Chirps from Center Ice

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

Feeling Blue(ger) — Pens WIN 5-2

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I don’t want to say that we have reached the swan song of Teddy Blueger, but we are getting close.

A pair of goals and an assist for the Penguins centerman and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins obliterate the stone cold Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2 Wednesday morning in Connecticut.

There isn’t any room for Teddy Blueger at his natural center position right now in Pittsburgh. The one thing that is a strength of both the NHL team and AHL team is down the middle. All Blueger can do is take the assignments as they come. If he continues to light it up down here in Wilkes-Barre, Jim Rutherford and Company may have no choice but to call him up and make room for him.

Remains to be seen. Enjoy him while you still can, is what I am saying.

Tristan Jarry opposed Christopher Gibson.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi made his Penguins debut and went top line with Teddy Blueger and Anthony Angello. Cam Brown took warmups but was the scratch. Ryan Scarfo dropped to the third line, Ryan Haggerty moved up to that line also and Joseph Cramarossa was back in with Ölund and Hayes. Macoy Erkamps was back in for Tim Erixon who was the veteran removed to allow Cramarossa to get in today.

First Period: Penguins got out to a quick start with Joseph Blandisi getting a goal in his first game as a Penguin.

He initially put a shot on, which was blocked and stayed in the slot and collected his rebound and scored.

Tristan Jarry had to stop a Jeff Kubiak penalty shot when Kubiak was hooked shorthanded when the Penguins were on a power play.

Later, Teddy Blueger steals a puck in the neutral zone, skates in and scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

Decent first period for the Penguins who outshot the Sound Tigers 8-3.

Second Period: Tons of goals and momentum swings.

Ryan Haggerty made it 3-0 after he wheeled around the face-off dot and unleashed a shot that made it 3-0.

That ended Chris Gibson’s day, enter Jeremy Smith.

Wilkes-Barre then scores :11 apart when Ethan Prow puts a shot on goal that Teddy Blueger pounces on, he wheels around Gibson and scores to make it 4-0 on a power play. Then, off of the ensuing face-off Ryan Scarfo intercepts a pass up the ice on the far wall and finds a cutting Ryan Haggerty in front to make it 5-0 before the Sound Tigers knew what hit them.

Here are the goals:

The Penguins at this point had more goals (5) then the Sound Tigers had shots (4)

Bridgeport Head Coach Brent Thompson used his time out and out of that on the very next shift, Chris Casto scored to break up the Tristan Jarry would-be shutout bid.

(Taylor didn’t GIF any goals this morning)

Tanner Fritz connected on a Sound Tigers power play that made it 5-2. Momentum was sliding on the Sound Tigers side, quickly.

Turning point of the game was when the Penguins killed a Zach Trotman penalty at the games halfway point. If the Sound Tigers scored here to cut the goal to two, it would have completely changed the complexion of the game.

Third Period: In hindsight, that power play that the Sound Tigers had at the midway point seemed like their final push because they took two penalties late in the second and the third period was ultimately benign. Ryan Haggerty was denied a few chances at his hat trick and Tristan Jarry had a few key late saves to preserve the win.

The Good: These morning starts are tricky, but the Penguins jumped out to a 5-0 start and withstood a small pushback from Bridgeport. Having Chris Summers and Zach Trotman on the blue line back is really important.

The Bad: Kind of hard to nitpick on this, but the Sound Tigers were getting flattened, called time out, and were a few breaks and bounces from turning this into a much closer game. Wilkes-Barre is going to need to start stringing a full 60 minute effort together if they want success more often than not.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Springfield beat Hartford 7-4 in a game which was bonkers. Ex-Penguins Paul Thompson had four goals. Ex-Penguin Harry Zolnierczyk scored his 100th AHL goal…Lehigh Valley beat Hershey in a shootout, 2-1.

Standings: Charlotte 64 — Bridgeport 52 — Lehigh Valley 51 — Springfield 50 — Providence 47 — Penguins 47 — Hershey 43 — Hartford 42

Penguins are off Friday, Providence hosts Charlotte, Lehigh Valley hosts Hartford and Springfield is in Syracuse.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Doesn’t look like there are any video highlights for this one, sorry.

Week 16 AHL Power Rankings are out Thursday morning, check them out then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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