Chirps from Center Ice

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

DeSmith DeShutout Gets DeWin — Pens WIN 5-0

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It’s a good thing knowing that you have an insurance policy in a goaltender that is good, strong and confident.

It’s better when you take about half the shots as the other team and still win by multiple goals.

It also helps when your penalty killing unit goes 7-for-7, like the Penguins did tonight.

A 33 save shutout by Casey DeSmith, Penguins get goals from Tom Sestito, Daniel Sprong, Frank Corrado, J-S Dea and Dominik Simon and steamroll the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight by a 5-0 score.

Casey DeSmith opposed Alex Lyon.

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Thomas Di Pauli

Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Zach Trotman – Kevin Czuczman
Dylan Zink – Frank Corrado

Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry

Lineup Notes: Freddie Tifferls skated as the extra body in warmups. Dylan Zink slotted in for the recalled to Pittsburgh Chris Summers.

First Period: Sleepy start for the Penguins, who were being outshot by the Phantoms 5-0 through the first media break. Out of that, Thomas DiPauli beat out a Phantoms defender, I think it was Philippe Morin, may have been Sam Morin, and wheeled around the net of Lyon and passed to a wide open on the opposite side Tom Sestito who topped the goal home to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

Daniel Sprong connected on the power play a little over three and a half minutes later to make it 2-0.

Nice setup by Dylan Zink that set the whole thing up.

Penguins had this stretch tonight where they would go on the power play then give away a silly penalty to Lehigh Valley and skate anywhere from :20 to :40 at four on four. They didn’t allow the Phantoms to score, but it was annoying to see the Penguins earn a penalty and hand it away while on the man advantage.

Second Period: Frank Corrado threw a shot from the point that found its way past Lyon for a 3-0 lead. The puck ate up Lyon from my vantage point. Bad goal to give up in my opinion. You be the judge….

Penguins went to the penalty kill and the Phantoms hemmed them in the whole time but Wilkes-Barre was able to get out of it unscathed. Casey DeSmith had some fine saves.

Later, Tom Kostopoulous had a nice backhand pass to J-S Dea that connected for a 4-0 Penguins lead that chased Alex Lyon…

Shots through two periods were 25-15 Phantoms heading into the…

Third Period: How dialed in was Casey DeSmith tonight?

Chris Conner (remember him?) took a high sticking call that drew blood that put the Penguins on a 4:00 power play. Dominik Simon connected on this shot by Zach Trotman that made it 5-0 past Dustin Tokarski who entered in relief of Alex Lyon after the Dea goal in the second. The Phantoms acquired Tokarski from the San Diego Gulls on Monday.

Video highlights…

Three Stars: 3) Dominik Simon (goal, assist. +1) 2) Tom Sestito (game winning goal, +1) and 1) Casey DeSmith (33 save shutout)

This is the second shutout of Casey DeSmith’s AHL career, the other one coming against this same Lehigh Valley team. In four games against the Phantoms, he has just allowed two goals.

Around the Devision: Hartford with an impressive 5-2 victory over Toronto at home tonight…Bridgeport beats Charlotte 5-3 in North Carolina…Providence stays hot beating Springfield 3-2. Hershey was off.

Standings: Still early days. Providence, Charlotte and Hartford with four points. Lehigh Valley with three, Wilkes-Barre and Bridgeport with two and Springfield and Hershey with zero.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers kicked off their season on the road in Greenville, South Carolina and won 5-4. Reid Gardiner had the game winning goal. He also had an assist. Garrett Meurs had two goals. Sean Maguire picked up the win, stopping 43 of 47 shots.

Coal Street should have video highlights. If I see them I will work in an edit.

These two teams rematch tomorrow in Allentown. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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