Chirps from Center Ice

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

Casey DeSmith Appreciation Post — Pens WIN 3-2 (SO)


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The Penguins didn’t give their goaltender any run support Friday in Providence and were unceremoniously shutout on Friday by their rivals, the Providence Bruins.

After the first period Sunday, down 2-0, it looked like the same story, just a different verse.

But in the second period, kicked off by a goal by Gage Quinney, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins claw back, tie the game and ultimately win in a shootout, 3-2.

They got there, largely due in in part to their goaltender, Casey DeSmith.

DeSmith came up huge with saves in the second and third period and again in overtime to preserve the score at 2-2 the way it was and J-S Dea’s goal in the bottom of the first round of the shootout was the only action in the bonus round.

Big win for the Penguins, who when they next step on the ice competitively this Friday in Rochester, they will have four games in hand on rival Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms play on Tuesday this week.

DeSmith opposed local thorn in the shoe, Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

Thomas Di Pauli – J-S Dea – Reid Gardiner
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Adam Johnson – Greg McKegg – Jarrett Burton
Troy Josephs – Patrick McGrath

Kevin Czuczman – Frank Corrado
Jarred Tinordi – Chris Summers
Andrey Pedan – Ethan Prow
Lukas Bengtsson

Casey DeSmith – Anthony Peters

Lineup Notes: Penguins rolled out 11 forwards and 7 defensemen for the second straight game with the only lineup change being Patrick McGrath in for Colin Smith.

First Period: First half of the period was a defensive gem, where neither team registered a shot on goal until 5:15 of the contest that came from Providence. The Penguins ended up seeing the Bruins take the games first five shots on goal before registering their own.

Penalty trouble was the early issue that was crippling the Penguins. Penguin killer Tommy Cross unleashed this shot from the high slot after Jordan Swarz took the puck in deep and found Cross at the top of the slot for the 1-0 Bruins lead…

Bruins add another quickly when ex-Penguin Adam Payerl puts a shot off the pads of DeSmith and followed up his shot to push it across go give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

Shots ended up being 13-5 Bruins, with most coming on the two power plays that Providence had, heading into the…

Second Period: Totally different period for the Penguins in terms of offense. Providence played the night before in Bridgeport and maybe some of that started to wear through because the Penguins started to eat into the lead that the Bruins enjoyed.

Gage Quinney scored the first goal for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton since Derrick Pouliot scored in overtime for the Pens last Spring in the playoffs. Quick developing 2-on-1.

Penguins started to eat into the shots and finally tied the game with this sequence that sees Jarred Tinordi even the score in the game…

McIntyre, swimming in his crease, isn’t able to get back u and Tinordi pounds it home. Resilient pressure from Reid Gardiner, also.

Casey DeSmith comes up huge on this save on Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson point blank to keep the game even at two late in the period.

The bar wasn’t very high to start, having been shutout in two prior games in this regular season, but Wilkes-Barre outshot the Bruins 16-7 in the period to take a 21-20 shot advantage heading into the third period in arguably their best period played at the Dunkin’ Donut Center all season.

Third Period: Slowly developed into the Casey DeSmith show after this save…

Both goalies were sharp in the period, but DeSmith was needed more as the Bruins had a late power play to edge ahead but were denied by the penalty kill and DeSmith.

Overtime: After the drop of the puck, reigning AHL MVP Kenny Agostino skated in on a naked breakaway but DeSmith shut the door. The Bruins then found themselves on a power play in the overtime period, but DeSmith was again timely in his saves to preseve the 2-2 deadlock.

Shootout: J-S Dea’s goal in the bottom of the first round was all the scoring in the shootout round.


Three Stars: 3) Jordan Swarz (assist, even) 2) Tommy Cross (goal, even) and 1) Jarred Tinordi goal, +1)

Around the Division: Syracuse outlasts Bridgeport 3-2 in Connecticut…Hershey gets a late goal with under five seconds to play in regulation force overtime and new acquisition Joe Whitney, traded to Hershey this past Friday, wins it for the Bears against the Penguins next opponent the Rochester Americans. Bears win 3-2 in overtime.

Standings: Penguins (.681 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.660) — Providence (.622) — Charlotte (.570) — Bridgeport (.541) — Hartford (.539) — Springfield (.451) — Hershey (.441)

The Penguins will have four games in hand on Lehigh Valley when they set foot on ice competitively this Friday in Rochester. Phantoms play Tuesday in Bridgeport.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were in action earlier today (by that I mean a 9:30 a.m. start time) and hung on for a 6-5 win in Orlando against the Solar Bears. Garrett Meurs had a pair of goals for the Nailers in the morning win.

My Week 19 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. Please do check them out then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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