The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins wrapped up their 2015-16 preseason with a trip to Allentown to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
It was an exciting contest to what could have otherwise been a Phantoms blowout.
After trailing 3-0 by the time the third period rolled around, the Penguins rattled off three goals to tie the affair, but ultimately fell in regulation 4-3 to the Phantoms.
In an otherwise meaningless game in the big picture, a lot of players used today to battle for the final positions available. Some made strong cases, others not so much. Sahir Gill and Ty Loney in particular made strong cases today.
Personell wise, defenseman David Warsofsky and forward Kevin Porter cleared NHL waivers today at noon and will join the Penguins tomorrow.
As for this game, the lines were…
Dominik Simon – Carter Rowney – Josh Archibald
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Anton Zlobin
Shane Bakker – Sahir Gill – Ty Loney
Patrick McGrath – Jarrett Burton – Michael McCarron
Niclas Andersen – Clark Seymour
Nick Petrecki – Ryan Parent
Matt Maione – Mike Beauregard
Tristan Jarry – Brian Foster
Harrison Ruopp took warmups but was scratched.
Penguins gave up the first goal to Petr Straka after a failed clear from the neutral zone which gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. The hosts would tack on a second goal via power play when ex-Penguin Tim Brent swept home a rebound of a shot that Jarry never fully controlled. Phantoms veteran goaltender Jason LaBarbera stopped all 13 shots faced in the period.
Lehigh Valley extended the lead to 3-0 when Nick Cousins fired a quick shot past Jarry. Play was set up back in the Penguins offensive zone when a hard shot sailed past Jason LaBarbera and out of the zone. Players watched the puck sail out, the Phantoms pounced on it and took off to a three on two to Cousins for the goal.
Off the ensuing face-off, Patrick McGrath fought heavyweight Jay Rosehill.
The Penguins didn’t really, to this point, make Jason LaBarbera work on the 22 shots he faced to this point.
In the third, the rally was on. Sahir Gill broke the LaBarbera shutout with this nice move five hole:
Penguins killed two consecutive minor penalties rather easy and then Gill struck again. This time setting up Ty Loney:
The Penguins looked to be the better even strength team, but were down three and had a hole to dig out of.
Oskar Sundqvist tied it with this nice shot:
The Phantoms found their legs, Jarry was forced into a few strong saves. A clearing attempt by the Penguins hit Josh Archibald’s skate and right to Danick Martel and he wasted no time in putting it past Jarry for a 4-3 Phantoms lead.
Penguins had a late power play and with Jarry vacated for the six-on-four advantage, never found the equalizer.
So that is it for preseason. Here is what to look for here on the blog this week…
— Cuts. They will happen this week and when they do, I will have a blog of who went where.
— AHL Previews. Starting Monday at noon with the Pacific Division and running Tuesday for the Central Division, Wednesday for the North Division and finally Thursday for the Atlantic Division.
— Pregame setup for the Penguins first regular season game of the season on the road at Providence 3 p.m. Friday with full blog recap to follow complete with graphics, links, and a pun headline.
Here’s to a great season. I am ready to get started.
Let’s Go Pens!