The Albany Devils came in to Wilkes-Barre Wednesday night as the only undefeated team in the American Hockey League.
All good things come to an end.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins hand the Devils their first loss of the season. A goal and an assist by Jake Guentzel, 19 strong saves by Tristan Jarry and a perfect 5 for 5 penalty kill by the Penguins and the Devils go down by a score of 3-1.
The aforementioned Tristan Jarry opposed Scott Wedgewood.
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – Sahir Gill – Reid Gardiner
Scott Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Jarrett Burton – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
Tim Erixon – Steve Oleksy
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow
Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith
Lineup Notes: Season debut for Ethan Prow. Kevin Porter was listed as injured. As told to the WBS media after the game, he is day to day with an upper body injury, not caused by game action. Pat McGrath, Adam Krause and Barry Goers were listed as the healthy scratches. McGrath took warmups.
First Period: Two good teams usually means that you will see pretty even hockey and this was the case the puck dropped tonight. The Penguins jumped out to an early shot lead, whether by design by the Devils or something else.
Penguins saw two power plays come and go, but then John Quenneville took a high sticking and interference call at the same time and the Penguins finally broke the dam and scored a power play goal when Chad Ruhwedel unleashed a snap shot that beat Wedgewood blocker side that put the Penguins on the board with a 1-0 lead.
Notable tidbit: This first period result was the first time all season the Albany Devils trailed heading into an intermission.
Second Period: Pens had all the power plays in the first, it was Albany who enjoyed them in the second.
It didn’t matter.
Josh Archibald scored a shorthanded goal unassisted that made it 2-0 Wilkes-Barre.
The Penguins took the lead in the AHL in shorthanded goals with three.
Albany’s woes continued, as even with power plays being handed to them left and right, they struggled. Defensive woes continued. Sahir Gill takes advantage and finds Jake Guentzel open and Guentzel buries his third of the year that made it 3-0.
Pens took control after that. Face off, they take it in and possess and cycle for a good 90 seconds. Devils can’t clear. They wear down and are visibly gassed and are just standing there and take a penalty.
Third Period: Albany replaced Wedgewood with Mackenzie Blackwood to start the period. Devils would get one back in the period when Nick Lappin crashed the net and scored to break up any hopes of a Tristan Jarry shutout bid at 8:05 of the period.
Pens had a long period of 5-on-3 for 1:41 but were unable to ice the game away at that point.
But time became the Devils enemy and with Blackwood vacated for an extra attacker, Albany was never able to put another puck past Jarry.
Three Stars: 3) Chad Ruhwwedel (power play goal even, seven shots) 2) Josh Archibald (power play goal, +1) and 1) Jake Guentzel (goal, assist, +1)
Guentzel has been on fire.
Around the Division: Two other games in the Atlantic Wednesday. Hershey was in Hartford and lost 3-2 in overtime. Box here. Providence was in Toronto and also lost in overtime by a score of 4-3. Box here.
Standings: The Penguins will lead the Atlantic with 8 points, Springfield and have Hartford 6, Hershey 5, Bridgeport 4, Providence 4, Lehigh Valley 3. That order may be off because the League orders teams on percentage points. I am bad at math and its a work night, I have to get home to be at my desk at Thursday morning at 8:30. Close enough.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off. They open a home and home with the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday.
Infographics and video….
Pens will skate again competitively Saturday in Springfield. If any newsworthy items worth a post are made pubic, I’ll have a piece here. If not, see you Saturday at 3 for the pregame setup.
Let’s Go Pens!