Place any kind of spin on how the Penguins played this past weekend, they needed this one.
Thomas DiPauli, playing in his 100th AHL game, made sure that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins got the advantage early and the Penguins defeat the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night 3-1.
DiPauli scored two goals in the win.
The Penguins didn’t allow a power play goal against, ending the streak of extra man goals allowed at twelve.
Anthony Peters got the start in net and was a large reason that the Penguins won the game. After going up 3-0, the Bears relentlessly fired shot after shot on the Penguins net minder and were scored on :28 into the third period. Peters buttoned things up and nothing else leaked past him.
Much needed two points heading into the weekend for Wilkes-Barre, who head to North Division leading Rochester Friday night and defending Calder Cup Champion Toronto on Saturday.
Peters opposed Ilya Samsonov.
Lineup Notes: Troy Josephs was inserted in the fourth line, replacing Pat McGrath. Besides the steady pairing of Czuczman and Prow, Head Coach Clark Donatelli shook up his pairings. Tim Erixon paired with Chris Summers, Matt Abt with Stefan Elliott. No Will O’Neill for the Penguins tonight. Up front, Cramarossa was dropped to the fourth line with Josephs.
News: J-S Dea is on waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Taylor explains how the Penguins could reclaim him and assign him to Wilkes-Barre.
First Period: Anthony Peters had to stop a Liam O’Brien penalty shot for, what seemed to me, like the only real threat that Hershey had on the Penguins all period.
Then Thomas DiPauli scored twice. He picked off a blue line pass by the Bears, raced all the way in and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
Then, Teddy Blueger blocked a shot and DiPauli collected the puck and raced in and doubled Wilkes-Barre’s lead.
Wilkes-Barre was running the Bears around a bit at the end of the period, easily picking off exit attempts and getting very good looks at possibly extending the lead to three or more, but Samsonov held the fort.
That’s ten points (6-4) for DiPauli in his last nine games.
Second Period: Ryan Haggerty scored his first goal in 37 games on a power play goal when he parked at the front of the net when a puck essentially deflected off of him on a pass or shot by Adam Johnson when he had his stick tangled with Bears defender Tyler Lewington.
Referees Jordan Deckard and Furman South gave the play a very long look on replay and confirmed their call on the ice of a good goal. They were looking for a kicking motion, but there just was no way possible with the way the puck slowly crept across the line and into the net.
The Penguins clamped down from there and didn’t really get a good look after that power play marker by Haggerty. Hershey came with fire after that, only Anthony Peters wasn’t listening. He denied all 10 Bears shots.
Third Period: :28 into the third, Jayson Megna scored to put the Bears on the board.
Peters had a huge stop on Riley Barber that otherwise would have been a 3-2 game and the entire complexion of the game would have changed.
Penguins had to get a few kills late on but got out of them unscathed. Penguins were more aggressive on the penalty kill I thought. Teddy Blueger had a shorthanded bid which was was denied via poke check by Samsonov. Bears were offside a few times and even took a few penalties, killing their man advantage chance.
Troy Josephs quietly had an effective game, just missing a chance in the third when a Burton shot caromed off the back wall. Josephs collected the puck but shot it wide with a man on him.
The Good: DiPauli and Peters put the team on their backs and took the Penguins to a victory in Hershey…Penalty Kill was flawless and aggressive against a notoriously dangerous Hershey man advantage…Anthony Peters is quietly establishing himself as the number one goaltender while Tristan Jarry is up in the NHL. John Muse hasn’t been given much of a chance yet, but if the team is struggling to get points (which the Penguins have) the coaching staff is going to rise the hot hand. Expect Muse to get the start probably Saturday.
The Bad: Bad puck luck, penalties and running into a hot goaltender in Peters killed the Bears tonight. But they shouldn’t have had the opportunity to even regain their pulse, going down 3-0. The Penguins let the Bears dictate pace in the second half of the game tonight and were lucky it only cost them the Megna goal :28 into the third.
Three Stars: 3) Jayson Megna (goal) 2) Antony Peters (26 saves on 27 shots) 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals)
Around the Division: Springfield beats Bridgeport 5-2 in the only other Atlantic Division action tonight.
Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Springfield 24 — Hartford 23 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 22 — Providence 19 — Hershey 19
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Penguins will probably head to Rochester Thursday afternoon for their Friday matchup against the Americans at 7.
Check out my AHL Power Rankings Thursday morning and likely a blurb or something if the Penguins reclaim J-S Dea. Regardless, stop by some time Thursday.
Let’s Go Pens!