Tonight’s game was an evisceration of the Hartford Wolf Pack by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, plain and simple.
8-1 the final tonight and exactly what the doctor ordered for a team which was floundering a bit in the wake of the yearly injuries to Pittsburgh and the drones of early Spring, where the Penguins always go cold.
Eight different goals scored by eight different goal scorers. Five players with multiple point games. It’s probably easier to lost the players who didn’t record a point tonight than it is who didn’t, but I will do it anyway.
No points for Tim Erixon, Josh Archibald, Teddy Blueger, Frank Corrado, Christian Hilbrich, Tom DiPauli and Ryan Haggerty. Hell, even starting goaltender Casey DeSmith picked up an assist in this game.
For Hartford, Every single player on the team was a minus, except for the line of Marek Hrivik, Taylor Beck and Michael Joly, who scored on DeSmith to break up his shutout bid in the second period. No Wolf Pack players was an even.
But you can’t play Hartford every night and the real test to see if the Penguins are indeed back to shredding teams will come tomorrow when a rested Providence Bruins team comes in hungry to get at it with the division leading Penguins.
The aforementioned Casey DeSmith opposed Mackenzie Skapski, who allowed all eight goals tonight. God love him.
Thomas DiPauli – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – Josh Archibald
Sahir Gill – J-S Dea – Adam Krause
Christian Hilbrich – Jarrett Burton – Ryan Haggerty
David Warsofsky – Frank Corrado
Derrick Pouliot – Barry Goers
Tim Erixon – Ethan Prow
Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry
Lineup Notes: Oskar Sundqvist was recalled earlier in the day to Pittsburgh. It’s his first callup of the season. Sundqvist has 9 points in his last 25 games. Regardless, the lines were all shook up for the Penguins.
Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period with goals by Derrick Pouliot (from the blueline with Skapski screened) Jarrett Burton (after a nice end to end rush by Pouliot and a ridiculous pass setting up Burton for the goal) and Kevin Porter (on a rebound left by Sakpski with 17.2 left)
Here they are, in order, courtesy of the GIF skills of Taylor Haase…
Casey DeSmith assisted on the Jarret Burton goal giving the Penguins netminder his first assist in the AHL. Who knew that it would be DeSmith’s first point to come rather than his first shutout in the regular season.
In the second, J-S Sea scored in close on this shot from Barry Goers and it was 4-0 Penguins…
I thought, and still believe, that the goal should be credited to Sahir Gill. Anyway, that second assist by Goers gave him 100 points in the AHL.
Taylor Beck busted up the DeSmith shutout that made it 4-1. Hartford was starting to make a push but DeSmith was holding them out.
Sahir Gill scored for sure and made it 5-1. Adam Krause, who was recalled earlier in the morning in the wake of the Sundqvist recall, picked up his first assist of the season on the Gill goal here…
That was the turning point in this one. Hartford was trying to push after the Beck goal but the Penguins step up and score another to re-establish their four goal lead and continue to rout the Wolf Pack.
18th time this season that the Penguins have scored five or more goals. Who is slumping? Who is in danger of losing the division lead and miss playoffs? Who? Who? Who?
In the third, Hartford couldn’t get anything going on a DiPauli double minor for high sticking and gave the Penguins several chances to get a shorthanded goal.
Bad to worse for Hartford, Garrett Noonan scored an own goal which was credited to Dominik Simon, who finally gets his 10th goal of the season that made it 6-1 Penguins…
All that was left was the Penguins scoring a power play goal and they got one via a Tom Kostopoulos tap in that made it 7-1. Kostopoulos tied Jake Guentzel for lead on the Pens with 21 goals….
Barry Goers scores on a ridiculous dangle that made it 8-1. What Nick said….
Notes: Wilkes-Barre is the first team to 10, 20, 30, now 40 wins in the AHL….Derrick Pouliot’s first four point game in the AHL….Wilkes-Barre’s magic number Saturday morning will be 23 with the win and coupled with Hershey’s regulation loss to Lehigh Valley.
Three Stars: 3) Kevin Porter (goal, two assists, +1) 2) J-S Dea (goal, two assists, +4) 1) Derrick Pouliot (goal, three assists, +4)
Here is who did what point wise….
Dea 1G 2A
Porter 1G 2A
Goers 1G 2A
Pouliot 1G 3A
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley beats Hershey in a close one 3-2 over Hershey. Phantoms stay 4 back of the Pens for the division lead….Springfield beats Syracuse 3-2 and Utica beats Bridgeport 2-1. Providence was off.
Standings: Penguins (.692 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.669) — Providence (.653) — Bridgeport (.636) — Hershey (.608) — Springfield (.475) — Hartford (.398)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were shutout by the Quad City Mallards 3-0.
Crumble this laugher up and get ready for Providence tomorrow. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!