Wilkes-Barre showed a lot of resolve tonight against a rested Grand Rapids Griffins team. Penguins last night struggled at times last night against a Binghamton Devils team that isn’t going to make the Calder Cup Playoffs, most likely.
Bend but don’t break play and maintaining a perfect penalty kill which included a full two man disadvantage see the Penguins edge the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1 tonight in Wilkes-Barre.
Grand Rapids came in with the third best overall power play in the American Hockey League. Penguins found themselves on the wrong end of the referees whistles a total of five times tonight and you could say that this is what won them the game tonight in this close affair.
Anthony Peters opposed Tom McCollum.
That is Sam Lafferty on the third line tonight. Lafferty carried himself well tonight and showed a lot of flash as well. He had this sequence here that really impressed and shows that he belonged in the game…
Etienne Marcoux backed up tonight. The plan going into to the weekend was to have Leighton start Friday and Peters to start Saturday with each player getting the night off entirely when they weren’t starting. Look for Marcoux to get released this weekend and Leighton to split a start this week in Charlotte with Peters.
First Period: Griffins found a lot of power plays in the first, three total, but Anthony Peters quickly established himself in net and let nothing by.
Adam Johnson scored shorthanded. He corralled a loose puck, fought it all the way down the ice really and fired one past McCollum to put the Pens on the board first.
Second Period: No scoring in this period but the story in the frame was the Griffins power play again and the lack of success. Penguins did no favors in a sequence that saw seven Penguins on the ice, then on the ensuing face-off they took a faceoff violation gift wrapping the visitors a full two minute 5-on-3 power play.
Through a time out called by Griffins head coach Todd Nelson, Grand Rapids were unable to solve Anthony Peters to this point.
Felt more like a battle against a rival like Hershey than it was against a team making its first visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in nine years.
Third Period: You know if you watched the game tonight that the Griffins would not go away quietly. A shot bounced off of bodies at the net towards Peters where Street crashed the net and the ex-Penguin tied the game for his team.
Undeterred, Kevin Czuczman cashed with a shot from the point that went through bodies and got past McCollum to push the Penguins back ahead 2-1 a couple minutes later.
Penguins would get a power play with under five minutes to play and then time became the enemy for Grand Rapids. With McCollum pulled, the Griffins were never able to find the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Adam Johnson (goal, even) 2) Anthony Peters (32 saves on 33 shots) and 1) Kevin Czuczman (game winning goal, +1)
Around the Division: Toronto beats Providence 4-3 and are the first team in the AHL to punch a postseason ticket….Charlotte beats Hartford 7-3 where Checkers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic scored a goal…Hershey is shutout 3-0 in Binghamton Springfield is back to .500 after shutting out Utica 4-0 and Lehigh Valley beats Bridgeport 4-1.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.685 percentage points) — Penguins (.655) — Providence (.631) — Charlotte (.589) — Bridgeport (.550) — Springfield (.500) — Hartford (.476) — Hershey (.476)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers will split their series with the Reading Royals. Reading wins 6-3. Cody Wydo and Troy Josephs score for the Nailers in the loss.
Power Rankings at 4 Monday. Check us out then.
Let’s Go Pens!