Penguins have now dropped 5 of 6 games since the Thanksgiving break.
They haven’t scored a power play goal in for as long as I can remember.
They continue to give up shorthanded goals.
Results are expected, a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of the undermanned at defense Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight in Allentown. First time that the Penguins have been shutout this season.
Anthony Peters opposed Dustin Tokarski
Adam Johnson – Colin Smith – Dominik Simon
Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea — Josh Archibald
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli
Lineup Notes: On Wednesday morning, the Penguins shipped Forwards Freddie Tiffels and Troy Josephs along with defenseman Ethan Prow and goaltender Colin Stevens to the Wheeling Nailers. The Nailers visited the Reading Royals so it was a short trip for the quartet. Also, at noon Wednesday, it was learned that Gregg McKegg was placed on waivers by Pittsburgh. If no one claims him, he’ll report to Wilkes-Barre. It’s roster jockeying by Jim Rutherford in the wake of the injury to Justin Schultz last night against the New York Rangers. As a precaution, defenseman Frank Corrado was a healthy scratch for Wilkes-Barre tonight.
Adam Johnson slotted in at left wing with Colin Smith and Dominik Simon on the top line, Tom Sestito went back to the fourth line with Blueger and DiPauli. Chris Summers jumped in on defense with Corrado likely to be recalled.
First Period: Strong opening start by the Penguin, outshooting the Phantoms 4-0 through the first five minutes. Phantoms would find themselves on a power play, didn’t score on it, but rode tat momentum into a 3-0 lead after the first period.
Pass to Mikhail Vorobyev from behind the net to him in front and all he did was directed the puck past Peters and in. 1-0.
Turnover in front of the net by Dominik Simon found Corban Knight’s stick and past Peters for a 2-0 lead. Peters got most of it, but it squirted through the pads and rolled harmlessly across the line.
Daniel Sprong tried to force a pass at the blueline which sprung Corban Knight and Oskar Lindblom on a two on one. 3-0.
So it was a positive start by the Penguins that snowballed into a 3-0 deficit in a span of 3:44 after the first period.
Second Period: Tyrell Goulbourne scored shorthanded on teh Penguins first power play of the game and that ended Anthony Peters night. Peters stopped 15 of 19 shots and the Penguins allowed their 7th shorthanded goal of the season. They only had 4 last year.
Wilkes-Barre wasn’t doing themselves any favors, only having one shot on goal for a good portion of the opening half of the period.
On another power play, Head Coach Clark Donatelli decided to put his fourth line out on a power play unit.
Maguire stopped all seven shots faced in the period.
Penguins to this point were playing well enough to win but were not helping themselves with turnovers and shorthanded goals and were just unable to solve Tokarski to this point.
Third Period: Penguins put up 14 shots on Dustin Tokarski, but he stopped them all. A shot was blocked by Andrey Pedan but the puck caromed to Matt Read who scored on Maguire to extend the lead to 5-0.
Wilkes-Barre’s inability to score on the power play and inability to score on Tokarski were all that the Phantoms needed to coast to the easy victory.
Three Stars: 3) Tyrell Goulbourne (goal, +1) 2) Corban Knight (goal, assist, +3) and 1) Dustin Tokarski (39 save shutout)
Around the Division: They all watched us.
Standings: Penguins (.667 percentage points) — Providence (.667) — Lehigh Valley (.646) — Charlotte (.630) — Bridgeport (.591) — Hershey (.521) — Hartford (.417) — Springfield (.380)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers fell in Reading tonight 2-1. Hunter Fejes had the only goal for the Nailers.
Depending on schedules, I may have a blog on more moves in Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling. If not, check back for the Gameday setup Friday at 3 against the Charlotte Checkers.
Let’s Go Pens!