Penguins get their first hat trick in 14 months from defenseman Alex Picard as the Penguins roll to a 4-1 win over the Worcester Sharks in front of a sold out crowd at home.
Scott Munroe vs. Tyson Sexsmith
Jason Williams was scratched, likely because Joe Vitale was banged up today in New Jersey. Williams will most likely get called up tomorrow morning (officially) as Pittsburgh plays Philadelphia tomorrow in the city of brotherly love. EDIT: In his post game wrap on his blog, Coach John Hynes told Pens beat writer Jonathan Bombulie that Williams was scratched due to personal reasons. Swing and a miss by me!
First Period: Worcester had the early pressure bout Munroe and the Pens defense held them off the scoreboard. It went this way for about seven minutes. Then, out of the TV timeout, the Penguins offense sprung to life. Alex Picard fired a shot on goal that Sexsmith never saw. Then, on the power play, Simon Despres fired a shot on goal that Captain Ryan Craig cleaned up the rebound and potted home to put the Pens up 2-0. Then three consecutive brawls with Brandon DeFazio fighting James Livingston, Carl Sneep fighting Matt Pelech and Geoff Walker fighting Curt Gogol. Penguins would get another power play goal in the period, this time from Alex Picard to make it 3-0. This would spell the end of Tyson Sexsmith who was relieved by backup goaltender Harri Sateri.
Second Period: I said at the time that the Penguins were looking to protect the three goal lead, as I just had the feeling Worcester wasn’t done and they were still in it. Period was really a back and forth battle, with the Pens preserving a three goal lead not really giving Worcester any solid looks on goal.
Third Period: Another power play goal by Alex Picard, and the Penguins had their first hat trick of the season. They also had a hat giveaway this night as part of a ticket deal so there were some extra hats on the ice. Sharks would later score on a power play of their own when John McCarthy busted up the Munroe shutout bid.
Three Stars: 3) Scott Munroe (27 saves on 28 shots) 2) Cal O’Reilly (three assists, +1) and 1) Alex Picard (hat trick, +1)
Around the Division: Hershey beat Albany 3-2 in a shootout. Syracuse beat Adirondack 5-2 and Binghamton lost in overtime to the Rochester Americans 4-3.
Standings: Admirals 91, Pens 81, Bears 76, Crunch 66, Senators 55
Conference: 1-NOR (91) 2-StJ (83) 3-CT (74) 4-WBS (81) 5-HER (76) 6-BRI (72) 7-MCH (67) 8-SYR (66)
The battle for seventh and eighth in the Conference is a tight one all the way to fourteenth, with the Providence Bruins there with 61 points.
The Binghamton Senators are in tomorrow for a 3 p.m. start, Gameday will be up on the blog here at 11 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!