Chirps from Center Ice

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

Rat Pack – Pens WIN 3-1

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This was a road game, so in these instances, I like to write the game story for the blog as the game goes on to make it easier on me sitting in front of a computer for two and a half hours. So I wrote this in the first period recap that I am bringing up here in the lede.

The thing about Kael Mouillierat as a Penguin is that it’s a love / hate relationship. You love the fact that he has ten points in his last eight games with leading scorers Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson up in Pittsburgh, but you hate watching a skilled player like him take a penalty nearly every game.

Mouillierat had a goal and an assist in this contest, giving the Penguins forward ten points in his last eight games and his sixth multi point game as a Penguin. He takes a ton of penalties but evens it out with getting his name on the point sheet.

Oh, by the way, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins won the game 3-1 and have won two of their last three with an ECHL heavy lineup against quality opponents.

It was Matt Murray vs. Magnus Hellberg.

Lines were…

Josh Archibald – Kael Mouillierat – Derek Army
Anton Zlobin – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Ty Loney – Sahir Gill – John McCarron
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Tyler Biggs

Reid McNeill – Steve Oleksy
Niclas Andersen – Harrison Ruopp
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry

Lineup Notes: The Penguins sent goaltender Brian Foster to Wheeling earlier today. Tyler Biggs was back in the lineup after missing the last 25 games. Harrison Ruopp was back in the lineup since January 24, he replaced Clark Seymour. Tyler Biggs replaced Patrick McGrath on the fourth line and Sahir Gill replaced J-S Dea as Dea missed the game with an illness. Dea was the lone Penguin to have skated in every single game this season.

I decided to do somethings different here with this recap. If you linked in direct, you are good, read on. If you didn’t hit the jump to see the rest of the story. The reason for this change is that I added and embedded a lot of video highlights in the recap to make it visually appealing to you, the reader, even though the videos produced from my mother’s basement are amateurish in nature…

First Period: The Penguins were a bit under the cosh to begin the period. Hartford owned the offensive zone time and had some chances on net. Matt Murray made this save through traffic…

Penguins killed a Mouillierat penalty, then cashed on his goal off of a Josh Archibald face-off win…

Officials reviewed it for possible kick, but it was ruled an confirmed as a good goal.

Before the goal, John McCarron lined up a Hartford player with a big hit right at center ice…

Second Period: Hartford began the period much like the first, pressuring the Penguins in their own zone with several chances at Murray but came up empty. The Penguins were making the most of their opportunities.

Anton Zlobin missed on this wraparound attempt on the backhand…

…but later cashed on a power play goal on this nice tip-in on a Will O’Neill blast from the point.

O’Neill has 30 points (6-24-30) on the season so far.

Weird sequence followed afterwards as the Penguins were called for two consecutive penalties. The first was a delay of game penalty then the second was an unsportsmanlike penalty on Matt Murray of all people. The Penguins killed both penalties.

Shots were 20-15 Pirates heading into the….

Third Period: Pens had an early power play and didn’t cash on it. I noticed in the power play that Tom Sestito wasn’t on the ice for the power play, which I think was the first time in a while for Clark Donatelli and his power play brain trust.

LOL moment nearly for Hellberg as he nearly put the puck in his own net…

Nick Jensen made it interesting and scored at 10:26 to cut the Penguins lead to one…

Ryan Bourque then hit a post. The Hartford Wolf Pack were coming in droves but Murray and the Penguins were keeping it a one goal game.

With time dwindling and Hellberg vacated, the Wolf Pack were unable to find the equalizer and Sahir Gill scored the easy empty netter. His hustle paid off…

Carter Rowney picked up the assist on that empty netter extending is point streak to four games (4-3-7)

Three Stars: Nick Jensen (goal, -1) 2) Kael Mouillierat (goal, assist. +1) and 1) Anton Zlobin (game winning power play goal, even)

Around the Division: Hershey’s 13 game point streak was snapped by the Providence Bruins tonight in Rhode Island as the Bears fall to the Bruins by a score of 5-2. The P-Bruins continue their tear and are now on a 15 game point streak, tied for the AHL’s best this season…Portland beats Lehigh Valley 3-1. Mike McKenna stopped 45 of 46 shots in a dazzling performance. Bridgeport and Springfield were off.

Standings: Penguins (.688 percentage points) — Hershey (.627) — Portland (.598) — Providence (.583) — Bridgeport (.573) — Hartford (.521) — Lehigh Valley (.490) — Springfield (.457)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers defeated the Adirondack Thunder by a score of 5-2 tonight. Adam Krause had a goal.

Pens will bus home tonight and ready themselves for a 7:05 home start against the Portland Pirates. Gamed setup for this will hit the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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