I don’t know how much of a narrative there is going to be when your team is 9-2 and both goaltenders are playing at the top of their levels right now.
But the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins needed a strong performance after getting run out of the rink by a Toronto Marlies side and shutout Friday night at home.
The man to help deliver that was Casey DeSmith.
DeSmith must really love playing against the Bruins because I can’t remember the last time he lost to Providence. DeSmith stopped 28 of 29 and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Providence Bruins by a score of 3-1.
Tom had the stat I was looking for post game…
DeSmith was opposed by Malcolm Subban.
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Kevin Porter – Dominik Simon
Jarrett Burton – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Sahir Gill – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
David Warsofsky – Ethan Prow
Cameron Gaunce – Tim Erixon
Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry
Lineup Notes: Ryan Haggerty returned from injury. There were no bodies listed on the injured list. Ethan Prow took the place of Stuart Percy. Thomas Di Pauli did not warm up and was a healthy scratch.
First Period: Pens jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Sahir Gill centered to J-S Dea to put the Penguins on the board.
Providence pushed back almost immediately, and got a power play out of it but DeSmith was up to the task, stopping a redirect from an Alex Grant shot and a Peter Mueller redirect.
Second Period: Said this at the time after the Penguins killed a McNeill high stick…
Later, as a power play for the Penguins expired, Oskar Sundqvist powered one through the pads of Subban to double the Penguins lead.
Then, Casey DeSmith stole the show with two saves on Peter Mueller in one series.
First on a two on one, DeSmith lunged over to deny Mueller, as the puck cycled around Mueller stayed camped out at the near post and was fed the puck again and DeSmith lunged over at the last second and again denied Mueller this time with the stick. Mueller, aghast at what happened to him in one shift, left the ice bewildered.
It ended up being an important save.
Third Period: Danton Heinen scored on his own rebound that punched out to him and put the puck over DeSmith’s glove and under the bar to put the Bruins on the board via a power play goal. The Bruins had been pushing all period to get any type of offense going and got one.
Pens got a power play and I felt at the time that they needed to cash here despite only leading by one. Then it was Malcolm Subban that made some big saves for his team, stopping Dominik Simon and then Carter Rowney on a two on one. Later, with Subban vacated for an extra man, Jake Guentzel found a puck and raced out of his own zone to put it into the empty net that gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead and iced the game away.
Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, +2) 2) Casey DeSmith (28 saves on 29 shots) and 1) Oskar Sundqvist (goal, +1)
Around the Division: The Phantoms owe the Penguins big time because Wilkes-Barre softened top the Marlies bad enough to where the Phantoms crushed Toronto 7-2. A good Phantoms team is a dangerous Phantoms team. Quietly, that’s five in a row for the Phantoms. Tomorrow’s game in Hartford may be a trap game for the Penguins as Wilkes-Barre travels to Allentown Wednesday night….Bridgeport beats Hershey 4-3 in a shootout in a back and forth affair between those two teams. Hershey hosts the Phantoms Sunday afternoon…Springfield shuts out Binghamton 4-0….Utica beat Hartford 3-2 in a battle of bad teams.
Standings: Penguins (.792 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.682) — Bridgeport (.667) — Springfield (.625) — Hershey (.625) — Providence (.423) — Hartford (.318)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off. They travel to Brampton tomorrow at 2.
Couple more going away nuggets on Casey DeSmith…
Pens bus overnight for a 5 p.m. Sunday game at Hartford. Gameday setup for that hits the blog Sunday at 1.
Let’s Go Pens!