Chirps from Center Ice

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

Deviled Eggs — Pens LOSE 4-0

WBS          @          ALB

0                                               4

I am going to give you the optimistic and pessimistic view as to why the Penguins lost this game to the Albany Devils 4-0.

Pessimistic: Pittsburgh recalled all our damn players!

Optimistic: Albany scored :58 into the game, blocked a ton of shots the remainder of the game, the Penguins didn’t eclipse the 20 shot total till two minutes left to play in the game and the three goals scored in the third period were meaningless. The Penguins weren’t going to score because the Devils were really good at blocking shot lanes. Chasing the game late, they make a few mistakes that the Devils capitalize on.

Sorry, but Carter Rowney and Steve Oleksy are probably having their shots blocked in this game too. I choose the optimistic approach here.

First shutout for the Devils this season and the first professional clean sheet for Mackenzie Blackwood for Albany. Fifth time that the Penguins were shutout this season and they now have been shutout on back to back Friday’s.

Tristan Jarry opposed Mackenzie Blackwood.

Lines were…

Sahir Gill – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Oskar Sundqvist – Danny Kristo
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Christan Hilbrich – Jarrett Burton – Ryan Haggerty

Stuart Percy – David Warsofsky
Derrick Pouliot – Barry Goers
Tim Erixon – Ethan Prow

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: No immediate recall from Wheeling for a defenseman. Wilkes-Barre is OK right now with the six that they have. Garrett Wilson is week to week with an upper body injury and is 4-6 weeks away from a return. Thomas DiPauli is still week to week but is with the team. Remember that Head Coach Clark DOnatelli indicated that DiPauli should be back in the lineup at the end of February.

First Period: It was a sleepy start for the Penguins. :58 in, ex-Penguin Brian Gibbons picks the pocket of Tristan Jarry and Blake Coleman scored to give the Devils a 1-0 lead…

Albany had the only power play in the period and Oskar Sundqvist led a two-on-one with Teddy Blueger. Sundqvist had literally all day, waited out a guy and passed over to Blueger who swung and missed on the shorthanded bid.

Wilkes-Barre continued to sleepwalk and were getting throttled on the shot board 9-0 at one point. Jarry, after his initial gaffe with the puck was sharp the remainder of the period. Shots to conclude the first were every bit of 16-7 Albany heading into the….

Second Period: Mike and Nick mentioned it on the broadcast that it seemed like the Penguins had more shots than the Devils and while that may appear true to the naked eye, Albany outshot Wilkes-Barre 12-8 in the period. The Devils simply blocked a ton of shots in the period.

No scoring in the period. Tristan Jarry was excellent in net for the Penguins, stopping a Ben Sexton rebound attempt with his arm diving over to make a save:

Third Period: Penguins think that they score after J-S Dea makes a power move toward the net and in the pile of bodies Teddy Blueger kicks a puck in. Referee Tom Chmielewski washes the goal out on the kick, he and Chris Brown review the video and confirm their call on a kick. Both I and Mike and Nick on the broadcast agreed with the call. For what it’s worth, Chmielewski and Brown were outstanding tonight, allowing two good teams to play. There were only four power plays in this game.

That goal that didn’t go for the Penguins will be my turning point in this game as Ben Sexton pounces on a turnover by the Penguins and blasts one past Jarry to make it 2-0.

Soon, the Penguins turn over the puck again and Max Novack comes in on a three on one and scores to make it 3-0.

Nick Lappin added an empty netter that just added the sprinkles (or jimmies, depending on what end of the state you are from) on the icing on the cake on this one.

Three Stars: 3) Yohann Auvitu (two assists, +2) 2) Max Novack (goal, +1) and 1) Mackenzie Blackwood (24 save shutout)

Around the Division: Bad night to be a team from Pennsylvania. Lehigh Valley loses at home to last place Hartford 3-2 and Hershey loses in Providence 4-3. Bridgeport continues their tear and win 5-2 in Rochester. The Sound Tigers visit Albany tomorrow. Springfield, who host the Penguins Saturday, beat Utica 5-2.

Standings: Penguins (.740 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.660) — Providence (.657) — Bridgeport (.653) — Hershey (.598) — Springfield (.450) — Hartford (.430)

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 6-3 in the rematch with Brampton tonight. Garrett Meurs had a Gordie Howe hat trick. Wheeling hosts Kalamazoo Saturday.

Video highlights…

Pens bus to Springfield overnight for a 7:05 start with the Thunderbirds. Gameday will hit the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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