Tonight was a tale of a good team beating a not too good team.
After falling behind 3-1 which was three consecutive goals for the opponent, the better team battled back tonight. Pens win this one 6-3 over Springfield.
Work night veteran option on the lines tonight. They were:
Lineup Notes: Josh Archibald was recalled after his rehab stint and Tom Sestito was out, so Ryan Haggerty and Gage Quinney swapped in.
First Period: Another good start by the Penguins who established a lot of offensive zone time which later paid off by this goal from Andrey Pedan on an absolute snipe:
Nice backhand pass from Ryan Haggerty to find Pedan there all alone in the slot for the goal.
Then, the Penguins let off and in a span of 1:29, the Thunderbirds scored twice.
A shot by Max Fortunus deflected off of a Penguin and past DeSmith to put the Thunderbirds on the board.
Then Maxim Mamin scored in close and high and tight on DeSmith to push Springfield ahead 2-1 heading into the…
Second Period: It was appearing that young goaltender Samuel Montembeault was dialing in and working on a upset. He had the run support coming into the period, and just denied the Penguins a bunch of times on their power play.
He got even more run support when Chase Balisy shot a puck that deflected off of a Penguins defenseman skate and into the net.
If you are keeping score, that’s two defected off of a teammate goals that Casey DeSmith had given up to this point.
Penguins could have tucked their tails in here, but the two goal deficit seemed to anger them.
They re-established offensive zone time and got a rebound goal from ex-Thunderbird Greg McKegg that pulled the Penguins to within one.
About two and a half minutes later, seconds after a power play expired just like the McKegg goal, Daniel Sprong from the far dot zipped in a one timer that went so fast in and out of the goal if you blinked you missed it.
Pens had battled back, stuck to the game plan if you want to call it, and tied the game at three heading into the….
Third Period: Pens came in on a 2-on-1 with Garrett Wilson and Daniel Sprong and Sprong scored his second of the night that pushed the Penguins ahead 4-3. He scooped up the loose puck and put it in.
Pens made it 5-3 when Ryan Haggerty scored to make it a two goal lead on a dart. A nice shift and o-zone time by Pedan and Aston-Reese set this goal up and for Aston-Reese it was his third assist of the game.
Patrick McGrath hit an empty net for his first goal of the season and first in front of the home crowd that made it 6-3.
Three Stars: 3) Zach Aston Reese (three assists, +3) 2) Andrey Pedan (goal, assist, +2) and 1) Daniel Sprong (two goals, +1)
Around the Division: Providence shuts out Hershey 3-0. Charlotte beats Lehigh Valley 5-2. Connecticut (Hartford and Bridgeport) had the night off.
Standings: Providence (.720 percentage points) — Penguins (.667) — Charlotte (.648) — Lehigh Valley (.625) — Bridgeport (.542) — Hershey (.482) — Hartford (.463) — Springfield (.362)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
If Coal Street adds a video highlight package later I will edit it in this space.
Pens hit the road for a pair of games in Connecticut against the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday. But for any news Thursday, I’ll have the Gameday setup for you here Friday at 3 for the game against the Wolf Pack.