Blog headline was summarized by Penguins play-by-play man Mike O’Brien and his, “Obie’s Observations” that he has after each Penguins game on radio. He mentioned that the Penguins played a great, 60 minute hockey game, but still lost. They lost because of small, tiny mistakes that ultimately cost them goals. Death, by paper cuts. Perfect way to summarize the game by the Pens radio man.
Wilkes-Barre loses 3-2. Two third period goals by the Phantoms on funny bounces catch the Penguins, who put up 41 shots and still came up a goal short.
Tom had a post game quote tweet from Garrett Wilson that fits well here.
Death by paper cuts.
Casey DeSmith opposed Dustin Tokarski.
No lineup changes from last night’s win against Binghamton.
First Period: Game opened up quick and went end to end for pretty much all game. I cringed this week when I saw that David Banfield and Terry Koharski were scheduled to work the game but those two veteran referees stayed out of the way tonight and let the players dictate play and called what needed to be called.
Finally, Zach Aston-Reese put a shot on net that deflected off Teddy Blueger and in to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
(Taylor wasn’t around tonight, so no GIFs, sorry)
Shots after one were 14-9 Penguins heading into the…
Second Period: Casey DeSmith deserved better in this game. This week, he sees future hall of famer Michael Leighton join the organization and his #1 starter role is all of a sudden in doubt after pretty much being the man in Wilkes-Barre for all of 2017. He was dialed in here, stopping a 2-on-1 and then lunging behind him to freeze a puck a few minutes later. After Chris Conner scored in transition on a shot that handcuffed Casey, he would respond in kind with a save on a breakaway, then the rebound attempt then a one time in a mad rush by the Phantoms to eke out a lead. DeSmith would have none of it.
Pens respond with the timely, big saves from their netminder as Ryan Haggerty would stuff in a backhand shot past Tokarski to make it 2-1 Penguins.
Third Period: Back to Tom’s tweet, the lack of power play production is killing this team right now. Pens get a power play but are not able to score. Phantoms kill it, then Nick Aube-Kubel somehow, someway, scores to tie the game. DeSmith was sealed off of on the post and the puck, to my amazement, makes it past him and find its way to the back of the net to make it a tie game.
4:03 later, Oskar Lindblom would score on a nice no look pass from Conner to push the Phantoms ahead 3-2 with just over six minutes left to play.
After that goal, the Penguins would go on to outshoot the Phantoms 7-1 but would never be able to find the equalizer with DeSmith vacated.
Three Stars: 3) Teddy Blueger (goal, even) 2) Chris Conner (goal, assist, even) and 1) Oskar Lindblom (goal, two assists, +2)
Around the Division: Bridgeport had an earlier start than the Penguins and halt the Hartford Wolf Pack nine game point streak with a 5-1 win in Hartford today…Hershey crushes Binghamton 5-2…Providence edges Springfield in a shootout 2-1. Charlotte was off.
Standings: Providence (.690 percentage points) — Charlotte (.661) — Lehigh Valley (.656) — Penguins (.625) — Bridgeport (.534) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.484) — Springfield (.424)
Wheeling Update: Nailers exact revenge on the Brampton Beast who beat the Nailers yesterday. Wheeling wins 6-2. Hunter Fejes had two goals and an assist in the win. Nailers are off now until December 29, next Friday, when they meet up with the Fort Wayne Komets in Indiana.
Week 12 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Sunday, sometime. I don’t know when just yet. No later than 4, so check back here after then. Enjoy your holiday.
Let’s Go Pens!