Chirps from Center Ice

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

The Un-Finishers — Pens LOSE 3-2 (OT)

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Here’s a great gem of a tweet that Citizens Voice beat writer Seth Lakso mined as we were waiting for the dry scrape of what ended up being a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rochester Americans.

Make it one in their last 13.

The turning point of this game was a long 5-on-3 power play that the Penguins were on in the third period for :31. After a time out, the Penguins owned a ton of offensive zone time but were held out of the net by the Americans penalty killers and the play of goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.

About that power play. It was a clean game for both teams with the referees arms staying down until the third period. The Penguins had all of the power plays in the third period and Rochester did not have a single one until overtime.

But instead of putting the cart before the horse, let me tell the whole story. Jump through if you didn’t link in direct to see the rest of the story because I bring the video highlights again in this blog recap.

Tristan Jarry vs. Nathan Lieuwen

Lines were…

Anton Zlobin – Kael Mouillierat – Dominik Simon
Sahir Gill – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Josh Archibald – J-S Dea – Derek Army
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – John McCarron

Reid McNeill – Steve Oleksy
Niclas Andersen – David Warsofsky
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill

Tristan Jarry – Brian Foster

Lineup Notes: Matt Murray was recalled to and backed up Marc-Andre Fleury for the Pittsburgh Penguins game about an hour away in Buffalo, N.Y…David Warsofsky was sent to Wilkes-Barre on a long term conditioning assignment today. Anton Zlobin was up on the top line this afternoon, Josh Archibald was dropped down to the third line. Tom Sestito was dropped to the fourth line. Tyler Biggs was scratched. On defense, Niclas Andersen was paired with David Warsofsky. Harrison Ruopp was scratched along with Patrick McGrath, Ryan Parent, Clark Seymour and Ty Loney. Seymour and Loney were recalled from the Wheeling Nailers along with Brian Foster who backed up Jarry Sunday.

First Period: Wilkes-Barre came flying out of the gate, outshooting the Americans 5-0 at one point. Lieuwen was called into many tough saves and without hime the game could have easily been out of hand early.

Lieuwen only allowed one goal in the period, this one by Carter Rowney after Rowney finished off a nice tic tac toe setup started by Tom Kostopoulos and set up by Sahir Gill:

Another angle…

The Americans defense was a bit out to lunch as every time the Penguins entered the offensive zone, they nearly scored. Rochester had a bit of a push back by trying to slow the game down but the Penguins spent the last minute in the offensive zone but couldn’t double their lead.

Second Period: Rochester scored quickly to make it 1-1 for the Americans when William Carrier stuffed home a rebound left by Jarry:

Less than two minutes later, Tom Kostopoulos picked his corner…

And it was 2-1 Penguins.

Wilkes-Barre would get pressured a bit by the Americans midway through and then William Carrier scored his second of the period with this nifty deflection:

The Penguins were trying to get cute and when they did they got scored on.

Second Period Notes: The Penguins third line of Sahir Gill (0-2-2) Carter Rowney (1-1-2) and Tom Kostopoulos (1-1-2) all had multiple points games to this point heading into the…

Third Period: The Penguins, looking for a strong finish, started the period on a four on four with the games first penalties being put into the scorebook.

J-S Dea nearly scored here:

Penguins had their first power play of the game. Lieuwen stopped two quick shots but the Amerks killed it.

Penguins then found themselves on a 5-on-3 for :31 but couldn’t score. This was the turning point of the game.

Overtime: Referees were looking to give the Amerks the advantage it felt like and it didn’t take long until Carter Rowney was called for this tripping penalty. You be the judge if this is a penalty or not:

Cal O’Reilly with the tap in dagger:

The biggest problem that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins face now is the fact that they just can’t find a way to put teams away. It’s personnel. AHL games are hard to win. A lineup full of ECHLers is going to have a hard time in putting away its opponent. Maybe not so much tonight, because failing to score on a 5-on-3 late in a third period of a time game is going to give a huge momentum push to any team that doesn’t get scored on. It’s good that the Penguins are at the top of the division in this dry spell instead of battling for its playoff life.

Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, +2) 2) Cal O’Reilly (game winning overtime power play goal, even) 1) William Carrier (two goals, +2)

Around the Division: Hartford loses to Binghamton 6-2…Albany continues their tear in the wrong division and destroy Bridgeport 5-2…Providence exacts revenge over Hershey after the Bears beat them Saturday and won Sunday by a score of 6-3…Lehigh Valley beats Springfield 5-4 in a battle of Atlantic Division cellar dwellers.

Standings: Penguins (.663 percentage points) — Hershey (.630) — Portland (.588) — Providence (.577) — Bridgeport (.575) — Hartford (.528) — Lehigh Valley (.500) — Springfield (.433)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off after picking up 5 of 6 points in their recent road swing.

Here is the Coal Street infographic:

Pens will have a light practice day Monday while they prepare for a huge matchup at home against the Hershey Bears on Tuesday.

My Week 20 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4. The Big Board Chart will refresh later Sunday night.

Let’s Go Pens!

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