Chirps from Center Ice

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

Take a Long Walk Off a Short Pier — Pens WIN 2-0

POR            vs.            WBS

 0                                                2

Here’s your recap of tonight’s game, a 2-0 Penguins win, in a nutshell.

After blowing consecutive 2-0 leads Friday and Saturday to the Syracuse Crunch and Hershey Bears, tonight was a methodical, structured win for the Penguins.

It was also very boring. There were few penalties called, not many hits, and even the two fights in the game weren’t anything that you are talking about at the water cooler tomorrow morning.

But the Penguins aren’t into entertainment value. You could be the most exiting team in the AHL and miss playoffs year after year. It was a needed win for Wilkes-Barre after the weekends disappointing losses.

Here’s what happened:

– Nothing in the first period.

– Andrew Ebbett scored a back door slam dunk goal when the Pens were on a 5-on-3 in the second period.

– Nothing much in the third. Pirates had great looks but a forgotten man in this snooze fest was Jeff Zatkoff making many good saves, 23 in total, keeping his team in it.

– Tom Kuhnhackl buried an empty netter with Portland goaltender Mike McKenna pulled. McKenna played a great game himself.

Three stars were: Tom Kuhnhackl with a goal and a +1, Andrew Ebbett with a goal and a +1 and Jeff Zatkoff with a 23 save shutout.

That’s the game in a nutshell. I don’t know how Tom or Jonathan are going to make this look pretty in Thursday’s papers.

News of the day was Pascal Dupuis’ blood clot. He’s out six months. Blood clots aren’t anything to mess with. They can kill you. The question is who, if anyone, will be recalled from Wilkes-Barre as there are no extra forwards in Pittsburgh currently. Both Jayson Megna and Andrew Ebbett played tonight. J-S Dea was scratched, but that could be due to the fact that he had four penalties in Hershey Sunday as Tom Kostopoulos was back from his family matters. Who knows at this point.

Divisionally, Lehigh Valley beat Hershey in a shootout 3-2. News of the day for the Bears was that they are sending another player to the AHL Hall of Fame and it’s a name that Penguins players may be familiar with. It’s goaltender Freddy Cassivi. News about that can be found here.

So the Pens lead the East Division with 21 points. Hershey has 18. Lehigh Valley has 15 and Norfolk and Binghamton has 12 each.

Manchester, Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre are your conference leaders as they are the best in their respective divisions. Manchester has 22 points, Bridgeport’s percentage is better than Wilkes-Barre so they have the second seed and then the Penguins are third. Syracuse (21) Springfield (19) and Albany, Hershey and Hartford (18 each) round out your top eight.

The Nailers won in a shootout earlier today over Elmira by a score of 3-2. Wheeling was down 2-0 with Eric Hartzell in goal and battled back to tie it at two a piece and win in a shootout. Hartnell stopped all four shooters he faced.

Here is your SendToNews package with highlights of the game.

But for a Thursday call up to Pittsburgh look for the next blog piece to be Friday’s setup in Albany at 3. I’ll have a word on who, if anyone, received the call to Pittsburgh to replace Dupuis covered in the game recap there.

Let’s Go Pens!

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