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Countdown to Opening Night
Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
18 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Nothing flashy again here recap wise for the second of three preseason Penguins games and the first of a weekend home and home against the Hershey Bears.
One piece of news before the recap. Kevin Porter and David Warsofsky cleared waivers at noon Saturday making them eligible for assignment to Wilkes-Barre.
The Penguins beat the Bears tonight 4-2. Even though it’s preseason, it’s always fun beating Hershey.
These were the lines put out by Coach Clark Donatelli for tonight’s game against the Hershey Bears:
First Period: Penguins were a lot quicker tonight then they were Wednesday. Hershey loses control of a puck in their zone, take a delayed penalty when Patrick McGrath wired one from the top of the slot in for a 1-0 Penguins lead. The fourth line was on the ice for that one as Nick Sorkin and Miloš Bubela assisted on the goal.
Later, Dustin Gazley went invisible for a second because the Penguins defenders must have forgot he was on the ice, as he skated in unabated and picked his spot on DeSmith and evened the game at one a piece.
Pens looked great on the penalty kill, DeSmith outstanding overall.
Second Period: Joe Cannata made a great pad stop on J-S Dea while the Pens were in two on one. Then Casey DeSmith got in on the pad action with a stop the other way.
Halfway through, Vitek Vanacek took over the Bears net. Casey DeSmith stayed in. I’m thinking some combination of Leland Irving and / or Doug Carr start Sunday in Hershey.
Hershey edged ahead when Dustin Gazley centered Hubert Labrie while the Bears were 3-on-1.
Pens had a power play after that. They spent the entire two minutes in cycling the puck and taking shots but were not able to put one past Vanacek.
DeSmith was up to his old tricks making spectacular saves.
DeSmith may push Jarry for starter once Tristan gets back from Pittsburgh. The brain trust up too may not rush Matt Murray back if DeSmith continues to play like this at the AHL level and Jarry so far at the NHL preseason level.
Third Period: Pens turned the game in their favor thanks to two penalties drawn by Oskar Sundqvist. Sundqvist got the first power play goal off a nice behind setup by Tom Kostopoulos, drew a holding penalty later when Reid Gardiner crashed the net to make it 3-2 Penguins.
Bears pulled Vanacek and Tim Erixon scored into the empty net from about 190′ away that iced the game away.
Pens rode out the Hershey storm the first five minutes of the period then took off and never looked back. I think DeSmith faced just one shot on goal the final ten minutes or so.
Some collateral damage. Josh Archibald was held crashing the net and went hard into Vanacek and did not return. He was helped off not putting any pressure onto his left leg. If there is a report by Tom or Seth later, I’ll run an edit or mention it in a future piece.
Wilkes-Barre closes out the preseason Sunday in Hershey at 5.
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