The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins had the top overall penalty killing unit in the regular season.
So of course the Providence Bruins score not one, but two power play goals and hold on to beat the Penguins 2-1 in Game 1 to take a 1-0 series lead with Game 2 Sunday afternoon in Providence.
Providence blocked a ton of shots, stymied the Penguins offense in that way and scored twice on a power play. Wilkes-Barre had a would be goal with :56 left in the third period taken away in a pile of bodies and the Bruins hung on. It’s that simple.
Don’t fret, unless you had Wilkes-Barre in a sweep, you’d be the only one, a lot of pundits, myself included (I’d like to consider myself a blowhard) had the Penguins advancing in four or five games. Say it with me, in order for that to happen, the Bruins have to win at least a game.
Game 2 goes off Sunday afternoon from Providence in what has to be must win for the Penguins.
Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.
Jarrett Burton – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Tom Sestito – Adam Krause – Ryan Haggerty
David Warsofsky – Frank Corrado
Derrick Pouliot – Brett Stern
Tim Erixon – Ethan Prow
Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire
Lineup Notes: Pittsburgh re-assigned Josh Archibald, Cameron Gaunce and Tom Sestito to Wilkes-Barre Friday morning. Gaunce was not in the lineup because he needs to clear waivers first. Zach Aston-Reese is out for Games 1 and 2 per Providence media. Barry Goers should be back for Game 2.
First Period: It was all Wilkes-Barre to start, but Casey DeSmith had the best save of the period when Jordan Szwarz snuck through but DeSmith got the pad on it.
Wilkes-Barre was outshooting the Bruins 8-3 at one point but then the Bruins started to push back and forced the Penguins into a penalty.
Peter Mueller shot it, Jake DeBrusk was there to clean up the rebound to put the Bruins on the board on the power play goal…
After being all Wilkes-Barre to open, Providence put their foot down then controlled the pace. It could have been worse than the first intermission score line indicated.
Second Period: Penguins opened with some bit of a push by the Bruins weren’t budging. Both teams traded power plays but neither were able to capitalize. McIntyre made a cool save on J-S Dea in front and DeSmith made a few saves with the glove, one notably on Peter Cehlarik after a face-off around the halfway point of the game.
J-S Dea finally broke through for the Penguins scoring his first postseason goal on this shot by David Warsofsky…
Shots were an even 10-10 in the period heading into the…
Third Period: Bruins go up one again on this Danton Heinen goal that made it 2-1…
After that goal, the Penguins took another penalty. They got out of that one unscathed, but that killed momentum as the Penguins continued to buzz and push, but weren’t able to get anything by McIntyre.
Penguins think they score with :56 left here….
Referee right on top of play, washes out possible goal. Penguins continue to whack, puck bleeds across and is in, Penguins celebrate a tie game, but the referee does not make a signal either way as to the puck crossing or not. After an initial washout to make the call to get to a review, the call on the ice stood as no goal.
That, of course, set off the Penguins bench.
Penguins weren’t ever able to get the equalizer.
Forget about the last minute. If you look at Taylor’s GIF there carefully, the referee was not able to see the puck cross the line being right on top of the play. Replay is just an overhead view, and the Bruins were wearing all black. What color is the puck? The Penguins didn’t lose the game because of that call. They need to be more disciplined, giving Providence six power plays in the game, and better structured a man down, allowing the Bruins to score twice.
Good thing that there is a day between games. Lots of time to break down tape and execute plans.
Three Stars: 3) Zane McIntyre (30 saves on 31 shots) 2) J-S Dea (goal, +1) and 1) Danton Heinen (goal, -1)
Around the Eastern Conference: Hershey beat Lehigh Valley 1-0 in overtime on a Nathan Walker overtime goal. Game 2 is Saturday in Allentown….Syracuse falls 2-1 to St. John’s, Game 2 is Saturday in Newfoundland and Albany looks to go up 2-0 in their series against Toronto Saturday after beating the Marlies 3-0 Thursday.
Sprong Watch: The Charlottetown Islanders remain unbeaten in the QMJHL Playoffs as they take Game 1 over the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada 3-0 Friday night. Daniel Spring had two assists. Game 2 goes Saturday from the EastLink Centre in Prince Edward Island.
If Cameron Gaunce is claimed on waivers at noon tomorrow I will have a blog on it. Let’s hope that is a piece I do not have to write.
Gameday setup for Game 2 will hit the blog Sunday at 11 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!