Wilkes-Barre / Scranton found themselves in a dogfight Friday night on the Southern Tier of New York.
After going up 2-0 in the first period, a Binghamton Devils team that has lost way more than they have won this season could have packed it in and accepted the loss to their I-81 rivals.
But that didn’t happen. The Devils battled back level with their visitors tonight and forced overtime.
That’s where Teddy Blueger, time and time again in these situations, stepped in.
Blueger’s fourth overtime game winning goal this season give the Penguins the win to start the weekend off the right win as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Binghamton Devils 3-2 in overtime.
I am not saying games are scripted, but this tweet from Nick Hart 45 minutes before puck drop tonight makes you wonder….
Michael Leighton opposed Eddie Lack.
Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Joseph Cramarossa
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong
Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jeff Taylor – Jarred Tinordi
Michael Leighton – Etienne Marcoux
Lineup Notes: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sam Lafferty to an NHL contract that kicks in next season so in the meantime Lafferty reported to Wilkes-Barre on an amateur tryout contract….Kevin Spinozzi was assigned to Wheeling…Josh Jooris was recalled to Pittsburgh because Bryan Rust was diagnosed with a concussion, Dominik Simon is week to week with an upper body injury while Zach Aston-Reese and Matt Murray are progressing but not close to returning to the NHL Penguins. On the ice in Binghamton, Tom Sestito jumped in the third line after having Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee off. Marcoux was a surprise backup to Leighton tonight and not Peters, they didn’t say anything on radio eluding to a Peters injury, so it will be interesting to see the goaltender combos Saturday night back at home against Grand Rapids.
Also, Seth Rorabaugh from The Athletic wrote today that Frank Corrado is done for the year after season ending knee surgery.
A lot to digest there. I didn’t link in anything on the recalls / signings, assuming that if you read this blog you also read the official guys.
First Period: Penguins were off to a good start. In a low shot period, they led 2-1 after twenty minutes.
J-S Dea scored on a two on one shorthanded that broke open the scoring…
Then Gage Quinney scored a few minutes later from an odd angle to make it 2-0.
Michael Leighton was passing his tests, stopping a two on one for the Devils and a shot through traffic that led to an offensive zone face-off with under three seconds to play in the period.
This was important, because a face-off win by Michael Latta back to the best offensive defenseman in the AHL Jacob McDonald resulted in a goal that took all of one second that put the Devils on the board with literally 1.2 seconds to play in the period. McDonald paces all defensemen in the AHL in goals. This was his sixteenth of the season.
Second Period: Penguins couldn’t get anything past Lack off of a nice passing play then when the Devils were short some players during a busted line change. A two-on-one and a follow up rebound attempt weren’t enough for Wilkes-Barre to extend their lead to 3-1.
Instead, Josh Jacobs feathers a pass down low to Michael Latta who spins and puts a backhand shot on that Leighton can’t make a save on. Changeup setup, fastball finish.
Third Period: Lack continued to close the door on the Penguins. More two-on-one saves. Denies Sestito, Cramarossa and all follow up attempts. Just making saves he has no business making. Despite this, I felt that the majority of time was spent played in front of Leighton and the Penguins chances were too much one and done.
Overtime: After a period of organized confusion, J-S Dea walks in, fights off a hook and Teddy Blueger puts home the garbage to end it.
Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, assist, +2) 2) Michael Latta (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Teddy Blueger (overtime game winning goal, +1)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses at home to Bridgeport who have won five in a row. 3-2 is the final from Allentown. Penguins make up ground on first place Lehigh Valley but their magic number doesn’t dwindle any further tonight….Charlotte beats Hartford 4-3….Providence beats Rochester 2-1 in overtime….Utica gets past Springfield 3-2 in overtime….Hershey beats Syracuse 2-1.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.680 percentage points) — Penguins (.649) — Providence (.642) — Charlotte (.582) — Bridgeport (.559) — Springfield (.492) — Hartford (.484) — Hershey (.484)
Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Reading at home in overtime on Troy Josephs’ overtime winner. 4-3 was the score. Here is the goal…
If the Devils put up video highlights, I will run them here in this spot.
Pens travel home to take on a rested Grand Rapids Griffins team who did not play tonight. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!