Chirps from Center Ice

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

The Exorcist — Pens WIN 5-4 (SO)

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Michael Leighton has appeared in three games for the Wilkes-Barre  Scranton Penguins.

All have been against the Binghamton Devils.

All have been wins.

A 5-4 shootout win for Wilkes-Barre tonight is enough to lower the Penguins magic number to nine, but with a shootout win, which is not considered when breaking ties, the Penguins and Providence Bruins have 34 regulation or shootout wins (ROWs) as the two teams jockey for home ice over the other.

Yes, I am calling it now. Well, I have been for a while now, but officially here, the Providence Bruins will be the first round playoff opponent.

Really should not have been this close tonight on the Southern Tier. Wilkes-Barre was up 4-1 at one point, only to see Binghamton rattle off three straight goals to force overtime. Garrett Wilson’s gaol in the top of the eighth inning holds up as the winner for the Penguins.

The aforementioned Michael Leighton opposed Mackenzie Blackwood.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Jarrett Burton – Adam Johnson
Gage Quinney – Josh Jooris – Ryan Haggerty
Christian Thomas – Teddy Blueger – Sam Lafferty

Chris Summers – Kevin Czuczman
Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Michael Leighton – Anthony Peters

Lineup Notes: Thomas DiPauli was out, probably an upper body injury, week to week, blah blah blah. Remember playoffs are coming and they want your money…Tom Kostopoulos and Tom Sestito were given the night off alone with Tristan Jarry. Josh Jooris, Christian Thomas and Sam Lafferty were all in after given last night off.

First Period: In what seemed like a marathon period, the Penguins got the scoring started first with this blast by Andrey Pedan 91 seconds into the period…

That was through a screen. First time the Penguins scored first in a game since the last time they were in Binghamton.

Devils tie it right back up when John Quenneville cycled from one side of the ice to the other and pushed a pass to Jacob MacDonald. Mac Donald did the rest, and the game was tied.

Penguins had a couple of chances on the power play but couldn’t score. Stop me if you have heard that before.

Wilkes-Barre then found themselves on a quick developing three on one and Dea centered to Cramarossa who looked off the trailer and did this…

Play really dragged after that, with a ton of whistles, pushing and shoving and penalties. Shots after one were 14-11 favoring the Penguins.

Second Period: Penguins score on the power play, the first time since March 13 or Game 1 in Charlotte or the last 23 tries on the man advantage.

Garrett Wilson set the screen in front and Pedan scored on the power play.

Those two were at it again when Pedan threw a long shot at the net that Wilson deflected in that made it 4-1.

Teddy Blueger takes an unnecessary penalty in the periods final minute and the lethal Binghamton power play took the ice.

Bracken Kearns skated to Leighton’s far post, passed to Nick Lappin who put one home past Leighton to cut the deficit to two.

Leighton had to fight off a flurry of shots right after the goal. Time ran out on the period though so it was off to the…

Third Period: Blake Speers scores unassisted from the slot to cut the Devils deficit to one.

Blackwood stops Adam Johnson bearing down on a three on one and then later Mario Lucia mines a two on one out of nothing in the neutral zone and ties the game.

Binghamton came into the game with the AHL’s worst -30 goal differential in the third period. The get two to make it -28.

Tim Kennedy was high sticked by his own man and bled. Referee Brandon Schrader sees this but leaves out the “own man” part and puts Andrey Pedan in the box and the Devils get a 4:00 power play. Penguins kill it all off. It was then off to…

Overtime: No scoring, but the Penguins had a power play they couldn’t score on to start the extra frame.

Shootout: Daniel Sprong scored in Round 3…

But it was answered by John Quenneville so the shootout continued….

…and continued…

..to Round 8 where Garrett Wilson scored.

Mario Lucia missed on his attempt and the Penguins reduced their magic number to 9.

Three Stars: 3) Andrey Pedan (goal, assist, even) 2) Blake Speers (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Garrett Wilson (goal, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey beats Hartford 2-1…Charlotte beats Laval 5-3…Providence thumps Lehigh Valley 6-1 and Rochester beats Springfield 4-2. The Sound Tigers were off.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.684 percentage points) — Penguins (.646) — Providence (.644) — Charlotte (.596) — Bridgeport (.538) — Hartford (.493) — Hershey (.485) — Springfield (.470)

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 3-2 in overtime to Cincinnati at home in overtime as they continue to push for a playoff spot.

Binghamton is normally good with video highlights. If I see them while I am able to work an edit in, they will go here.

Pens close out the three in three weekend with a 3 pm home start with Bridgeport. Gameday setup hits the blog Sunday at 11.

Let’s Go Pens!

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