Apologies to anyone who relies on me for coverage of the Penguins on a full time basis tonight. I was out at dinner with my big boy job and thus unable to tweet the Penguins game tonight in Allentown, a 4-0 Wilkes-Barre win, another Matt Murray shutout, his fourth of the season and just one off the all time WBS team lead in shutouts held by Brad Thiessen.
The Penguins went 7-for-7 on the penalty kill tonight and fixed their power play woes by scoring two, one by Dominik Simon and the other by Scott Wilson. The duo had a pair of goals total.
I’ll do my best to piece all of this together from the top so here goes….
Matt Murray opposed Anthony Stolarz, who has been playing some really great hockey as of late. Stolarz stymied the Penguins last weekend and the Phantoms as a whole were on a bit of an uptick, 8-4-1 in their last 13 games coming in. The Penguins had the feeling of, “what if” tonight with what happened last weekend. Not to discount anything that the Syracuse Crunch are about, but the Penguins were, are and will be the better team however you slice that matchup.
Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Carter Rowney – Kevin Porter – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – J-S Dea – Bryan Rust
Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill
Reid McNeill – Niclas Andersen
Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry
Josh Archibald was scratched again along with Tyler Biggs and Clark Seymour.
Tom Kostopoulos appeared in his 500th game for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton…
First Period: Dominik Simon got the first of his two goals with a redirection of a Tim Erixon shot from the point that went in for a 1-0 Penguins lead. Wilkes-Barre would double the lead about twelve minutes later when Scott Wilson got the first of his two goals of the night with a one time shot on a power play that broke an 0-for-24 skid for the Penguins. Shots after one were 8-6.
Second Period: Pens would continue the parade to the penalty box but not allow the Phantoms to score; then Dominik Simon scored again even strength to make it 3-0. Prior to, Murray was making some big time stops with the defenders in front of him gassed. The Penguins were outclassed in the period, thanks in large part to constantly going on the kill in the period, and the Phantoms outshot Wilkes-Barre 12-6 in the period.
Third Period: Scott Wilson collected his second goal of the night, this time on the power play. Conor Sheary made a spin pass to Kostopoulos, who found Wilson on the redirect for a 4-0 Penguins lead. Lehigh Valley tried to press, but the Penguins limited them to just three shots late through the third, and outshot them 6-5 in the period.
Total shots were 23-20 Phantoms.
Random Stuff: 11 goals total for Dominik Simon, 4 in the last two games….Four of Matt Murray’s 16 shutouts have come against Lehigh Valley. I think he has three against Springfield.
Three Stars: Scott Wilson (two goals, even) 2) Matt Murray (23 save shutout) and 1) Dominik Simon (two goals, +2)
Around the Division: Bridgeport beat Portland 3-1…Springfield beat Binghamton 4-3…Providence beat Hartford 3-1…Hershey was the lone Atlantic Division team off tonight.
Standings: Penguins (.783 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.635) — Hershey (.625) — Lehigh Valley (.481) — Springfield (.479) — Providence (.479) — Portland (.477) — Hartford (.440)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost to the Toledo Walleye 2-1 in a shootout. The two team space back to West Virginia to pay off the back end of the home and home tomorrow night.
Here is the post game infographic:
Albany is in tomorrow for what is shaping up to be a good one. The Devils have won seven in a row. The last team to beat them? The Penguins on November 21 in Albany. Gameday setup for that will hit the blog Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!