Shoutout to Citizens Voice Penguins beat writer Tyler Piccotti for the headline suggestion here.
This was a methodical takedown of the North Division leaders in Toronto by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. After getting punched in the mouth early, the Penguins clamped down defensively, wore down the Marlies lines and were able to win a Wednesday night home game 4-2 to take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Veteran option on lines tonight cause it’s a work night and I have to get up for work in the morning…
Casey DeSmith – Colin Stevens
DeSmith opposed Garrett Sparks.
Lineup Notes: The Pens sent forward Freddie Tiffels and defensemen Jeff Taylor and Dylan Zink to Wheeling in a 5 pm transaction on Wednesday. With Wheeling playing three games in a row this weekend, it will be good for both club and player to get reps in. Gage Quinney went in between Garrett Wilson and Daniel Sprong. Tom DiPauli was back in as Tiffels departed to Wheeling earlier in the day. Pens also had their full compliment of defensemen but for Frank Corrado, who is still up with Pittsburgh.
First Period: 1:08 in and the Marlies scored on a Daniel Sprong turnover in his own end…
Game settled a bit after that, because the Marlies came out and dominated, going up 5-0 in shots before the goal. Game ebbed and flowed both ways where the Penguins would get zone time, then the Marlies would follow.
Andrey Pedan scores his first of the season when he unleashed this shot that caught a lot of Sparks on the way through…
Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble late, with Chris Summers and J-S Dea going off :06 apart, but Jarred Tinordi blocked three shots by the Marlies in the two-man advantage to help the Penguins kill the penalties heading into the…
Second Period: Penguins really found their wind and ran circles around the Marlies, outshooting the visitors 17-4. Neither team gave an inch however as it remained tied late into the period.
Ryan Haggerty with this dart that would make a sniper blush…
A lot of the Marlies would be shots went wide and never registered, but the Penguins ones did and Haggerty made his effort count. Not bad for a guy who was scratched the first seven games of the season. Haggerty has scored five goals in for games.
Third Period: Thomas DiPauli busted around a guy, made a move to deke Sparks and scored to extend the Penguins lead to 3-1 on this pretty play…
Nikita Soshnikov made it interesting with about six minutes to play. He waited and waited, danced around a Penguin, shot it, followed his shot and cashed the rebound left by DeSmith to cut it to 3-2…
With time dwindling, the Marlies pulled Sparks and no sooner after that Thomas DiPauli put a puck into the empty net at center Ice to ice the game away.
Three Stars: 3) Ryan Haggerty (goal, +2) 2) Andrey Pedan (goal, assist, +2) and 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals, +2)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport played a kids day game up in Connecticut this morning. The Phantoms scored four unanswered to beat the Sound Tigers 4-2…. Utica hosted the Charlotte Checkers and lost 5-2…Hershey was in Springfield and won 3-1.
Standings: Penguins (.773 percentage points) — Charlotte (.750) — Lehigh Valley (.714) — Providence (.636) — Bridgeport (.500) — Hershey (.462) — Hartford (.423) — Springfield (.179)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers host the Toledo Walleye Friday.
Pens are off Friday. But for anything breaking between now and the next time they are on the ice, which is Saturday at home against Providence, look for the Gameday setup of that contest to hit here Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!