Chirps from Center Ice

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

Four Straight to Get to Seven — Pens LOSE 4-1

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In the third period of a tight game, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms explode for three straight goals and win this one 4-1. It’s the seventh win in a row for the Phantoms, who are edging closer to the Penguins at the top of the Atlantic Division. Lehigh Valley scored four straight goals and have now won seven games in a row.

Anyone looking at just the score line would think that it was a blow out win by the Phantoms and they couldn’t be more wrong.

Third period. Tie game at 1-1. Shot from the point deflects off of Chad Ruhwedel to Greg Carey down low who catches Penguins starting goaltender Tristan Jarry out of position and puts it behind him.

Later in the period, Lukas Bengtsson took an uncalled high stick that briefly stunned him and put him out of position when Taylor Leier scored to make it 3-1.

T.J. Brennan hit an empty net from 180 feet away that made it 4-1 in garbage time.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The Penguins probably will never be able to hash out this equation with the Toronto Marlies because they only play them twice this season but with the Phantoms, these two teams meet 11 more times.

It was the aforementioned Tristan Jarry against Alex Lyon.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Kevin Porter – Jake Guentzel – Dominik Simon
Thomas DiPauli – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Reid Gardiner – J-S Dea – Patrick McGrath

Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
David Warsofsky – Lukas Bengtsson
Cameron Gaunce – Stuart Percy

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: Today was the 300th AHL game for Kevin Porter. The second game in a row that the ‘GRK’ line was broken up. Garrett Wilson was on the top line with Jake Guentzel centering the second line. Sahir Gill took warmups but was scratched. Tim Erixon is battling a lower body injury and was a scratch.

First Period: No scoring, but both teams did everything but score.

Carter Rowney actually did…

…but it was waved off by referee Alex Garon on account of incidental contact with the goaltender. That player was Garrett Wilson. Tough call to make, but these officials have to allow these goaltenders to play their position.

Tristan Jarry turned away all 16 shots he faced by the Phantoms high powered offense. He was on his game early on. He stopped Scott Laughton point blank after the Penguins failed to score on the only power play in the period.

Second Period: Thomas DiPauli was featured by Coal Street this week, so what does he do to back up the press? Score a dirty goal.

Phantoms then had a chance to go on a power play and Tristan Jarry made a couple of big saves for his team. Colin McDonald whiffed on a rebound laying there before Jarry covered. Penguins got a chance to go on a power play and Chad Ruhwedel struck iron.

Corban Knight scored for the Phantoms on what looked like a lucky goal…

Third Period: Wilkes-Barre went 0-for-5 on the power play tonight. Tom offered some foreshadowing…

They didn’t. They got close when Alex Lyon stoned Oskar Sundqvist in close off of a perfect deed by Kevin Porter, but almost doesn’t count.

Lehigh Valley weathered the early storm and scored to go ahead on the Greg Carey goal reference earlier in the lede…

Smidge has a tendency to jump on the table where the computer where I watch the games from. She is here most of the time anyway, so who’s table is it, really?

Taylor Leier scored 54 seconds later…

Don’t worry. Smidge is 12 years old, which is like 84 in cat years. She’s pretty spry for an octogenarian.

Joking aside, the Phantoms shut down the Penguins power plays that were awarded by referees Chris Schlenker and Alex Garon. If the Penguins score on one or two of them, it’s an entirely different result quite possibly.

T.J. Brennan with army sniper marksmanship on this empty net goal from deep in his own zone iced the game away…

Before you think the sky is falling, remember that this is just the third time in 14 games where the Penguins have allowed more than two goals.

Three Stars: 3) Greg Carey (game winning goal, +1) 2) Alex Lyon (30 saves on 31 shots) and 1) Corban Knight (goal, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey beats a bad Utica team 4-2 in New York…Hartford battles back from an 0-2 deficit to beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 3-2 in a shootout. Bridgeport and Providence were off.

Standings: Penguins (.750 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.731) — Bridgeport (.667) — Hershey (.607) — Springfield (.571) — Providence (.423) — Hartford (.357)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers did not play today.

If the Phantoms put up video highlights I will edit those in when I see them. Otherwise, short of anything breaking news wise Thursday look for the next blog update to come Friday for the Gameday setup at 3 p.m. against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Let’s Go Pens!

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