I am assuming that you saw this tweet this afternoon about a former Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins alum.
Tristan Jarry sure did.
Facing a sudden uncertain future with the organization he plays for, Jarry goes out and pitches a gem as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins take down the American Hockey League’s best team 5-1 tonight in Charlotte.
That’s four straight wins for Tristan Jarry. If you were wondering, like me, how the Penguins netminder would respond in his next game in the wake of the DeSmith extension against the best team in the AHL, you have your answer.
Jarry can ball. He should get the start again Saturday in the rematch against a likely pissed off Checkers team to really show his value, but that decision rests with Clark Donatelli, not this writer.
He opposed Scott Darling.
Lineup Notes: Cam Brown goes top line with Blueger and Angello. Hayes goes 2RW with Johnson and Lafferty. Cramarossa drops from first to third with Dea and Haggerty. Scarfo goes in w Ölund and Burton. On defense, Chad Ruhwedel was recalled after his 14 day stay on conditioning so Jeff Taylor jumped in and was paired with Tim Erixon.
Garrett Wilson was recalled earlier in the week when Zach Aston-Reese broke his hand in a fight and Patric Hornqvist left Pittsburgh’s last game with a concussion. Aston-Reese was placed on injured reserve.
First Period: I said in my Gameday setup that the Penguins almost needed to play a perfect game against Charlotte if they wanted to have success. Well, they got it in the period. Here is how.
1) Relentless forechecking.
2) Great special teams.
3) Solid goaltending.
Jarrett Burton would open the scoring when an Ethan Prow shot is blocked and the rebound is collected and a pass swept over to Jarrett Burton to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.
Linus Ölund would score short handed to give Wilkes-Barre a 2-0 lead.
Tristan Jarry was making saves like a ninja in the crease to keep the highly potent Checkers offense in the cold with saves like these.
And Anthony Angello, who had been stymied by Scott Darling, with this fitting goal here that would end Darling’s evening and gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead.
Enter Alex Nedeljkovic.
Second Period: Penguins score quickly out of the gate when Cam Brown dropped a pass to Teddy Blueger on a three on one that Blueger finished off for a 4-0 Penguins lead.
Just defensive breakdowns by the Checkers all over the place. The Penguins to this point were reading all of the passes like they knew where they were going to go before they were even made.
Checkers finally go on the board when Andrew Poturalski scored on a two on none to cut Charlotte’s deficit to three.
Wilkes-Barre managed to kill a penalty soon after the goal scored against without any issues. Charlotte found themselves in late penalty trouble. You would have like to have seen the Penguins score a goal here to really ice the game away, but they could not.
Third Period: You wanted to see the Penguins maintain the pressure and keep pushing vs. playing to protect a lead or as I sometimes like to say, “playing not to lose.” It was working. Wilkes-Barre continued to apply pressure and get good looks throughout the period.
Wilkes-Barre would be the beneficiary of two power plays in the period and finally cashed on this J-S Dea marker that would essentially ice the game away late and made it 5-1.
The Good: Penguins played that perfect game that I mentioned in the Gameday setup this afternoon. I don’t think there is any doubt that the Penguins play better depending on the quality of the opponent. Charlotte is a team that only lost eight games in regulation coming into tonight.
The Bad: Nitpicking again cause they got one and the game really wasn’t close, but the power play could have iced this game away way earlier than with less than ten minutes to play in regulation.
Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Utica 4-3 in overtime. Big win for the Sound Tigers who were winless in their last three straight comings in….Lehigh Valley loses 2-1 at home to a suddenly hot Binghamton Devils team….Springfield beats Hershey 6-2 and Providence doubles up Hartford 6-3.
Standings: Charlotte 57 – Bridgeport 50 – Lehigh Valley 43 – Penguins 43 – Springfield 42 – Providence 39 – Hartford 38 – Hershey 32
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were shutout 3-0 at home by the Utah Grizzlies.
Pens and Checkers are back at it again Saturday at 6 o’clock. Gameday setup is yours here on the blog Saturday at 2.
Let’s Go Pens!