Going back to the narrative I led with after the Penguins beat the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night about great teams winning games, add one more category which I forgot.
Great teams win games they have no business winning.
The Rochester Americans should have won this game tonight going away. They outshot the Penguins 23-13 after two period, had seven power plays and scored first. They should have won the game tonight.
But Carter Rowney and Tom Kostopoulos had other ideas.
Rowney, making his first appearance returning from injury, scores a goal and assists on another as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins get a key player back into the mix and beat the Americans 3-2 in Western New York Friday night.
That’s the sixth win in a row for the Penguins, who remain unbeaten in 2017.
Tristan Jarry opposed John Muse.
Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Danny Kristo
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Derrick Pouliot – Tim Erixon
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow
Stuart Percy – Barry Goers
Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith
Lineup Notes: Carter Rowney returned from injury, his first action since November 25. Rowney missed 18 games. The Penguins went 14-3-1-0 without Rowney’s services. Chad Ruhwedel was still recovering from illness and was a healthy scratch. Other healthy scratches included Patrick McGrath, Sahir Gill, Lukas Bengtsson and Ryan Haggerty.
First Period: Rochester owned the period and jumped all over the Penguins to start, earning themselves a 1-0 lead quickly, but two power play goals put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at the end of the first.
Seconds into their first power play, Carter Rowney made up for lost time with this goal…
Mind the Penguins tweet there, that was indeed Carter Rowney’s goal.
Five seconds into another power play, Tim Erixon unleashes a shot from the blue line that Tom Kostopoulos gets a stick on to put the Penguins ahead 2-1…
Rochester was putting a lot of pucks on Jarry from all angles, firing him into awkward, nonchalant type saves. Rochester outshot the Penguins 14-6 in this first period.
Second Period: Penguins were outshot 23-13 at the end of the period, no scoring here and it was the Wilkes-Barre penalty kill that was better than the Rochester power play as it seemed like this period was largely dominated by special teams.The Amerks had three consecutive chances on the man advantage in the second period but the Penguins penalty kill really limited Rochester’s chances. Teddy Blueger will be getting some money or some free meals from Garrett Wilson at some point soon as Blueger was really good at killing penalties in this game. Wilson, to this point, took three penalties which were all hooking penalties.
Third Period: Penguins take their fourth straight penalty and Rochester finally makes them pay when ex-Penguin Cal O’Reilly picks a corner and ties the game for the Amerks.
Garrett Wilson took his fourth penalty of the game, but Josh Archibald drew his second penalty of the game and Stuart Percy scored at even strength off of this change up of a shot that put the Penguins ahead for good….
It looked like it went off of Tyson Strachan’s skate and in past Muse.
Rochester, with Muse pulled for the extra attacker, was later never able to find the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Daniel Muzito-Bagenda (goal, +1) 2) Carter Rowney (goal, assist, even) 1) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, -1)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley strikes four times on twelve power plays and crush the Hershey Bears 6-2 in Allentown. Five straight losses for the Bears….Binghamton beats Bridgeport at home 3-2 in overtime…Hartford clips St. John’s in Newfoundland in overtime 2-1 also and so does Springfield to Albany in the Capital District 3-2. Utica beat Providence 2-1 in regulation in Rhode Island.
Standings: Penguins (.770 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.714) — Providence (.662) — Hershey (.625) — Bridgeport (.559) — Springfield (.529) — Hartford (.421)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lose 4-3 in Toledo to the Walleye. Sean Maguire took the loss, Doug Carr backed up. Christian Hilbrich, Andrew Ammon and Brett Stern scored for Wheeling.
Pens will bus east on Interstate 90 to Syracuse for a 7 o’clock start Saturday against the Crunch. Gameday setup for that will be on the blog Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!