If the Penguins ever deserved to win a game, it was this one.
But rookie Phantoms goaltender Anthony Stolarz wasn’t going for it.
Anchored by a 44 save performance by the rookie Stolarz, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms win this game by a score of 2-1 against the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
Matt Murray vs. Anthony Stolarz.
News of the day was that Bobby Farnham and Bryan Rust were recalled Saturday morning to Pittsburgh and Jayson Megna was sent back. That said, here is what the lines looked like tonight…
Tom Kostopoulos – Carter Rowney – Adam Payerl
Conor Sheary – JS Dea – Jayson Megna
Tom Kuhnhackl – Sahir Gill – Josh Archibald
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Dom Uher
Scott Harrington – Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill – Derrick Pouliot
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers
Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff
Alex Boak took part in warmups again but was scratched.
First Period: At 1:15, a Brett Hextall shot rebounded to Petr Straka that put the Phantoms on the board first for the 1-0 lead. Penguins lost D zone coverage that led to the goal. Wilkes-Barre settled in from there and got two power plays but didn’t capitalize. Stolarz had a nifty save sliding back over the opposite way that stopped a Barry Goers back door rebound attempt.
Second Period: The Penguins did everything they could to score in this period but Stolarz would remain stout in net and stopped all 12 Wilkes-Barre shots fired this period. It seemed all four lines were rolling, Matia Marcantuoni kept his legs moving on a puck behind the net, centered to Pierre Leblond in front but no dice. Tom Kostopoulos and Carter Rowney worked a two on one but Rowney never got a good enough shot off. It seemed like a methodical wear down of the Phantoms by the Penguins but Stolarz kept them out.
Third Period: Finally, the Pens broke through and got the tying goal. Jayson Megna threw a puck on net that J-S Dea whacked in through a pile of bodies to tie the game at one. That was enough to force…
Overtime: Megna and Dea had a bunch of chances to end the game in overtime, but never did so it was onto….
Shootout: Josh Archibald and Petr Straka cashed on their attempts, Conor Sheary and Jason Akeson missed theirs. Tom Kuhnhackl and Taylor Leier scored theirs. Jayson Megna missed his and Nick Cousins deked Murray down to score his and the Phantoms took the extra point home with them.
Three Stars: 3) Petr Straka (goal, +1) 2) Anthony Stolarz (44 saves on 45 shots) and 1) Nick Cousins (shootout game winning goal, -1)
Around the Division: No matter what happens in tomorrow’s game against Hershey, the Pens will stall lead the East Division by at least a point, maybe five. That is because the Bears beat the Binghamton Senators by a score of 5-2…. Norfolk beat Springfield 4-3.
Standings: Penguins 33 — Hershey 30 — Binghamton 27 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Norfolk 22
Conference: 1) SPR (37) 2) MCH (36) 3) WBS (33) 4) SYR (35) 5) HFD (31) 6) HER (30) 7) POR (28) 8) PRO (28)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost to the Reading Royals by a score of 2-1. Eric Hartzell took the loss, stopping 21 of 23 shots.
SendToNews Highlights: Phantoms will probably have them and when they do I will link in.
Pens wrap up the weekend with a 4 p.m. start against the Bears. Gameday for that will be up a high noon Sunday.
Let’s Go Pens!