This game was a tale of two hockey games.
For the first thirty minutes of the game, the Penguins played bad. They trailed on the scoreboard and were getting run around by an undermanned Binghamton team in a classic trap style game. A lot of guys on the Senators side were stepping into bigger roles and were showing that the faith in the coaching staff bestowed upon them in a road game against a premier opponent.
For the final thirty minutes of the game, you would swear that there was only one hockey team playing. The Penguins rip off four goals, including two more points for Tom Kostopoulos and the Penguins win 4-1. Wilkes-Barre has held their opponents to just one goal in the last seven straight regulation contests. We all knew that the defense was going to be good going into the season, but this good?
Oh, if you are struggling with the headline, as you can see, so am I. The Roman Numeral for 400 (as in points scored by Tom Kostopoulos in a Penguin uniform) is CD.
Some times the puns flow. Sometimes they don’t.
Tristan Jarry opposed Matt O’Connor.
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – Reid Gardiner
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Sahir Gill – J-S Dea – Jarrett Burton
Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
Barry Goers – Steve Oleksy
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow
Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith
Lineup Notes: First time for Jarrett Burton in the lineup since October 26 against Albany. Patrick McGrath took warmups.
First Period: Pens had a goal disallowed on a Jake Guentzel interference incidental contact with the goaltender call. Referee Mike Mullen was right on top of the play and washed it out immediately. Explanation to Clark Donatelli’s bench was not met with much opposition. But you can tell in the way that the rest of the game unfolded that the call bothered the Pens.
Binghamton came out and started running around on the Penguins. Mike Blunden then stole something from Tristan Jarry of value to him…
And it was 1-0 Binghamton.
This is a better pun.
Second Period: Penguins had a power play and looked terrible in the process. It was shaping up into a classic trap game. The undermanned, underdog team, comes into the living room of the big bully and slaps him around.
If Jarry lets in this Triston Grant would be goal, it’s probably a different outcome…
Shots at this point was something like 13-13 at this point. Then the Penguins took over.
A Chad Ruhwedel shot from the point was deflected in by Jake Guentzel and it was a tie game. Tom Kostopoulos had the secondary assist here for his 399th point in a Penguins uniform.
Exactly two minutes later, on a power play, Tom Kostopoulos whacked in a rebound through the pads of O’Connor for his 400th point and a 2-1 Penguins lead and a power play goal.
Third Period: They weren’t done.
Garrett Wilson had yet to find a goal yet this season but erased that in fine fashion on an odd man rush. Wilson waited and froze O’Connor and sniped one past him for a 3-1 Penguins lead. Now watch Wilson get hot now. Could be the start of something great.
O’Connor was needed agains stoning Kevin Porter after the face off else it would have been 4-1.
Oskar Sundqvist made sure it would get to 4-1 on a cannon of a shot that deflected off of O’Connor, off the post and into the net that extended the Penguins lead to three.
Late, Binghamton had a long 1:56 of five-on-three power play time after back-to-back penalties by the Penguins. Binghamton’s inability to score on a two man advantage Saturday in Hershey led to their undoing. The B-Sens lost that one 7-1. Back to the present, the B-Sens weren’t able to get anything past Jarry as he saw everything.
Three Stars: 3) Garrett Wilson (goal, assist, +2) 2) Oskar Sundqvist (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, +1)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley wins 4-2 in Providence. I think that the Bruins are bad more than Lehigh Valley is good….Hershey battles back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Springfield 3-2 in overtime. I think that the Penguins inability to win over the Thunderbirds is a style thing more than it is anything….Bridgeport beat Hartford 5-4 in overtime. That’s a surprise because Hartford is awful, but it’s a rivalry for these two teams so maybe the Wolf Pack got up for that one but still lost.
Standings: I better start doing these by percentage points if I want these to be accurate, so here goes… Penguins (.813 percentage points) — Springfield (.668) — Bridgeport (.667) — Hershey (.625) — Lehigh Valley (.563) — Hartford (.389) — Providence (.333)
Wheeling Update: Bad night for the Nailers who lose 6-1 to Toledo. Cody Wydo scored the only goal for Wheeling.
Pens will bus now to Bridgeport for the second of their three in three. Gameday setup will hit the blog Saturday at 3 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!