A good night to be named Sam tonight as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins take down the Milwaukee Admirals 5-2 Friday night in Wisconsin to keep pace with the playoff race in the Atlantic Division.
A pair of power play goals by Sam Lafferty in the first period and a shorthanded goal by Sam Miletic in the second brace the Penguins and make things easy for starting goaltender John Muse.
Muse opposed Troy Grosenick.
Lineup Notes: John Muse went in net for the Pens, not Anthony Peters which flummoxed those in tune to the situation at the time.
J-S Dea returned from his two game suspension and Ben Sexton returned from his injury. Anthony Angello and Linus Ölund sat. On defense, Macoy Erkamps took the place of Tim Erixon on the Chris Summers pairing.
The Penguins made a minor trade with the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday afternoon, acquiring rookie forward Trevor Yates in exchange for future considerations. Yates was assigned to the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.
First Period: J-S Dea told broadcaster Nick Hart that he wanted his team have a hot start tonight in Milwaukee. He got it. The Penguins blitzkrieged the Admirals off the hop, getting an early power play goal from Sam Lafferty and a goal from the fourth line by Jimmy Hayes. Shots were, at one point, 10-1 favoring the Penguins who were just getting Grade A chance after Grade A chance. The Penguins added a third goal on yet another power play goal scored by Sam Lafferty. John Muse didn’t have to do much in the period, but did manage to stop all eight shots he faced.
Here are the goals starting with Lafferty’s first.
Then the second, on a sky hook clearing attempt by Ethan Prow to the stick of Joseph Cramarossa who makes a move and puts a shot on Grosenick which is stopped, but Jimmy Hayes is right there for the rebound to make it 2-0.
And finally, Sam Lafferty’s second power play goal of the period makes it 3-0. Power move through the Admirals defensemen to roof a backhander over Grosenick and in.
Second Period: Wilkes-Barre gave up four power plays in the period to the Admirals. They were outshot 12-7, but added to their lead and made it 4-0 with Sam Miletic scoring a shorthanded goal.
Not to be outdone, the Admirals scored a shorthanded goal of their own when Anthony Richard drove down the wing and beat Muse to make it 4-1.
Duncan Siemens laid a big hit on Cam Brown and had to fight Matt Abt. Here that sequence is, followed by the shorthanded goals scored by each side.
Here’s Miletic’s goal. Nice pass by Joseph Blandisi set up the goal.
And then Richard’s goal.
Third Period: Quiet period, really. Joseph Blandisi found daylight between he and Grosenick and snuck in a shot that made it 5-1 Penguins.
Then Laurent Dauphin, acquired in a trade earlier in the day with Arizona, tipped in a Duncan Siemens shot from the point that made it 5-2.
But the Admirals didn’t get any closer. No penalties in the third.
Milwaukee would outshoot the Penguins 35-28.
The Good: Dea wanted a strong start and got one. The Penguins were good in Rockford Wednesday and good against Bridgeport last Saturday, the breaks didn’t fall their way. The Penguins made the breaks go their way, almost willing them, in the first period and went up 3-0 and rode Muse when they needed to and took away a big two points.
The Bad: Letting Milwaukee back in to the contest in the second period is muted a bit when you were already up 3-0 to start the period. If the Penguins brought the same killer instinct in the second period, the game would have never been in doubt.
Turning Point: That second power play goal by Lafferty in the first was a highlight reel goal that took all the air out of the sails from the Admirals. They tried to make a game of it, but were too far behind to push for a threat.
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses in Utica 5-2. Big third period by the Comets took down the previously undefeated after leading after two periods Phantoms…Providence continues its hot run and takes down Bridgeport 2-1. Syracuse shuts out Hartford 6-0 and Springfield was throttled in Rochester 7-1. Hershey and Charlotte were off, they play a doubleheader starting Saturday in Hershey.
Standings: Charlotte 70 — Bridgeport 58 — Providence 57 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Penguins 53 — Springfield 52 — Hershey 51 — Hartford 44
Setting Up Your Saturday: Springfield is in Toronto for a 4 p.m. start against the Marlies. Providence and Bridgeport rematch in Connecticut. Pens travel to Grand Rapids. Hershey and Charlotte meet in Chocolatetown and Lehigh Valley drops by Hartford.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were defeated in overtime 4-3 in Manchester. Troy Josephs had a goal and an assist.
Gameday setup for Saturday’s contest against the first place in the Central Division Grand Rapids Griffins hits the blog Saturday at 3 with the game action going live at 7.
Let’s Go Pens!