Chirps from Center Ice

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

Special Teams Not So Special — Pens LOSE 2-1


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The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were 4-4-1-1 in their last ten games coming into tonight’s contest with the league leading Charlotte Checkers. During that span, they have allowed seven straight power play goals.

Make it eight tonight, two for the night, as the Penguins fall 2-1 to the Charlotte Checkers.

An even game otherwise. Shots were 28 a side.

The turning point in the game was when AHL league leader in goals from last year, Valentin Zykov, was thrown out of the game for a dangerous intent to injure cross checking penalty to Joseph Cramarossa. The Penguins were on a 5:00 major power play and were unable to score in a 1-1 game at the time.

Eight shots on the power play for the Penguins, but no goals.

Charlotte on the other hand, struck twice on the power play, but even those were goals made on tight shots.

Janne Kuokkanen over the glove of Jarry that made it 1-1 on a two man advantage in the second, and then Andrew Poturalski bar down on Jarry with under five minutes to play on a garden variety power play.

Game. Set. Match.

That’s pretty much it.

Tristan Jarry opposed Alex Nedeljkovic. Fourteen goaltenders have scored goals in the AHL. Nedeljkovic was the thirteenth, Jarry the fourteenth.

Here is how they lined up:

With no changes on defense, Lindberg and Ölund went top line with DiPauli. Haggerty for Jimmy Hayes (he missed tonight’s game attending to a personal matter) with the Lafferty / Johnson line. Joe Cramarossa debuted on third line with Blueger and Angello. Burton centered Horvat and McGrath.

Nobody scored in the first.

Thomas DiPauli opened the scoring with a nice give and go with Tobias Lindberg here.

Janne Kuokkanen tied it on a two man advantage on a dart above Jarry’s glove that made it 1-1.

Zykov was assessed a match penalty for cross checking. Here’s the details on the penalty and the ramifications that go with it:

I don’t think he will be suspended for Saturday, but we will see. The punishment I think fit the crime.

Teams played with fire in the third period with each team trading multiple power play attempts but it was Andrew Poturalski going bar down and scoring on Jarry late with 3:36 left.

Pens pulled Jarry for the extra man but took a Teddy Blueger offensive zone penalty and that killed any chances at a tie.

The Good: The Penguins stood with the best team in the AHL and did not look out of place at all at even strength.

The Bad: Not scoring on the 5:00 major penalty was a major turning point. Allowing Charlotte to score twice on the power play killed the Penguins tonight.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Hershey crushes Cleveland 6-1. These teams rematch again tomorrow in Hershey…Lehigh Valley goes down 4-1 in the first period, win 5-4 in Providence…Springfield embarrasses Rochester 9-4…Bridgeport beats Laval 2-1 in a shootout…Hartford was off.

Standings: Charlotte 25 – Bridgeport 22 – Lehigh Valley 20 – Springfield 18 – Penguins 18 – Hershey 17 – Hartford 15 – Providence 12

Wheeling Update: Troy Josephs had a hat trick, John Muse tried to score on an empty net, the Nailers beat the Jacksonville Icemen 4-1 in Florida.

If Coal Street runs any highlights and I can get to an edit, they will run here.

Pens and Checkers rematch tomorrow at 7:05 in Wilkes-Barre. Gameday setup here at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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