Games like these frustrate the hell out of me.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins went 0-f0r-5 on the power play tonight.
The Providence Bruins were 2-for-6, but we will call it 2-for-5 but for a late Daniel Sprong holding penalty when the Bruins had an empty net to shoot at in desperation time for the Penguins.
Two even teams, second and third in the Atlantic Division, squaring off. Shots were pretty even for the most part, one team goes 2-for-6 on the power play and the other goes 0-for-5.
Who wins. That team tonight was the Providence Bruins, 3-1. The Bruins inch back to a point behind the Penguins with seven games to play for each team.
The Penguins have won 40 games for 13 consecutive seasons. An impressive feat. Teams that win 40 games don’t normally have the leagues worst power play.
Hershey (eliminated from playoffs) Rockford (fighting for a spot) Springfield (eliminated) Belleville (eliminated) and Wilkes-Barre are the 26th through 30th teams ranked in power play coming into tonight’s action around the American Hockey League.
It’s OK now that the Pens didn’t score on the power play tonight and lost the game, because the three point cushion they had on the Bruins coming into tonight.
None of that is going to matter in a playoff series. Where the teams are even, for the most part. Where outside factors (Bridgeport won tonight so the Pens weren’t clinching a sot tonight anyway) don’t matter.
It really isn’t a matter of if the Penguins clinch a playoff spot. It’s matter of when. But after that, I do not like their chances in a playoff series. In fact, if you asked me now, I am picking the Bruins in a five game series if said series started tomorrow against these Penguins.
The power play is a joke and it needs to be fixed. I’ve been harping on this for months. Maybe it can’t be and it is what it is. If true, it’ll be a short postseason for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
No lineup changes for the Penguins. Tristan Jarry opposed Jordan Binnington.
First Period: Was an even-ish period for both teams. Providence scored to go up 2-0, Daniel Sprong chased down a puck in his own end, centered to J-S Dea who found the back of the net that cut it to one. A big goal at the time, a one goal deficit is much better to chase than a two goal deficit.
Penguins had their fair share of opportunities to score on the man advantage, but were unsuccessful. As noted in the open, this continues to be a concern from this writers perspective.
Providence got on the board with a power play goal from ex-Penguin Adam Payerl when he cleaned up a rebound. Later, Trent Frederic scored on a pinballing puck in the slot that may have handcuffed Jarry for a 2-0 Bruins lead.
Second Period: More power play tries for the Penguins, more misses. The period went without any scoring, yet there were plenty of chances, 13 shots for the Bruins and 11 for the Penguins. One scary moment as Garrett Wilson blocked a shot that went off his face, he went off for repairs and did return.
Third Period: Penguins didn’t score on their power play in the period, the Bruins scored on theirs and that was the ballgame. You could feel all the air going out of the building after Providence scored to go up 3-1 (Jordan Swarz) on the Penguins. Nothing else mattered after that.
Penguins didn’t score with Jarry out of the net for an extra attacker.
Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, +1) 2) Jordan Binnington (34 saves on 35 shots) and 1) Adam Payerl (goal, assist, +1)
Around the Division: No matter what happened here tonight, the Pens weren’t clinching anyway. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-1…Hershey beats a hapless Laval team 6-3…Charlotte beats Syracuse 4-1…Lehigh Valley doubles up Belleville 4-2…Utica beats Springfield 6-5.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.693 percentage points) — Penguins (.638) — Providence (.630) — Charlotte (.600) — Bridgeport (.551) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.472) — Springfield (.464)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers picked up a big 5-2 win over the Manchester Monarchs. Troy Josephs had a goal and two assists, Reid Gardiner had a goal and an assist.
Week 26 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. No games Sunday, so they will get done then at a reasonable hour and out Monday at 4. Pens are back in action Tuesday at home against Hershey.
try to Go and score a power play goal Pens!