Let’s get something out of the way quick. The answer to the question in the headline is in the slug. If you don’t know what the slug is, open this post on its own window, bereft of anything else as far as content on the blog, and tell me what you see. Hint: I leave the occasional easter egg from time to time in the slug.
Now, to the game, a 6-2 Penguins win over the rival Hershey Bears. Oskar Sundqvist scored four goals, tying a franchise high for goals in a game by a player.
It looks like the Penguins were going to get housed again by Hershey when the game just turned on a dime in the Penguins favor in a big, big way.
The win puts the Penguins back to first place in the Atlantic Division and drops the Bears, with wins by Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport, to fourth place. That’s how ultra competitive this Atlantic Division is. Hershey’s ten game point streak comes to an end as well.
Casey DeSmith opposed Joe Cannata.
Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Jake Guentzel – J-S Dea – Danny Kristo
Ryan Haggerty – Jarrett Burton – Patrick McGrath
Derrick Pouliot – Chad Ruhwedel
David Warsofsky – Stuart Percy
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow
Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry
Lineup Notes: Swap Percy for Lukas Bengtsson on defense and the entire fourth line from last night (Teddy Blueger, Tom Sestito and Reid Gardiner) f0r Haggerty, Burton and McGrath.
First Period: Pens had the pop going early but it was Hershey that found the back of the net first when Christian Djoos scored when Casey DeSmith lost his stick to make it 1-0 Bears.
On that goal, Chris Bourque collected his 600th AHL point. It feels like half of those have come against the Penguins, but I congratulate Bourque on the milestone nevertheless.
Chandler Stephenson scored when a pass setup for a guy in front was whiffed on. Stephenson was there as the safety net and scored it to make it 2-0 for the Bears. You could feel the rout coming again. It was setting up as another lifeless performance for the Penguins.
Oskar Sundqvist doesn’t speak that language.
He literally put the team on his back tonight. He scored to cut it to one late in the first period. A big hit led to the goal and it was 2-1 Bears.
Second Period: Oskar Sundqvist tied the game off a bad rebound that was left by Cannata. Then Jake Guentzel scored because it wouldn’t be a Penguins game if not for a Guentzel goal that made it 3-2 for the Penguins. That goal happened :29 after the Sundqvist goal.
Sundqvist completed his hat trick on a power play that made it 4-2. It was all Penguins and they were pouring it on. Wilkes-Barre limited the Bears to just six shots in the period.
Third Period: Sundqvist netted his fourth of the game off a breakaway that made it 5-2 Penguins. Then the Bears had a power play that DeSmith stopped. The Bears sling the puck around on the man advantage with sickening pin point accuracy but DeSmith read it all like a comic book and squelched any seedlings of a comeback by the Chocolate and White.
The last time that an opponent scored four goals against Hershey? The year was 1993.
– The player was Steve Konowalchuk of Portland on October 10, 1993.
– Oskar Sundqvist wasn’t even born.
– The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were six years from being born.
– You were paying about a dollar for a gallon of gas.
– This blogger was a freshman in high school.
Josh Archibald left the game after a nasty knee on knee hit by Joey Leach. It was his right knee, but it wasn’t his right knee that was injured as told to the WBS media post game by Clark Donatelli. He is considered day-to-day.
Off the ensuing major power play, Tom Kostopoulous banked in a pass intended for Jake Guentzel off of Colby Williams’ skate and in to make it 6-2.
Tux missed the extra point. There would be no seventh goal tonight.
Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, even) 2) Jake Guentzel (goal, assist, even) and 1) Oskar Sundqvist (four goals, +2)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley sweeps Rochester with a 4-2 win in Allentown….Bridgeport gets two goals in the third period on the road in Binghamton to tie it, remain perfect past regulation and win 4-3 in overtime. Eamon McAdam is now 7-0 for the Sound Tigers this year….Toronto beats Hartford in Connecticut 5-3…Springfield beats St. John’s on the Rock 2-1 and Providence runs their point record to 11 straight games, best in the AHL right now with a 3-1 win over the suddenly slumping Albany Devils.
Standings: Penguins (.717 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.700) — Bridgeport (.696) — Hershey (.688) — Providence (.604) — Springfield (.521) — Hartford (.370)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
One more deep mined stat for the road from the desk of color man Nick Hart….
Pens will bus to Bridgeport overnight for the 5 o’clock game with the Sound Tigers, who will be the more rested team having not played Friday. Gameday setup for that one hits the blog Sunday at 1.
Let’s Go Pens!