time and long overdue.
Brad Thiessen vs. Dany Sabourin – Pens scratched Joe Morrow, Alex Grant, Eric Tangradi and Simon Despres. According to reports Tangradi and Despres are already in Pittsburgh for training camp.
First Period: Quick moving first half of the period. Then Boyd Kane sits for a tripping call. The Pens score a power play goal when Brian Dumoulin scores on a shot from the blue line to put the Pens up 1-0.
Second Period: Bears start to buzz. They get a power play. Penguins penalty kill does its job. Zach Sill’s line of he, MacIntyre and Dominik Uher had some great shifts this period. Pens blocked a lot of shots this period because there was a point where the Bears had a ton of offensive zone time but only 12 shots on goal to show. Ryan Stoa hit the top of Thiessen’s crossbar for a scare late in the period.
Third Period: Bobby Farnham takes what will probably go down as the dumbest penalty of the year. Joey Mormina is lugging a puck up the ice in the neutral zone. Tomas Kundratek comes over and puts a check on him and puts Mormina on his wallet. Farnham comes in and cross checks Kundratek. Easiest penalty call referee Dave Lewis will make all season. Thankfully, the Penguins killed it behind Brad Thiessen’s two saves on Ryan Potulny, one with his mask and the other with his glove. Penalty kill was spot on, because the Penguins would have to kill a Riley Holzapfel interference. Credit the Bears, down two men in the game due to injury, for playing the Penguins all the way to the end.
Three Stars: 3) Beau Bennett (assist, even) 2) Brian Dumoulin (goal, even) and 1) Brad Thiessen (23 save shutout)
Around the Division: Points for everyone else in the division tonight. The Binghamton Senators lost 3-2 in a shootout to tomorrow’s opponent the Adirondack Phantoms and the Norfolk Admirals lost in overtime at home vs. the Syracuse Crunch 3-2.
Standings: Syracuse 53 — Binghamton 48 — Hershey 36 — Penguins 35 — Norfolk 31
Conference: 1) SYR (53) 2) SPR (44) 3) POR 4) BNG (48) 5) WOR (41) 6) PRO (38) 7) MCH (38) 8) BRI (38) 10) WBS (35)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers won in a shootout down in Reading by a score of 5-4. Keven Veilleux was assigned there this morning, played and was pointless.
SendToNews Highlights: Are here. Will probably be added to as time goes on.
I’ll be in the pressbox tomorrow night freelancing for Michael Cignoli who does a tremendous job covering the Adirondack Phantoms for The Saratogian. So my tweets will be reporting on the game vs. cheering on the game.
Gameday for that affair will be here on the blog Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!