In the hurry up because its Wrestlemania Sunday.
Penguins got a late power play goal by Oskar Sundqvist to drive their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one pending the outcome of Lehigh Valley / Hershey ongoing. Don’t come back to this post to see if the Penguins are the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a spot in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. That will get it’s own post if need be later.
I have people waiting for me at home for The Showcase of the Immortals so here’s a quick rundown of the action today in Wilkes-Barre, a game that the Penguins lost 3-2 in a shootout.
Tristan Jarry opposed Thatcher Demko in net. Only lineup change was Garrett Wilson for Jarrett Burton for Wilkes-Barre.
In the first, the Comets got on the board first at 2:28 when a shot from Jordan Subban was deflected by Cody Kunyk that got Utica the lead. Penguins were being badly outshot in the period when Utica fell into penalty trouble that saw them killing a five-on-three for more than two minutes. Penguins set up in the offensive zone but didn’t cash on a game tying goal or a go ahead one.
In the second, Tom Kostopoulos sets up Zach Aston-Reese on a power play goal that ties the game at one but Utica edged ahead when another shot from the point by Subban was put home by the Comets defenseman. Puck inadvertently went off of a piece of equipment belonging to Frank Corrado.
The third period brought the Penguins still trying to push to get the tying goal which took 19:02 seconds with Jarry pulled and the Penguins on a power play. Oskar Sundqvist pushed one home to force overtime.
Overtime came and went without a whistle.
Curtis Valk was the only skater to score in the three person shootout to give Utica the extra point.
Three stars wereDerrick Pouliot with two assists, Tom Kostopoulos with two assists and Thatcher Demko with 43 saves on 45 shots.
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley did the Penguins a solid beating the Bears 4-2 in Hershey tonight officially clinching the playoffs for Wilkes-Barre for the fifteenth straight year. The Bears lost all three games this weekend….Providence beats Hartford 4-1 to stay in third. Idle Bridgeport stays in fourth now with a game in hand over the Bears who are still a point out of a playoff spot.
Standings: Penguins (.700 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.657) — Providence (.650) — Bridgeport (.629) — Hershey (.613) Springfield (.493) — Hartford (.371)
Wheeling Update: The Wheeling Nailers were officially eliminate form Kelly Cup Playoffs today with a 5-3 loss to the Reading Royals. The Nailers have three games left before a caravan of Black Aces head to Wilkes-Barre. More Tuesday in the Wheeling Wrap.
Check out the Power Rankings Monday at 4!
Let’s Go Pens!