Chirps from Center Ice

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

500 Reasons to Have Your Best Month Ever — Pens WIN 6-2

WBS          @          button_bng200

6                                               2

When this headline hits the social media feeds I have, I wonder if it will get flagged for spam.

Nothing processed about this one though, a 6-2 win in Binghamton tonight capping off the Penguins franchise best month of hockey improving to 12-2 in the month of January. Tom Kostopoulos scores his 500th AHL point in the third period making him the 91st player in the American Hockey League to achieve this milestone.

The Pens are rolling now with their best forward (Jake Guentzel) and defenseman (Chad Ruhewedel) up in Pittsburgh. They are winning with guys like Teddy Blueger and David Warsofsky. It was built in the offseason to be a deep team. I was looking back at some old stuff from a few years ago, when injuries hit Pittsburgh necessitating call ups from Wilkes-Barre, Pens were playing and winning with guys like Ty Loney and John McCarron. They made sure that if injuries hit the NHL team again, that the farm would be stacked with talent that could carry the flag.

Tristan Jarry vs. Chris Driedger.

Lines were the same as they were the night before in Utica…

Garrett Wilson – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Ryan Haggerty – Sahir Gill – Danny Kristo

Derrick Pouliot – Tim Erixon
Stuart Percy – David Warsofsky
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: Same lineup as before for the Penguins was noted, Steve Oleksy isn’t believed to be actually with the team as Pittsburgh is apparently giving him a few days off. This per Seth’s speculation pregame.

First Period: Penguins opened and were carrying the momentum and it felt like the dam was going to break at any minute.

In the span of eight minutes, the Penguins scored four times and allowed one. The first goal was coming out of a break when Ryan Haggerty raced out of the zone and fired a puck past Driedger and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. It was Haggerty’s fourth goal in five games.

Dominik Simon scored to make it 2-0 when Teddy Blueger literally kicked a puck over to him in a pile in front of the B-Sens net and Simon scored on the wide open cage to double the lead. David Warsofsky collected an assist in this goal giving the all-star defenseman his tenth multipoint game trailing none other than Jake Guentzel.

Binghamton looked to have made it a game when Jason Akeson dangled through the defense, and shot it where Nick Paul was there to put the rebound in.

That goal seemed to enrage the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

J-S Dea scored 1:05 later when Teddy Blueger hit him with a perfect cross ice pass that Dea put in on the back door that re-established the Penguins two goal lead.

:20 later, Blueger scored his own goal that made it 4-1 Penguins.

So to recap, just in the first period alone, Teddy Blueger and Dominik Simon had there points. Blueger’s first three point game. First four goal period for the Penguins since 11-5 against Bridgeport.

Second Period: Matt O’Connor relieved Chris Driedger in goal. It worked in the short term in lighting a fire under the B-Sens as Chad Nehring tipped a Alex Krushelnyski shot from the blue line that made it 4-2.

But then a great individual effort by Derrick Pouliot, snaking through pretty much everyone on the ice in a Binghamton sweater, to feed a pass over to Danny Kristo to put he Penguins back ahead by three goals. Danny Kristo has four goals for the Penguins ice the trade, three of them have come against the Binghamton Senators.

Ben Harpur and Tom Sestito fought after Harpur hit Danny Kristo into the boards in an earlier sequence. Sestito was given an instigator penalty giving the Senators a power play that they would not score on.

Third Period: Both teams had a chance on the opera play but it was better kills by the side down a man. Then Tom Kostopoulos scored for his 500th point in the AHL on a nice backdoor feed tat made it 6-2 Penguins. Penguins made sure that the Senators didn’t get any closer.

Three Stars: 3) Danny Kristo (goal, assist, +2) 2) Teddy Blueger (goal, two assists, +3) and 1) Dominik Simon (goal, two assists, +3)

Around the Division: Bridgeport hits the break winners of seven straight taking down the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at home tonight 3-2….Hartford cools off Providence 4-3 and Hershey beats Springfield 4-2.

Standings: Penguins (.767 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.698) — Providence (.644) — Bridgeport (.619) — Hershey (.591) — Springfield (.465) — Hartford (.411)

Wheeling Update: Sean Maguire with a 25 save shutout as the Wheeling Nailers defeat the Brampton Beast at home by a score of 4-0.

Video highlights…

The Week 16 AHL Power Rankings will get dome sometime Sunday afternoon by me and I will have them Monday at noon in advance of the All-Star Classic Monday at 7. The Wheeling Wrap will hit the blog Tuesday at noon. So check for all that stuff later this week. I may drop a blog on anything newsworthy coming out of the AHL All-Star Classic in Allentown this weekend also.

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