Chirps from Center Ice

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

Power Play Failure at PPL — Pens LOSE 4-1

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I don’t think you can blame the fact that Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins lost three defensemen to injury Friday against Rochester in a blow out loss Friday or the war that they were in Saturday night in an overtime loss against the Utica Comets for this loss Sunday afternoon in Allentown.

Going 0-for-7 on the power play while your opponent goes 2-for-8 goes ahead of those actions I listed above.

Wilkes-Barre loses 4-1. 0-2-1 on the weekend that if you stack it all up, was a bad weekend because of the reasons I listed.

Lehigh Valley gets some breathing room now on the Penguins for first in the Atlantic, but the Penguin will have an insane five games in hand on the Phantoms when they play host to the Rockford IceHogs Friday night in Wilkes-Barre.

Games in hand mean nothing if you don’t win them, by the way.

Casey DeSmith opposed John Muse. Dustin Tokarski backed up, their parent team lost Michal Neuvirth to injury meaning Dustin Tokarski may head up to Philadelphia. I think Mark Dekanich is Phantoms property and he plays for Reading in the ECHL. We will see. Nothing is decided yet.

Lines were….

Thomas Di Pauli – J-S Dea – Reid Gardiner
Garrett Wilson – Jarett Burton – Daniel Sprong
Adam Johnson – Greg McKegg – Joseph Cramarossa
Cody Wydo – Gage Quinney – Troy Josephs

Kevin Spinozzi – Ethan Prow
Jeff Taylor – Kevin Czuczman
Dylan Zink – Jarred Tinordi

Casey DeSmith – Anthony Peters

Lineup Notes: Troy Josephs replaced Patrick McGrath on the fourth line. That was the only change. Colin Blackwell was suspended two games by the AHL for his hit on Lukas Bengtsson Friday. Here is an alternative view of the hit.

First Period: Penguins had two power plays that they couldn’t score on. Lehigh Valley scores on theirs when Oskar Lindblom was the only one paying attention on the ice when a puck came right to him and he scored here to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead…

Greg Carey put two shots on DeSmith that the Penguins netminder saved, but everyone lost Lindblom who popped one in to give the Phantoms the lead. Casey DeSmith thought the puck ricocheted into the corner.

John Muse on the other hand, didn’t see much work in the first period but did stop the Penguins on a 3-on-1 and then later a shorthanded 2-on-1.

Second Period: Greg Carey scored to double the Phantoms lead. Puck in the corner to DeSmith’s left drew the attention of one too many Penguins, pass to Carey in the slot who didn’t miss.

Mike Vecchione scored a power play goal when he was in the right spot after a big shot from the point that DeSmith stopped, caromed right to him for the goal that made it 3-0 Phantoms.

Penguins weren’t moving their legs and it was costing them opportunities.

Third Period: Penguins keep the puck in as a four-on-four was about to turn into a penalty kill for the visitors. J-S Dea tipped in a shot from the point to bust up Muse’s shutout and gave Wilkes-Barre a rare shorthanded goal.

Wilkes-Barre misses two attempts at a power play, time dwindles, and the Phantoms hit an empty net with DeSmith pulled.

Three Stars: 3) Greg Carey (two assists, +2) 2) Travis Sanheim (two assists, even) and 1) John Muse (22 saves on 23 shots)

Around the Division: Bridgeport whitewashes a Hartford team that had a hellish week of travel 4-0…Syracuse splits the weekend series with Charlotte and beat the Checkers 3-1…Springfield beats Providence 3-2…Hershey was off.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.676 percentage points) — Penguins (.650) — Providence (.625) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.538) — Hartford (.518) — Hershey (.462) — Springfield (.454)

Wheeling Update: With half of the Nailers regulars on the trip to Allentown with the Penguins today, results were about where you expected them to be. Wheeling was shutout 6-0 by the Reading Royals.

If Lehigh Valley puts out a highlight package it will run in this space.

Week 20 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog at noon Monday because of all the President’s Day games being played Monday afternoon. If you have the day off, unlike me, enjoy it.

Let’s Go Pens!

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