Chirps from Center Ice

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

No Tigers Allowed in These Nets — Pens WIN 3-1

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Another nice bounce back win by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, a 3-1 win Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport after bussing overnight from Hershey in a thrilling and gut wrenching at the same time overtime loss to the Bears.

Matt Murray started this afternoon and was stellar again. It’s beginning to look a lot like a number one goaltender is emerging for the Pens. You put Murray in net and he gives you a chance to win. That’s what a number one goaltender does.

Penguins shook off any doubts from the night before and pounced on the Sound Tigers early and set the tone. They rode their defense and Murray the rest of the way and come back to Pennsylvania with two points and a three point weekend.

It was Murray vs. David Leggio in nets.

Lines were….

Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Conor Sheary – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Jayson Megna
Dominik Uher – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Barry Goers
Nick D’Agostino – Harrison Ruopp

Alex Boak took warmups but was scratched. Adam Payerl was out for Dominik Uher. Pierre Leblond was the other scratch. It was the first game played for Ruopp since October 11 season opener against Lehigh Valley.

First Period: The third line of Kuhnhackl, Megna and Rowney established their presence early and often. Carter Rowney fed Jayson Megna from behind the net and Megna cashed in at 1:10 off of this shot…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/564515863353888768]

The Penguins would go on the power play a few times but would not cash. There was a stretch of 5-on-3 for the Penguins and Bryan Rust fanned on an open net and David Leggio had a split second to get over and make a toe save. Later, off of a face-off, Jayson Megna puts a puck on net that Carter Rowney cleans up past Leggio and in for a 2-0 Penguin lead…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/564521214899924994]

Replay will show you that Megna’s shot went off of a Sound Tigers defenseman and right to the stick of Rowney and in. Leggio was asking for interference but his other defensemant was pushing the Penguins player into him and no interference was called.

Sound Tigers made a pushback after that. Murray made a toe save, back the other way Drazenovi fanned on a one time attempt setup by Conor Sheary.

Second Period: Sound Tigers open with a power play. Penguins kill that, then Carter Rowney takes a heavy hit from Scooter Vaughn, Rowney ended up in the locker room for a bit but returned. The two teams traded power plays after. Bridgeport outshot the Pens 13-6 in the period but Murray stayed perfect.

Third Period: Penguins tack on another off a nifty two on one rush with Drazenovic and Kostopoulos. Bridgeport defenseman Aaron Ness was back, blocked the initial pass from Drazenovic to Kostopoulos but not the second and it was then 3-0…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/564546298314244099]

So the issue was whether Matt Murray would back-to-back shutouts. He wouldn’t. Penguins would take two penalties on the same play and Kael Mouillierat would score to break up the shutout for Murray on a nice shot from the slot. Not before Murray made many saves down and out with his team on a two man disadvantage. Murray’s shutout streak officially ends at 114:12.

Three Stars: 3) Carter Rowney (goal, assist, +2) 2) Jayson Megna (goal, assist, +2) and 1) Matt Murray (36 saves on 37 shots)

Around the Division: Binghamton lost a fight filled affair up in Utica, 7-4. Norfolk was off. Hershey lost to Lehigh Valley at home in overtime, 5-4. That one was back and forth also, the Bears battled back from four one goal deficits.

Standings: Hershey 61 — Penguins 57 — Lehigh Valley 49 — Norfolk 43 — Binghamton 42

Conference: 1) SYR (65) 2) MCH (64) 3) HER (61) 4) SPR (60) 5) HFD (58) 6) WBS (57) 7) WOR (55) 8) POR (55)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers beat the Elmira Jackals 3-1 at home. Josh Archibald scored twice and Eric Hartzell stopped 19 of 20 shots.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Penguins are resume play on Wednesday with a home game against the listless Senators. Before then, you can click here to see the updated stat chart through games this weekend and come back Monday at 4 p.m. for the Week 18 AHL Power Rankings.

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