Simon Despres is no stranger to double overtime at the AHL level.
He scored a double overtime game winning goal in May 2012 in Game 5 against the St. John’s IceCaps that forced the series back to St. John’s in a series that would ultimately see the Penguins lose in seven games.
In Game 3 tonight, he did it again.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins pull off a huge comeback in the third period and defeat the Providence Bruins in double overtime by a score of 5-4 in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal and take a 2-1 series lead. The Penguins were down 4-1 just 1:06 into the third period but scrapped their way back to tie the game and win in double overtime on Despres goal.
Game 4 is Friday.
Peter Mannino vs. Niklas Svedberg
Lineup Notes: Scott Harrington’s Ironman streak ended in this Game 3. The Penguins rookie had appeared in every game for the Penguins up to today. Obie said that he took the morning skate but stated that he had been “battling” through a lower body injury. His status is day-to-day. Harrison Ruopp made his Calder Cup Playoff debut in place of Harrington.
On the status of Derrick Pouliot, O’Brien said on pre-game that the plan was for Pouliot to join Wilkes-Barre, “at some point” but no definitive time frame was given. There wasn’t a word about Brian Gibbons, as his Pittsburgh Penguins lost in Game 7 to the New York Rangers Tuesday night.
Tyler Randell was in for Bobby Robins for the Bruins, as Robins was serving the first of his three game suspension for his antics in Game 2 Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.
First Period: Penguins got two early power plays and didn’t score on them. I can’t remember a memorable chance for the Pens in this frame. Seemed like all of their chances were one and done in the offensive zone. Providence really put the full court press on the Penguins as they tried to breakout of their own zone. Providence had the better of what scarce chance existed for either team in this scoreless period.
Second Period: Better period for the Penguins as far as the first period pressure from the Bruins. Conor Sheary dumps a puck in behind the Providence net, Svedberg comes out to play the puck and Chuck Kobasew comes out of no where, steals it and scores to make it 1-0 Penguins. Back and forth after that. Then, Harrison Ruopp takes a silly roughing penalty and put the Bruins on their first power play of the game. Later, Seth Griffith through bodies, scores to make it 1-1. Then, the Penguins get caught on an extended shift and ex-Penguin Joe Morrow pinches and walks down the far wall and backhands one past Mannino to push the Bruins ahead 2-1.
Third Period: Fifteen seconds in and Blake Parlett made it 3-1 on a shot that beat Mannino from the blue line. John Hynes used his timeout.
It didn’t work. :51 later, Alexander Khokhlachev made it 4-1.
Then Adam Payerl took a high-sticking penalty.
The bottom was falling out.
Or was it?
Penguins manage get it to four-on-four and then later get a power play. Tom Kostopoulos wastes no time. It’s 4-2 now.
Pressure by the Penguins. They were everywhere.
Simon Despres lets one go from the blue line. It’s 4-3.
Bruce Cassidy used his time out, because he could feel the bottom falling out.
More pressure…… It felt like the Penguins were running all over the Bruins.
Yep. Conor Sheary throws a shot on net. It goes in. Tie game.
The Bruins take a too many men on the ice call. The bottom, had officially fell out.
Not so fast my friend. Bruins would kill it to get it to….
First Overtime: Svedberg sees a harmless puck come his way. He almost lets it go past him. Providence then gets a rush. Mannino makes the saves necessary. Anton Zlobin out there buzzing around for an overtime game winner, no dice. Tom Kostopoulos would take a slashing penalty late that would end up carrying over into the….
Second Overtime: Adam Payerl walked in after he forced a turnover in the neutral zone but never got a shot off. Penguins kill the Kostopoulos penalty. Payerl almost ends it on a perfect one time setup by Dominik Uher but his stick breaks.
Simon Despres had enough. Brendan Mikkelson pounds a puck in that Harry Zolnierczyk gets to. He passes up to Despres who does not miss.
Three Stars: 3) Blake Parlett (goal, assist, +2) 2) Conor Sheary (goal, two assists, +2) and 1) Simon Despres (two goals, +1)
Norfolk and St. John’s are headed back to The Rock for a Game 6 Friday after the Admirals won in overtime yesterday. The Toronto Marlies still have not lost a game in these playoffs and have the Chicago Wolves on the brink of elimination after a 4-3 overtime win…the Defending Champs lay down for no one. The Grand Rapids Griffins have evened the series with the Texas Stars after beating the Western Conference Champions by a score of 3-2 as that series is now 2-2.
SendToNews Highlights: I doubt Providence will have them. I will look again in the morning and link up if there’s anything. Protip: Those underlines which reference Penguins goals are actually links to Vines that I did of said goals. Check those out if Providence doesn’t put up a highlight package.
Worth noting that the Boston Bruins were dismissed from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven games by the Montreal Canadiens tonight. Look for Matt Fraser to get reassigned to Providence in time for Friday’s Game 4.
I will update and refresh the charts that I have been in love with these past couple of weeks, but only to probably run a blog post on them Sunday. If Pouliot or Gibbons get officially re-assigned Thursday, I’ll put a blog update up. If not, check me out again Friday at 3 for the Game 4 Gameday setup.
Let’s Go Pens!!!