Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Power Players — Pens WIN 6-1 (Series Tied 1-1)

   button_adk200       vs.       WBS

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The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins power play has been crud all season long. 28th overall in the AHL this season and just something that is never used the right way.

Not tonight. The Penguins scored three power play goals and crush the Providence Bruins by a score of 6-1 and even the series at a game a piece as the series shifts to Providence for Game 3 Wednesday.

Crush they did. The Penguins were scored on four times very early in Game 1 Friday, but continued to lay the body on the Bruins all night long. That continued into tonight and, with a little bit more sound defensive structure, wore the Bruins down to the point of frustration which reached its peak in the third period.

Let’s take a look at the penalties assessed in the third, shall we?

Penalties-Casto Pro (roughing), 4:18; Casto Pro (roughing), 6:00; Robins Pro (roughing), 6:00; Drazenovic Wbs (roughing), 6:00; Harrington Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct, roughing), 6:00; Trotman Pro (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 9:02; Kobasew Wbs (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 9:02; Knight Pro (misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:29; Moore Pro (misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:29; Robins Pro (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:29; Dumoulin Wbs (misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:29; Mikkelson Wbs (high-sticking, roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:29; Lindblad Pro (misconduct – continuing altercation), 15:18; McNeill Wbs (misconduct – continuing altercation), 15:18; Farnham Wbs (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:06; Zolnierczyk Wbs (roughing), 19:02.

Nine misconducts. No fighting majors. 138 penalty minutes in sum.

One of the things that happened that isn’t listed in the box is after starting goaltender Niklas Svedberg was pulled after allowing the fifth goal to the Penguins, a Tom Kostopoulos power play goal that basically iced it, backup goaltender Malcolm Subban was called in for relief. After a scrum involving all 10 skaters on the ice not wearing pads, Subban skates out to his blue line and challenges Peter Mannino. Mannino would have none of it, basically coming halfway out and directing Subban back to his crease and laughing the entire situation off.

I guess you can say that the Bruins handled being blown out in a playoff game a lot worse than the Penguins did last night, because none of this stuff happened then. You could also say that the Bruins were tired of being pushed around and manhandled by the Penguins during play, that they decided to go after the Penguins after play.

I’m burying the lead here, and that is that Wilkes-Barre played a damn good hockey game.

After a scoreless first period, Conor Sheary got the scoring started cashing a rebound left by Svedberg for his first professional goal to put the Penguins ahead 1-0. Providence scored on a power play when Justin Florek roofed a shot over a sprawling Mannino that tied the game at one. Prior to, the P-Bruins were held without a shot for about the first ten minutes of the second period.

Then the floodgates opened, led by Anton Zlobin, back from injury.

Zlobin picks two corners from essentially the same spot on the left circle and it’s 3-1. His second goal came on a power play.

Simon Despres floats a shot in from the blue line that Chuck Kobasew got a piece of and the rout was on. 4-1 Wilkes-Barre. Three goals in the span of 4:02 for the Pens.

In the third, the Penguins put away the Bruins with a third power play goal from Tom Kostopoulos that chased Nik Svedberg. In between all of the shenanigans, Brian Dumoulin skates wire to wire and wrists home a seemingly innocent shot that goes under the glove of relief goaltender Malcolm Subban for a 6-1 Penguin lead.

I don’t know if any suspensions will come of all of the hijinks that ensued. Jared Knight for Providence left the bench to join in on a scrum and Bobby Robins, after being placed in the penalty box, leaves it to re-join the same scrum Knight got involved with.

Lineup wise, Anton Zlobin replaced Carter Rowney. Lines were jumbled, but that was the only move. Andrew Ebbett missed his second straight game.

Three Stars: 3) Simon Despres (two assists, even) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, even) and 1) Anton Zlobin (two goals, assist, +1)

Game 3 is Wednesday in Providence.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference: St. John’s takes a 2-1 series lead with a 5-3 win over Norfolk. Ol’ buddy Brad Thiessen stopped 26 of 30. Game 4 is Monday.

Wheeling plays Game 6 Monday against Greenville. They need a win to force a decisive Game 7.

SendToNews Highlights: Let’s do YouTube instead…

Sunday will be used to update and create charts. I’ll update the ones for Providence and Wilkes-Barre and do a head-to-head one as well. So it will actually be a grand total of eight charts. It’ll be a chart explosion! Check that out in some form Sunday evening.

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there, including my mom, who sometimes reads this blog. Love you, Mom!

Let’s Go Pens!

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