Chirps from Center Ice

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

Coming (Back) To America — Pens WIN 4-3

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Christian Thomas picked up right where he left off.

After scoring the shootout goal two weeks ago in Allentown against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Christian Thomas turned his attention to Finland in the Karjala Cup for the last week and a half. There, he was evaluated to be among the few chosen to represent Canada in the Olympics.

Back home, his Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins continued to rack up points while he was away.

Make it 11 straight games for the Penguins with at least a point, 21 out of a possible 22, as Wilkes-Barre gets by the Binghamton Devils tonight by a 4-3 score on the Southern Tier. Christian Thomas scored the game winning goal in the third period.

Casey DeSmith opposed Ken Appleby.

Lines were…

Dominik Simon – Colin Smith – Christian Thomas
Jarrett Burton – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea — Ryan Haggerty
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli

Chris Summers – Lukas Bengtsson
Kevin Czuczman – Ethan Prow
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Casey DeSmith – Colin Stevens

Lineup Notes: Garrett Wilson was at home taking care of a family matter, so Jarrett Burton took his spot on the second line. Lukas Bengtsson was pack and paired with Chris Summers. Andrey Pedan served Game 1 of a three game suspension.

First Period: :12 in, Ryan Haggerty scored to make it 1-0..

Binghamton would respond later with a power play goal when Brandon Gignac knocked in a rebound of a blocked shot to tie the game at one a piece.

In the games final minute, Thomas DiPauli scored with 17.2 seconds left to make it 2-1 Penguins…

Blunger there with the hustle to the wraparound shot / pass to DiPaui who was in the right place at the right time.

Wilkes-Barre would get outshot 13-4 in the period but in keeping with the theme Sunday in Hershey, it was all about quality over quantity.

Second Period: Binghamton would score, again on a power play, to tie the game at two a side. Bracken Kears deflected a shot in that made it 2-2 for the only scoring in the period.

The Penguins, to this point, did not have a single power play. They finally opened the third period with one when ex-Penguin Brian Strait boarded a Penguin at the buzzer.

Third Period: Adam Johnson scored on a bomb of a shot via one timer to push the Penguins back out ahead midway through the third…

Christian Thomas scored on a breakaway minutes later and the floodgates were opening for the Penguins….

But the Devils would score their third power play of the game when Jacob McDonald made it a little too close for comfort for the Penguins as the score would be cut to one.

Binghamton would hit a cross bar, DeSmith would make a save on his back, the Devils would pull Appleby for an extra attacker but never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Jacob McDonald (goal, assist, -1) 2) Christian Thomas (goal, +2) 1) Teddy Blunger (two assists, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey continues to win, winning Game 1 of their two game set in Providence by a 4-1 score. The two teams rematch Sunday… Hartford loses 4-2 in Rochester… Springfield blanks Charlotte 4-0… Lehigh Valley beats Laval 5-2. Bridgeport was off.

Standings: Penguins (.821 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.647) — Charlotte (.625) — Providence (.571) — Hershey (.529) — Bridgeport (.500) — Hartford (.441) — Springfield (.361)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were in Norfolk tonight and crushed the Admirals 6-2. Garrett Meurs had a goal and two assists for first star honors. Sean Maguire picked up the win, stopping 36 of 38 shots.

I didn’t see any video highlight package that the Devils put out.

That’s it for the weekend for the Penguins, who are off Saturday and Sunday and back in action Wednesday at home against Lehigh Valley before their home and home series with the Syracuse Crunch starting next Friday.

AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4.

Let’s Go Pens!

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