The Penguins mount a third period comeback in the City of Brotherly love and win 2-1.
But I am not taking this as an impressive win because the Phantoms are the worst team in the AHL. The Penguins looked inert all game and got late goals from unlikely places. Bobby Farnham on a goal that surprised people then Brian Gibbons on a garbage goal.
Christiaan Minella was signed to a PTO this morning as Chris Collins was injured in practice yesterday blocking a shot off his foot in practice per Tom Grace in pre-game.
Brad Thiessen vs. Cal Heeter. Reid McNeill took warmups but was scratched.
First Period: Minella was out with a line of Zach Sill and Adam Payerl and they had some early chances but weren’t able to get one past Heeter. Then the Penguins find themselves defending a 1:05 5-on-3 against. Right as the first power play expired, Marcel Noebels put one past Thiessen as Brad was caught out of position not being able to corral a Phantom shot. Penguins get a power play late but it looked awful. Gain center ice, dump it in, chase, lose out on a puck battle, Phantoms clear. Gain center ice again, rinse and repeat.
Second Period: Penguins allow the Phantoms just three shots on goal in the period, just one through fifteen minutes. Couple of fights, including Farnham and Ian Slater with Slater getting the better of Farnham.
I got the sense that the Penguins were totally off their game. No physicality. When they had a little bit, they were totally overwhelmed and outmatched by bigger guys. You had at one point the 5’11 Jayson Megna going after the much bigger Tom Sestito.
Third Period: Dominik Uher gets high sticked by Brandon Manning. Blood is drawn. Penguins get a 4:00 power play. They manage ZERO shots on goal during the ENTIRE power play. Things looked bleak. Then, the Penguins hem the Phantoms in their own end and Bobby Farnham gets the puck and sneaks one past Heeter. Then, right after that, Brian Gibbons scores a garbage goal off of a rebound of a Jayson Megna shot. Phantoms later pull Heeter but are unable to get the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Brian Gibbons (goal, +1) 2) Cal Heeter (26 saves on 28 shots) and 1) Brad Thiessen 29 saves on 30 shots)
Around the Division: Providence shuts out Norfolk in Virginia 3-0. Binghamton beats Hershey in a shootout 5-4 after Nathan Lawson starts the game, tells his coach that he doesn’t feel right, Bears tie the game but lose in the shootout. The Crunch were off tonight.
Standings: Syracuse 68 — Binghamton 67 — Penguins 57 — Hershey 56 — Norfolk 48
Conference: 1) SYR (68) 2) SPR (67) 3) PRO (65) 4) BNG (67) 5) POR (62) 6) WBS (57) 7) HER (56) 8) CT (56)
SendToNews Highlights: Probably won’t be up either because it’s an NHL building or later. I will check at some point tomorrow.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost in Toledo to the Walleye 5-2. Keven Veilleux was a -4. Ouch.
Penguins travel home to faceoff against the Connecticut Whale in front of a sold out crowd at 7:05. Gameday will be up at 3:00 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!