Chirps from Center Ice

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

Hot Start; Strong Finish — Pens WIN 4-1


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I am sure you have seen your fair share of hockey games where the team jumps out to a three or four goal lead early on in the first period only to have the other team methodically claw their way back and maybe even win the game.

The setup was there Saturday night in Hartford, but it never came to fruition and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins score Three goals in the first 4:31 of the game and coast to an easy 4-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The Penguins simply needed to score the first goal of the game tonight, whether it was three in the first five minutes of the game or with three seconds left in regulation, they just had to get the first goal first. Playing from behind has been a bit you a challenge.

Thomas DiPauli made sure of that. DiPauli scored his first goal of the season and added two assists in a fine game from the Penguins winger. Anthony Peters also needed a strong game after getting shellacked in his last outing last Sunday in Bridgeport where he was pulled after the first period.

Anthony Peters opposed Dustin Tokarski.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Patrick McGrath for Ryan Horvat on the fourth line. That was it. Defense pairings and line pairings were the same as they were Friday in Providence.

First Period: Three goals in the first 4:31. A hot start for the Penguins and a needed one at that, given the playing from behind that the Penguins have been doing in the past five games.

1:50 in, Thomas DiPauli scored when Will O’Neill held a puck onside, put a shot on net that was redirected away by Tokarski, but recovered by Anthony Angello who centered to DiPauli for the goal.

Less than two minutes later, Derek Grant scored to double the Penguins lead. He won a race to a puck and threw a puck on net that was redirected in inadvertently by Hartford defenseman Rob O’Gara and in.

Penguins add a third when Teddy Blueger threw a puck into a scrum and it got by Tokarski to make it 3-0 Wilkes-Barre.

What a start indeed, Taylor.

Anyway, Hartford head coach Keith McCambridge called timeout which settled his club a bit as the Wolf Pack didn’t allow another Penguin goal for the remainder of the period.

Wilkes-Barre had a pair of cracks on the power play but could not convert.

Second Period: Wolf Pack connect on a power play at the half way point of the period when Tim Gettinger put home a rebound of a John Gilmour shot from the point that got Hartford on the board and back to within two goals.

Just a little over a minute later, Teddy Blueger was behind the Hartford net when he pulled off a spin-o-rama pass to a cutting Jimmy Hayes who scored to re-establish the Penguins three goal lead.

Penguins had a power play late and set up a firing squad at Tokarski, but the Wolf Pack goaltender was able to turn away all of the would be chances.

Third Period: Anthony Peters stopped all 13 Hartford shots in the period. Some big stops on Tim Gettinger, on his stomach flopping in the crease to preserve the three goal lead for the Penguins. Derek Grant had two breakaways in the period but were not able to score on either.

Three Stars:

Thought that Anthony Peters deserved a star, stopping 31 of 32 shots. He did collect an assist on Derek Grant’s goal though, his first point in the AHL.

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Providence 5-4 in overtime. Chris Bourque surpassed 700 points in the AHL….Hershey beats a suddenly slumping Springfield Thunderbirds team 3-2….Charlotte beats Lehigh Valley 7-4.

Standings: Charlotte 22 — Bridgeport 17 — Springfield 16 — Lehigh Valley 16 — Penguins 16 — Hershey 13 — Hartford 13 — Providence 10

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lose in overtime 3-2 to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Troy Josephs had a goal for the Nailers in the loss.

Highlights: Coal Street quick on them tonight.

Penguins head back to Providence tonight for a 3 p.m. start with the Bruins Sunday. Gameday setup will hit the blog at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

Let’s Go Pens!

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