Coach John Hynes has said in recents weeks that the Penguins cannot rely on the top line to do all the work.
It worked tonight. The third line did it all for Wilkes-Barre.
Goals by Anton Zlobin (2) Tom Kuhnhackl and Dominik Uher (with an empty netter by Brian Dumoulin at the end) and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins mount another third period comeback and takedown the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-3 in front of the biggest crowd of the year, 8,188 fans.
Oh, and they scored the goals four different ways: shorthanded (Uher) even strength (Zlobin, twice) power play (Kuhnhackl) and empty net (Dumoulin)
Jeff Deslauriers won his 16th game of the season, tied for first in wins among AHL goaltenders.
Jason Missiaen vs. the aforesaid Deslauriers.
In warmups, the recently recalled Scott Stajcer hadn’t made it to the arena on time for the Wolf Pack so Missiaen took warmups alone.
No lineup changes for Wilkes-Barre.
First Period: Dominik Uher scores a shorthanded goal on a funky shot that just beats Missiaen for a 1-0 Pens lead early. Reid McNeill would scrap with Michael Haley in a nice bout. Then the newly acquired TJ Hensick would score to bring the Wolf Pack to even again, in a period which was largely dominated by Hartford and evidence by the two shots taken by the Penguins in the period.
Second Period: Danny Kristo burns a WBS D-man and scores off a long breakout pass to him to put the Wolf Pack ahead 2-1. Anton Zlobin would score his first of the night to bring the Pens even at two a piece again. Then Hensick picks off a WBS exit bid, and you know how those normally go, this time was no different and the Pens trailed again 3-2. Shots through two periods were 17-9 Hartford.
Third Period: Pens get a power play about midway through. You almost got the sense that they needed to score here. They did, Tom Kuhnhackl ties the game at three all. Then, Zlobin crashes the net and scores to put the Penguins ahead 4-3. The Pens really swarmed the ‘Pack in the period, outshooting them 17-2. They took control of the game in the third and used it to win.
Dumoulin tacks on an empty netter and that was that.
Three Stars: 3) Tom Kuhnhackl (goal, +1) 2) Scott Harrington (three assists, +1) and 1) Anton Zlobin (two goals, +2)
Nice game by the third line. Uher / Kuhnhackl had been struggling offensively and Zlobin looks like he is turning the corner.
The Tom, Nick and Harry line? Pointless. But with the third line doing what it did, who needed them?
Around the Division: Nice night for the Pens. Binghamton loses 4-1 to the Adirondack Phantoms and also lost G Nathan Lawson to injury. Norfolk loses 5-1 to Worcester. Syracuse repays a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the Providence Bruins the night before with their own 1-0 win vs. the P-Bruins in Syracuse and Hershey defeats the top team in the AHL, the Springfield Falcons, by a score of 5-3.
Standings: Binghamton 49 — Penguins 48 — Norfolk 43 — Hershey 38 — Syracuse 38
Conference: 1) SPR (54) 2) MCH (54) 3) BNG (49) 4) WBS (48) 5) ALB (47) 6) PRO (46) 7) NOR (43) 8) STJ (41)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lose to the Toledo Walleye 5-3. Nick D’Agostino had an assist in the loss.
SendToNews Highlights: Are here.
Pens have off until taking to the road in Providence next Friday. I’ll have the Week 15 AHL Power Rankings here Monday with whatever relative news surrounding the Penguins here this week as warranted.
The Penguins sit at 37 games played. Friday will be the half way mark. So I just decided that I am going to put together my Second Quarter Grades this week. Look for them probably Wednesday or Thursday, depending on news.
Let’s Go Pens!!!