Chirps from Center Ice

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

Road Life is the Devil — Pens LOSE 4-0

WBS          @          ALB

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The Penguins spent eight days on the road with a weekend trip to St. John’s and a Tuesday visit to the Capital District of New York this evening.

The road weary Penguins were shut out by Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid tonight and lost 4-0. Kinkaid made 22 saves.

The main story of the night will be starting Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Zatkoff left the game in the second period when he made what seemed to be a routine save on Paul Thompson. I have shoddy Vine video here. He was replaced by Matt Murray and was not on the Penguins bench to start the third period.

Albany’s Mike Sislo’s eyes must light up whenever he sees Wilkes-Barre / Scranton on the Devils schedule. Sislo has 6 goals in 4 games played against the Penguins. He had two tonight on the power play in the second period, which iced the game for the Devils.

With Andrew Ebbett, Derrick Pouliot and Scott Harrington inserted to the lineup, the lines were…..

Tom Kostopoulos – Nick Drazenovic – Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Jayson Megna
Bobby Farnham – Zack Torquato – Adam Payerl
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Dominik Uher

Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Derrick Pouliot – Philip Samuelsson

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Scratches were Harrison Ruopp, Alex Boak. J-S Dea, Tom Kuhnhackl, Josh Archibald (week to week) Anton Zlobin, Nick D’Agostino, Barry Goers (took warmups) and Conor Sheary (day to day)

First Period: Not a whole heck of a lot happened. There were more post whistle scrums then any actual action. Zatkoff and the Penguins defense was tested early with an early barrage and passed then the Penguins had a late barrage of their own. They had about 1:30 to close out the first that tested Kinkaid but he was up to the challenge as well.

Second Period: Penguins dominate the Devils at even strength but when the Devils were given a power play, Mike Sislo burned Wilkes-Barre twice. The first was a laser from the blue line and the second was a snapper from inside the near face-off dot that beat Zatkoff stick side twice.

Then ex-Penguin Paul Thompson comes in partially unabated and Zatkoff makes what appears to be a routine save. The camera cuts to the action going back up ice but then the play stops and the camera cuts to a felled Zatkoff lying on his stomach. He’d need help off ice and put no weight on his right leg. Enter Matt Murray.

Third Period: Murray made this save on Mike Sislo to deny him his bid at a hat truck. Pens then gave up a 2-on-1 shorthanded bid to Albany but the Devils didn’t connect. The Penguins were making too many cute passes when they needed to take shots. With time running out and Murray pulled for the extra attacker Tim Sestito buried a shot from about 180′ away that sealed the game for the Devils. Immediately after on the face-off that ensued, Reid Boucher snapped one past Murray to make it 4-0.

Three Stars: 3) Reid Boucher (goal, assist, +1) 2) Keith Kinkaid (22 save shutout) 1) Mike Sislo (two goals, +1)

Around the Division: Binghamton lost a wild one in St. John’s 6-5. The two teams rematch tomorrow in Newfoundland and Labrador. The other East teams had the night off.

Standings: Hershey 6 — Lehigh Valley 4 — Norfolk 4 — Penguins 4 — Binghamton 3

Conference: 1) HFD (7) 2) WOR (6) 3) HER (6) 4) ALB (7) 5) BRI (6) 6) STJ (6) 7) SYR (5) 8) PRO (5) 12) WBS (4)

Wheeling Update: Nailers travel to the Carolinas this weekend and play Gwinnett Friday.

SendToNews Highlights: Unless you are a Keith Kinkaid fan or an Albany Devils fan living in Wilkes-Barre, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to see here from a Penguins perspective. But here you go anyway.

We will probably see Wheeling moves this week. Either Eric Hartzell on his way up to backup Murray or reinforcements on their way to the Carolinas to join the Nailers there. Between now and Friday’s game vs. Springfield, that will give us some fodder to blog about, right?

The “Fancy Stats” chart page is updated though the Albany game. Link here. Bookmark this, it’s a page you can access at the top of the blog by clicking the “Charts” tab at time. It’s late on Tuesday night, I’ll examine the numbers some point this week and bloviate like bloggers do.

Let’s Go Pens!

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