These are going to be a big two points lost with the Penguins position in the standings and with how tight things are down the stretch.
A 2-1 setback to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight against a team that was 3-7 coming in their last ten. The Penguins put up seven goals Friday night against Lake Erie but faced a Sound Tigers team that always plays Wilkes-Barre tough.
The Penguins swept the Cleveland Monsters 4-0 and only allowed three goals against in the four games series. The Sound Tigers give the Penguins fits every time they meet up. Styles make fights, I guess.
The Penguins lost J-S Dea to a two game suspension. He missed tonight and will miss Wednesday in Rockford. I don’t want to pin the loss entirely on the fact that Dea was sat down for two games.
And it’s my fault for not having a blog post at the ready in the wake of the Dea news. He left the bench early as there was a scrum late in a blowout Friday. The rulebook calls for an automatic six game suspension. He only got two, so some leniency was given in the eyes of the League.
Hard to argue that point, but that’s the price you pay sometimes when your parent team wins Stanley Cups and is a contender year after year. This game was there for the Penguins to take, but they lacked any offensive punch, registering a paltry four shots on goal through about fifteen minutes in the third and squandered a stellar performance by Tristan Jarry in net and get no points on a night where Lehigh Valley and Springfield both lose and see their four game winning streak snapped at four.
Jarry opposed Jeremy Smith.
Lineup Notes: Linus Ölund took Dea’s spot at second line center. Patrick McGrath went in on the fourth line with some shuffling at that line. Kevin Czuczman picked up a knock Friday and Tim Erixon went in for him on defense.
All the offense happened in the first period.
Sound Tigers took the lead early when Jeff Kubiak took a juicy rebound off a Ben Holmstrom shot to give Bridgeport a 1-0 lead.
Penguins were getting run around a bit which ended up being foreshadowing to the full sixty minutes. Ethan Prow netted a power play goal that tied the game at one.
Scott Eansor scored with :20 left on a turnaround shot that went through Erixon’s legs and in.
That was it for the goals.
Wilkes-Barre took two penalties to open the second, Tristan Jarry remained dialed in, Penguins couldn’t cash on a power play at the end of the period which bled over to the third period, Sound Tigers kept the heat on Jarry and dominated offensive zone time and Jeremy Smith, not really bothered or tested in the third period was up to the task with Jarry pulled for the extra man in the final ninety seconds of the game.
The Good: Ethan Prow will one day join Teddy Blueger as an eventual mainstay with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Bad: The Penguins wasted one of Tristan Jarry’s better performances of the year and lose to a team who was spilling points all over the place. These are two points that the Penguins are going to wish they had in April.
Around the Division: Providence goes to Charlotte and sweep the Checkers albeit in overtime in both games, winning 1-0…Lehigh Valley loses 2-1 in Hershey to a Bears team that its red hot….Springfield comes up short against Utica 4-3 and Hartford loses 4-1 to Rochester.
Standings: Charlotte 68 — Bridgeport 56 — Providence 55 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Springfield 52 — Penguins 51 — Hershey 47 — Hartford 43
Wheeling Update: Kalamazoo scored three power play goals and beat the Nailers 5-2. John Muse took the loss in goal.
I don’t have the February practice schedule, but I would think that the Penguins are flying out to the Midwest on Monday or Tuesday. IceHogs have won four straight and are going to be a tough matchup for the Penguins. But for anything breaking between now and Wednesday, check out the Gameday setup Wednesday at 4. It’s an 8 o’clock start in Illinois on Wednesday.
Let’s Go Pens!