Teddy Blueger had a ho-hum regulation. No points and really uncharacteristic of the Penguins center and
All-Star snub Penguins leading scorer.
But then overtime began and Blueger made his presence felt.
Blueger’s overtime game winner gives the Penguins a hard earned win on the Southern Tier of New York as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Binghamton Senators 5-4 in overtime.
It’s a game that the Penguins should have won easily, but Binghamton kept getting off the mat.
Normally when weaker teams play teams that never say die they curl up and wither away. You’ll often read me state that there are great, good and bad teams at this level. The Penguins aren’t a bad team, the Penguins aren’t a great team (this year) but they are a good team and in a division loaded with teams that are way too inconsistent (besides Charlotte) it’s performances like these that the Penguins are going to need in their push toward playoffs.
Tristan Jarry opposed Cory Schneider.
Lineup Notes: No changes personnel wise. Sam Miletic and Anthony Angello swapped spots up top, that’s all.
The Penguins released Will O’Neill Friday. It was a mutual release. O’Neill became a defensive liability and it didn’t help that he took up a veteran spot. There were better options. I think he’s probably done at this level but I could be wrong. We’ll see.
First Period: Starts where one team didn’t play the night before can be a bit of a trick, but any ill will concerns of a poor start by the Penguins were snuffed out in the first minute when Joseph Blandisi did this:
Binghamton turnover and Blandisi was off to the races, had Angello as a trailer and probably looked him off and wired a shot past Schneider for the early goal just :46 in.
Penguins killed two penalties in the period. In one, Linus Ölund had a blind, spin-o-rama drop pass set up for Anthony Angello who skated in unabated and…
…Cory Schneider made the save.
Penguins would get a late crack on the power play and All-Star Ethan Prow would waste no time in doubling the Penguins lead.
That is points in eight straight games for Ethan Prow and the six power play goals by him puts him in a tie with Teddy Blueger for tops on the team.
Second Period: Frankly, the Penguins were lucky to get out of this period with the lead. After going up 4-1, Binghamton storms back to score two and pull within one. Wilkes-Barre was outshot 15-11 in the period and were getting steamrolled. Apropos of nothing, Binghamton just kept getting off the mat and coming. The Penguins added two goals in the period but it was like Binghamton was unfazed here and scored three.
Here they are, starting off with Ryan Haggerty with a seeing eye shot that Schneider was screened on that made it 3-0 Wilkes-Barre.
Tariq Hammond with the unintentional screen of his goaltender there.
Ryan Schmelzer scored a power play goal on nice tic tac toe passing setup to bring the Devils on the board.
Adam Johnson would score a few minutes later on a pin balling puck that Cory Schneider was unable to smother entirely and it was 4-1 Penguins.
J-S Dea with an assist on the goal here, he quietly has 18 points in 18 games.
But Binghamton kept swinging, and got two more goals before the horn. Another power play goal, this time by John Quenneville, sweeping in a rebound of a Nick Lappin shot that made it 4-2.
Then Blake Pietila scored a goal similar to the Haggerty goal to open the period when his shot was not stopped by Tristan Jarry with Kevin Czuczman getting tangled up with Quenneville down low and setting a partial screen on his net minder that brought the Devils to within one.
Third Period: Blake Pietila added his second of the game on a goal that you could see coming like a bad car crash. Pietila waited out Jarry for an hour before he scored to bring the Devils even at four a piece.
Penguins had to sweat out a penalty and were successful on the kill and it was off to…
Overtime: I Periscoped it. It’s not long.
Teddy Blueger scored :41 in. Ballgame.
The Good: Three game win streak for the Penguins and 8-0-0-0 all time against the Binghamton Devils. Binghamton didn’t go away all night and the Penguins built up enough of a lead to get them to OT and the Blueger heroics.
The Bad: Two more power play goals agains gave Binghamton life and if it wasn’t for a player of such high caliber of Blueger on OT who knows how this one would shake out.
Around the Division: Hershey beats Laval 4-2…Bridgeport beats Lehigh Valley 4-1 to stop the bleeding for the Sound Tigers…Charlotte gets back in the win column with a 5-2 win in Hartford and Providence beats Springfield 3-2.
Standings: Charlotte 66 — Bridgeport 54 — Lehigh Valley 53 — Providence 51 — Springfield 50 — Penguins 49 — Hershey 45 — Hartford 43
Wheeling Update: Nailers and Royals went to a shootout and the Royals won 6-5 the box is here.
Video Highlights: Are here.
Pens are off until next Friday as the AHL in whole hits the All-Star break. Skills Competition is Sunday with the game on Monday. If anything interesting happens there I may drop in here with a blog piece. Otherwise but for big time news, check out the Power Rankings on Thursday.
Let’s Go Pens!