Chirps from Center Ice

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

Preseason Game #1 – Penguins 3, Phantoms 2

The Penguins play one week night regular season home game in October (October 17 against Hershey) then none in November and two in December before nothing of the sort before March again. Besides Sunday afternoon home games, work night games are right up there with things I like the least about this goofy hobby of mine.

A preseason work night home game? Someone on Coal Street is trolling me.

The Penguins kicked off their preseason with a 3-2 win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

I don’t go nuts on preseason write ups. So let’s get to the nuts and bolts because 6:50 Friday morning* will be here before you know it.

Lines were:

Sam Miletic – Linus Ölind – Renārs Krastenbergs
Yushiroh Hirano – Cam Brown – Ryan Horvat
Pat McGrath – Cédric Lacroix – Troy Josephs
Tyler Bird – Nick Saracino – Zac Lynch

Dane Birks – Kevin Spinozzi
Johnny Austin – Dan Fick
Jeff Taylor – Matt Abt

John Muse – Danny Tirone

Craig Skudalski took warmups, didn’t rush and was the scratch.

In the first, Pens found themselves up 2-0 on goals from Matt Abt and Linus Ölund. Abt’s shot came when a Phantoms defender got tangled up with referee Dan Kelly behind the net and Ölund’s goal was a rebound off of Phantoms netminder Branden Komm’s pads set up by Sam Miletic’s blazing speed. Both goals came :37 apart.

Muse was sharp in the first, blocking shots through traffic and bailing out his defensemen.

In the second, Phantoms connect on a power play :04 into a Hirano hooking penalty when Phil Myers scored to cut it to one for Lehigh Valley. Muse was standing on his head making a case to be the backup goalie come opening night. When in doubt, go with the guy with the NHL contract (Muse) and option Peters to the ECHL, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Phantoms would score another power play goal when Cole Bardreau whacked in a puck that popped up on Muse to tie the game at two.

Penguins get the lead back on a five on three power play when Sam Miletic posted up near side and whacked in a rebound Komm spilled.

In the third, John Muse stole the show with stop after stop. Pens finally killed a penalty and then failed to score on a power play of their own. Muse ended up being the story of the period. Pens withstood the pressure Lehigh Valley put on them and Muse was up to task.

Muse didn’t get a star in the three stars, that went to Abt, Ölund and Miletic in that order. He deserved one.

Anyway, that’s it. If there is news Friday I’ll have it here, otherwise talk to you again after the Saturday game against Hershey.

* – that’s when my alarm goes off.

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