Here’s the deal tonight, a 5-0 Wilkes-Barre win that ended a bunch of streaks for the Portland Pirates.
– The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins ended the Portland Pirates six game win streak.
– Mike McKenna’s thirteen game win streak is over.
– The Penguins struck three times on the power play.
– Tristan Jarry picked up his third shutout of the season for his 11th win of the season.
Last night, the Penguins power play could not come alive for them in a tight game and it cost them. Tonight? The Penguins power play struck twice, back to back in the first period and this spring boarded the Penguins to the win tonight.
Tristan Jarry opposed Mike McKenna.
Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Dominik Simon
Sahir Gill – Carter Rowney – J-S Dea
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito -Matia Marcantuoni – Josh Archibald
Reid McNeill – Steve Oleksy
Will O’Neill – Clark Seymour
Niclas Andersen – Harrison Ruopp
Tristan Jarry – Matt Murray
Lineup Notes: Matia Marcantuoni was in for Ty Loney…top line was unchanged…Sahir Gill replaced Josh Archibald on the second line, Archibald was dropped down to the fourth line.
First Period: The open of the game felt like a chess match. Then the Pirates went on the power play and nearly scored. The best sequence the Pirates had was Rocco Grimaldi blasting out of his own zone down the far wall, passing to Shane Harper for a shot but Jarry was there to make the save. Then the Penguins went on the power play and scored when Kael Mouillierat, with the patience of a saint, stickhandled around McKenna’s net and found Scott Wilson in the high slot for a shot and a goal that put the Penguins up 1-0.
Two milestones with this goal. First, Scott Wilson was the first AHL player to 20 goals on the season and with an assist on the Wilson Goal, Will O’Neill collected his 100th AHL point.
John McFarland put an elbow into Steve Oleksy and the Penguin went straight back to the power play. This week in practice, Clark Donatelli had Tom Sestito out on the power play unit this week to put the big bodied Sestito out in front of the net. The plan worked. Clark Seymour wound up and took a shot, Tom Sestito had a tip-in goal that put the Pens up 2-0.
Penguins nearly cashed a third time as they had :44 of five-on-three time, but the Pirates third ranked penalty kill was able to not allow the Penguins to triple or quadruple the lead.
Second Period: Pens had to kill 1:01 of a five on three of their own and did so. Then Tom Sestito found Josh Archibald for this long breakaway and the puck slid across the line and in which made it 3-0 Penguins.
First two point game for Tom Sestito since January 14, 2012.
J-S Dea was snakebit by McKenna twice in the period with a big glove save on one high slot on one sequence then again on a one timer from Carter Rowney left all alone in front.
Tristan Jarry was great again in the period, making this memorable stop on Portalnd bearing down trying to muscle one past him.
The Penguins scored three or more power play goals in a game for the third time this season.
Third Period: What Dea wasn’t able to get in goals he was able to create in turnovers. He stripped Brett Regner trying to exit and Carter Rowney pounced on it and dished to Sahir Gill who scored to make it 4-0…
The Penguins made it 3-for-6 on the power play when Will O’Neill took the shot and Tom Kostopoulos tipped it in for a 5-0 Penguin lead.
It was the tenth time that the Penguins have scored five goals or more this season.
Jarry stopped all 10 Portland shots sent his way in the period picked up his 11th win of the season.
Three Stars: 3) Will O’Neill (two assists, +1) 2) Tom Sestito (goal, assist, +1) 1) Tristan Jarry (34 save shutout)
Around the Division: Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Hartford and Bridgeport were all snowed out tonight. Springfield beat Providence in overtime 5-4.
Standings: Penguins (.738 percentage points) — Portland (.628) — Hershey (.607) — Providence (.536) — Hartford (.512) — Bridgeport (.512) — Lehigh Valley (.464) — Springfield (.439)
Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 4-1 to Kalamazoo. Sunday’s game with the Brampton Beast was postponed due to snow and was rescheduled to March 8.
Pens bus to Providence tonight for a 3 p.m. start against the Bruins Sunday. Gameday for that will hit the blog Sunday at 11.
Let’s Go Pens!