Chirps from Center Ice

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

Too Close For Comfort — Pens WIN 5-4

NOR          vs.          WBS

4                                             5

That was dangerously close.

The Penguins, up 5-1 at one point and Jayson Megna scoring the first Penguins home hat trick since 2012, see Norfolk rattle off three straight goals and narrowly hang on to win 5-4 and lock up the four seed and a first round date with the Syracuse Crunch in Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Here is a look at the schedule:

Friday 4/24
Saturday 4/25
Wednesday 4/29
Thursday 4/30
Saturday 5/2

Home games in bold. Penguins release here. All games in Wilkes-Barre start at 7:05. The games up in Syracuse start at 7.

Penguins still have a game left tomorrow in Lehigh Valley. Hynes told Tom that he doesn’t plan on resting many guys with the Penguins cemented in the four seed with nothing more to play for. We will see tomorrow.

Before we get ripping on the post game recap, the Norfolk Admirals played their final AHL game tonight.

Norfolk has been an up and down team from my memory. They have either been really really good (28 was in a row and a Calder Cup) or really really bad (this year) – they will play in the ECHL next year as an Edmonton Oilers / Bakersfield Condors affiliate. I have a lot of people that read the blog, shared the blog and linked to the blog. A lot of good people in Virginia. I think that the Admirals of the ECHL will be a force that will need to be reckoned with. Who knows, with all of this shuffling that goes on, maybe you see Norfolk back on the AHL landscape like you saw Winnipeg in 2015. Who knows. No one can take that Calder Cup away from the fans of the Norfolk Admirals. Fans in Wilkes-Barre would give you an eyeball for one. Be proud of what you accomplished and be happy that you still have hockey to watch on Hampton Roads.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Ryan Faragher

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Josh Archibald – Jayson Megna – J-S Dea
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers
Danny Syvret – Steve Shamanski
Sean Escobedo – Alex Boak

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Kasperi Kapanen took warmups and was scheduled to skate on the third line with Archibald and Megna but must have been injured because after the game, Hynes told the WBS media that he is day to day. Sean Escobedo was in for Clark Seymour.

Also a report out of St. Johns, Ryan Parent is on his way to Wilkes-Barre. Parent is a defenseman with over 100 NHL games, that was on a PTO with the St. John’s IceCaps. Stability for the Pens vs. dressing a bunch of ECHL guys.

First Period: Jayson Megna would score a power play goal early in front of Faragher that put the Penguins on the board early. The Pens needed this jump because of the clunker they laid last night vs. Albany.

The parade to the penalty box continued for the Admirals, yet they managed to outshoot the Penguins 11-10 in the period and tied the game on a Brandon Montour shot from the point that deflected off of a Penguins player and in for a tie game heading to the…

Second Period: Penguins were in trouble. The entire first four minutes were played in front of Jeff Zatkoff. He held the Admirals out of the net and this was your turning point.

Barry Goers blast at the top of the point. 2-1 Penguins.

Alex Boak breaks up a would be John Kurtz breakaway.

Jayson Megna cashes on a  power play goal. 3-1 Penguins.

At this point, with the Penguins defense and the way that Norfolk wasn’t converting, it was over, right?

Third Period: Wrong.

Tom Kuhnhackl finishes a Dominik Uher pass to make it 4-1. Megna gets hit hat trick that makes it 5-1. The rout is on. The Penguins are clinching home ice and everything is turning up roses….

LOL at you. These are the Cardiac Penguins.

Louis Leblanc roofs one over Zatkoff to make it 5-2 on a power play.

Mike Sgarbossa snakes through everyone and slips one past Zatkoff that makes it 5-3 on another Norfolk power play goal.

Time dwindling, Joe Cramarossa scores with Faragher pulled that makes it 5-4.

Time ultimately won and the Penguins held on for the win.

I bet John Hynes will not be happy with the way that the Penguins almost lost that game.

Three Stars: 3) Tom Kuhnhackl (goal, even) 2) Barry Goers (goal, +1) and 1) Jayson Megna (hat trick, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey wins 5-1 over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and get to 100 points….Binghamton shuts out Rochester 5-0.

Standings: Hershey 100 — Penguins 95 — Binghamton 76 — Lehigh Valley 74 — Norfolk 64

Conference: 1) MCH (109) 2) HER (100) 3) HFD (93) 4) WBS (95) 5) SYR (92) 6) PRO (89) 7) WOR (88) 8) SPR (86)

Wheeling Update: Nailers are all tied up at a game a piece 1-1 as the Toledo Walleye win 2-1 in overtime in Game 2 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Game 3 is in Wheeling on Wednesday.

SendToNews Highlights: YouTube instead:


Gameday for the regular season road finale against Lehigh Valley will be up at 1 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!!!

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