Chirps from Center Ice

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

Road Woes — Pens LOSE 5-2

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The Penguins will probably be thankful that they will be able to get in their own beds and stay there for a while. A six game road trip ends in a loss to the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon by a score of 5-2.

I can’t put my finger on this one other than the fact that the Pens were gassed at the tail end of a three in three having to drive into the remnants of a blizzard after last night’s 5-0 whitewash of Portland. The Pirates are a better team than the Providence Bruins when you look at the standings, but both teams are really good. The Penguins rarely get blown out of games, so to say that it was just being gassed from a ton of bus time these past two weeks is a probable result.

The Bruins, no slouches, were 6-0-3 in their last nine games coming into today’s matchup against the Penguins.

Matt Murray vs. Malcolm Subban.

Lines were…

Josh Archibald – Kael Mouillierat – Dominik Simon
Sahir Gill – Carter Rowney – J-S Dea
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Matia Marcantuoni – Ty Loney

Reid McNeill – Steve Oleksy
Will O’Neill – Clark Seymour
Niclas Andersen – Harrison Ruopp

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry

Lineup Notes: Obie was up front and said that the reason Scott Wilson was held out of the game today was to protect him from injury against the need for his services in Pittsburgh. Wilson has not been officially recalled and Pittsburgh does not play until Tuesday against New Jersey.

First Period: The Providence Bruins came into the game today with the AHL’s top ranked power play, so giving them two chances at the man advantage early on was probably not in Clark Donatelli’s game plan. The Penguins, however, were able to kill the penalties by the P-Bruins.

Matt Murray had a big save on Noel Acciari during the period…

Apologies for the blur.

Penguins started to come alive with chances at and in front of Subban but then Reid McNeill tried to chip a puck out of his zone which was read perfectly by Frank Vatrano who wasted no time in going short side on Murray to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

Second Period: Weird period. Back and forth she went with goals then a stoppage due to glass breakage.

J-S Dea quickly tied the game at 1:30 of the period on this nice shot…

:50 later, Harrison Ruopp and Nic Andersen got crossed up and Colby Cave broke in and Colton Hargrove broke the tie and scored on the rebound.

1:31 after that, Josh Archibald floated in and picked a corner and the Penguins were even again…

Later, Matia Marcantuoni blew a tire in his own end which led to an odd man rush the other way which saw Andrew Cherniwchan make it 3-2 Bruins. It was the first time in seven games that Matt Murray allowed a goal beyond the first period.

The period ended prematurely when Shair Gill broke a pane of glass.

The teams headed to the locker room and added the remaining 5:43 on the clock to the…

Third Period: Technically still in the second period, the Bruins tacked on two quick goals. Anton Blidh led a rush up the ice and Colby Cave put the rebound in for a 4-2 lead.

Then the Bruins added a backbreaker when they scored shorthanded. Brandon DeFazio led a two on one with Austin Czarnik and Czarnik cashed to seemingly put the game out of reach for the Penguins as it was 5-2.

The Penguins had been outshot 14-3 since the score was 2-2.

The Penguins were unable to get anything going on the tail end of a three in three and the last of a six game road trip and Providence shut things down after that.

Three Stars: 3) Tommy Cross (+4) 2) Andrew Cherniwchan (goal, +1) 1) Colby Cave (goal, assist, +2)

Tom Sestito was a -4 today. Eech.

Around the Division: The only game in the division was Hartford, extending their winning streak to seven in a row with a 4-1 win at home against Portland.

Standings: Penguins (.720 percentage points) — Portland (.613) — Hershey (.607) — Providence (.547) — Hartford (.524) — Bridgeport (.512) — Lehigh Valley (.464) — Springfield (.439)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers game against Brampton was postponed due to snow.

Pens will bus home and we will await word on the status of Scott Wilson. My charts will update sometime later tonight and then the Week 16 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog at their usual 4 p.m. slot Monday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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