If you are a Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins fan and were concerned about the great start that the Penguins got off to and worried that with Mike Sullivan being promoted to the NHL to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins, after tonights performance you should not have to worry.
A 4-0 dismantling of an Albany Devils team that had won seven in a row coming into the night and a 22 save shutout by Tristan Jarry, his first as a professional, the eighth different Wilkes-Barre / Scranton goaltender since April 2012 to get one and the first back to back shutouts by different Penguins goaltenders since December 31, 2014 and January 2, 2015.
New Interim Head Coach Jay Leach wins in his debut as a head coach against the team he used to play for.
Now one game does not a coaching tenure make. I have next Friday’s matchup with the Toronto Marlies circled on my calendar, but you should not haver to worry. I’m not.
Jarry opposed Yann Danis.
Lines were the same as last night with one caveat, Clark Seymour was in for Steve Oleksy who injured his hand blocking a shot last night in Allentown.
Before the game, Jason Botterill met with the media. Seth has it covered.
First Period: A few chances both ways in the feeling out process. Dominik Simon clears a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. Albany put its top ranked unit on the ice. Jim O’Brien hits a cross bar. Tom Kostopoulos trips a guy and the Pens are right back on the kill again. They kill it then bombard Danis with shots. Oskar Sundqvist whiffs on a wide open net on a one time setup.
Finally, Kevin Porter scored to make it 1-0 Penguins. Dominik Simon led a two on one charge and dropped a pass to Porter who kicked the puck to his stick and in one fluid motion wired it past Danis to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
Second Period: Tom Kostopoulos scored at :22 and the Penguins doubled their lead. Niclas Andersen shot a puck at Danis, who spilled the rebound right at Kostopoulos who pounced on it and scored to make it 2-0.
Albany went to the power play for the third straight time and the Penguins completely shut down their attempts and had about five shorthanded chances. The Penguins were really on the come after the kill, with chance after chance.
Finally Kevin Porter added his second of the night when Dominik Simon picked the pocket of a Devil trying to get it out of the zone and passed to Porter who scored it to make it 3-0 Penguins. That was three straight multi point games for Dominik Simon dating back to Wednesday against Syracuse. Simon is and should be a strong contender for AHL Player of the Week.
The story of the night to this point was the Penguins penalty kill, which was 3-for-3 to this point on the Devils top rated power play.
Third Period: Will O’Neill thinks he scores on a delayed Devils power play. Referee Peter Tarnaris awarded the goal but took it away upon video review. The Penguins had also thought they scored in the second period when Tarnaris waved off a shot that hit the crossbar. He reviewed that one and confirmed his call then.
It didn’t matter though as Scott Wilson scored on the power play anyway and it was 4-0 Penguins.
One thing I will say about Clark Seymour making his debut for the Penguins tonight is that he blocked a lot of shots and made his defensive partner Derrick Pouliot stand out. He also fought ex-Penguin Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond in the second period.
Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, +1) 2) Kevin Porter (two goals, +2) and 1) Tristan Jarry (22 save shutout)
Around the Division: Hartford beats Bridgeport 4-2…Hershey beats Binghamton 5-3…Portland beats Providence on a last second shot in overtime by ex-Penguin Rob Schremp 3-2…Lehigh Valley beats Springfield 5-4 in a shootout.
Standings: Penguins (.792 percentage points) — Hershey (.640) — Bridgeport (.611) — Lehigh Valley (.500) — Portland (.500) — Springfield (.480) — Providence (.480) — Hartford (.462)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers beat the Toledo Walleye tonight by a score of 6-2. Coach Clark Donatelli’s Nailers lead the North Division by a point now over the Walleye. Brian Foster stopped 21 of 23. John McCarron had two goals. Harrison Ruopp had a goal and an assist.
Imagine for a second you are Associate General Manager Jason Botterill. You have Jay Leach that just won in his head coaching debut in convincing fashion over an excellent Albany Devils team. You have Clark Donatelli in the ECHL guiding the Wheeling Nailers to the top of the North Division with a win over Toledo. You have tons of qualified guys looking to get in the door for an interview. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
Here is the postgame infographic:
And one more final takeaway:
What a whirlwind day.
Here are the video highlights:
Blog wise, I’ll have an update to the charts sometime Sunday afternoon and the Week 10 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4.
Let’s Go Pens!