Chirps from Center Ice

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

Instant Classic — Pens WIN 5-4

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Tristan Jarry took a lot of flak from some of the chicken littles Wednesday night when he came back from Pittsburgh and was named the starter early in the week by Head Coach Clark Donatelli.

“Ride the hot hand in Anthony Peters!” they yelled.

Peters has the best GAA / SV% coming into the week, but he’s not on an NHL contract. Jarry is. The Pittsburgh Penguins assigned Jarry to Wilkes-Barre because he is waiver exempt and he came to Coal Street with orders that he is the starting goalie.

It’s like that line in Captain Phillips.

(Jarry, busts into the coaches office….)

Jarry to Clark Donatelli: Look at me. LOOK AT ME! 

(Donatelli looks up from his desk)

Jarry: I am the starting goaltender now.

Jarry lost Wednesday to the 0-5 Bears at the time. I didn’t make him the focal point because the AHL team will always do what the NHL team wants. The AHL is a developmental league. Jarry wasn’t the reason that the Penguins lost the game Wednesday; Vitek Vanecek was, stopping 40 off 42 shots.

But enough about the past, let’s talk about the present.

Jarry turns in a great performance in Allentown, and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins survive a thriller at PPL Center and win 5-4.

A comeback in the third led by a power play goal by Teddy Blueger that made it 4-4 then a late go ahead goal by Garrett Wilson which made it 5-4. Late saves by Jarry at the end preserved the win for Wilkes-Barre who improve to 4-1 on this young season.

Jarry opposed Carter Hart.

Lines were…

Notes: No Anthony Angello tonight so everyone moved up one on the right side, Patrick McGrath made his season debut on the fourth line. No other changes to defense. Angello’s status is the ever detailed “day to day.” 🙄

Tonight’s game was Will O’Neill’s 400th AHL game.

First Period: Was a goalie duel to start the game, with Jarry and Hart making some good saves.

Hart stopped Adam Johnson shorthanded with his mask, then later stopped him on a power play with the glove.

Jarry was dialed in, bailing out Stefan Elliott on this play…

Then, Patrick McGrath threw a big hit which caused a commotion and Linus Olünd pounced on it and scored to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

But the Phantoms answered right back with less than a minute to play when Mike Vecchione scored on a bouncing, uncontrolled puck that put the Phantoms on even footing heading into the first intermission.

Second Period: Penguins withstood four Phantoms power plays along with having a Phantoms would be goal taken off the board on account of goalie interference on Jarry and take a 3-2 lead into the third period.

Sam Miletic scored after the Penguins killed a Phantoms carry over power play to open the period on this play…

About a minute later, Philippe Myers scored a goal with Jarry screened to tie it.

Then, the game slowed with the Penguins taking penalty after penalty.

Pens get a call go their way when Zach Trotman hit a guy that bowled over Jarry, who never recovered, and a goal was scored.

Immediately waved off by both referees Dan Kelly and Chris Pontes. Look, there are 12 pages in the AHL Rulebook on this type of play. These types of plays are like car crashes. They happen all the time, you just hope you are never involved in one. There never seems to be a right or wrong call and depending on what side you are on, you like or dislike the call.

Zach Aston-Reese scored on a bank pass off of the back boards to give Wilkes-Barre a 3-2 lead.

A lot of action in the period, to say the least.

Third Period: All of that penalty killing that Wilkes-Barre did in the second period finally caught up to them in the third.

TJ Brennan point shot tied it…

Then Greg Carey gave Lehigh Valley their only lead of the night…

Both goals came on the power play.

Those were the last power plays that the Phantoms had for the rest of the game.

Penguins cashed on a power play goal of their own when they kept it in the zone the entire time, and Teddy Blueger scored off of a pass on the pads to tie the game.

Penguins got another power play but were not able to score on it. As time ticked away and it looked like overtime was inevitable, Jimmy Hayes led a two on one, put a shot on Hart that the Phantoms net minder made a stop on but never was able to smother, and Garrett Wilson did this.

Tristan Jarry made some saves at the end of the game that preserved the win for his team. Jarry stopped 28 of 32 shots, none bigger then at the end of the game.

Three Stars: 3) Teddy Blueger (goal) 2) TJ Brennan (goal, assist) 1) Garrett Wilson (game winning gaol)

Around the Division: Springfield beats Laval 5-3…Hartford beats Belleville 4-3…Bridgeport beats Providence 4-3 in overtime…Charlotte improves to 5-0 with a 4-3 shootout win over Hershey where the Bears only had 13 shots all game.

Standings: Charlotte 10 – Hartford 9 – Penguins 8 – Springfield 8 – Bridgeport 5 – Lehigh Valley 4 – Providence 3 – Hershey 3

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Highlights: 

These two teams rematch Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre. If this game tonight was a preview of what we can expect for 11 more meetings, buckle the hell up. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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