Chirps from Center Ice

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

Small Ball — Pens WIN 1-0

   button_stj200       vs.       WBS

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The definitions may not match up entirely to the headline, but the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are doing more with less…

Top scorers Jayson Megna and Andrew Ebbett on recall to Pittsburgh? Not a problem.

Top defenseman Taylor Chorney out with an injury? Next man up, we got this.

A third period power play goal by Jean-Sebastien Dea was enough for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to defeat the St. John’s IceCaps by a score of 1-0 tonight. Matt Murray, making his first start in nearly three weeks, had a 22 save shutout and was at times, spectacular.

Lines were…

Scott Wilson – Conor Sheary – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – JS Dea – Josh Archibald
Tom Kostopoulos – Carter Rowney – Adam Payerl
Pierre Leblond – Dom Uher – Bobby Farnham

Brian Dumoulin – Philip Samuelsson
Scott Harrington – Barry Goers
Reid McNeill – Derrick Pouliot

Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff

Nick D’Agostino took warmups for the Pens. With Taylor Chorney injured, Barry Goers slotted in for him and Pierre Leblond was back from his one game suspension and was essentially in for Andrew Ebbett.

First Period: Pens bottled up the IceCaps, not allowing a St. John’s shot until 7:04 left in the first. That was the highlight of the period.

Second Period: Bobby Farnham was caught for diving while he was interfered with. Jonathan said this after the second…

It was that kind of game. Think Portland from a few weeks ago but slightly more exciting.

Third Period: J-S Dea fired a shot from the blue line that appeared to have been tipped by Tom Kostopoulos. This is what John Hynes said to Tom after the game…

Looked to me that Dea found space and just let her rip. Whatever it takes.

Matt Murray came up big late on a St. John’s power play, with a save through traffic. St. John’s pulled Connor Hellebuyck with just over a minute but never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Connor Hellebuyck (24 saves on 25 shots) 2) J-S Dea (game winning power play goal) 1) Matt Murray (22 save shutout)

Around the Division: Hershey lost to Syracuse 4-1. The offensive woes for the Bears continue. If the St. John’s IceCaps beat the Bears tomorrow in regulation, it takes the games in hand situation out of the equation as the Bears will just have one game in hand on the Pens trailing by four points….Lehigh Valley beat Norfolk 4-3 and Binghamton beat Rochester 4-3 also.

Standings: Penguins 26 — Hershey 22 — Binghamton 21 — Lehigh Valley 20 — Norfolk 16

Conference: 1) SPR (31) 2) MCH (27) 3) WBS (26) 4) SYR (25) 5) ALB (25) 6) HFD (24) 7) BRI (23) 8) STJ (23)

Wheeling Update: Eric Hartzell was impressive tonight against a high powered Florida Everblades team that had only lost two games in regulation coming into the night. The Nailers win 3-2 and Hartzell was named third star of the game.

SendToNews Highlights: Here’s the post game infographic and the Penguins YouTube package for your enjoyment:

[youtube http://youtu.be/8VHlS_p2pak?list=PLjK7Vm3sJ6fqh994BYWb0PnoATJw1z0lf]

My Week 8 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog at 4 p.m. Monday. Enjoy what’s left of the Thanksgiving weekend!

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