The AHL scoreboard tonight was favorable for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to cut into the deficit they face right now as a non-playoff team.
In a tight contest in Grand Rapids, the Penguins fail to show up for a third period which started 1-1 and lose 4-1 to the Griffins.
Anthony Peters took the loss. While some of the goals he allowed were some real head scratchers, his job is to stop the puck, not score it. The Penguins cannot expect to beat the Central Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins by scoring just one goal.
The Penguins go 1-2 on the Midwestern road trip and head into a Wednesday contest in Hershey with huge implications. The Bears are on an 11 game point streak. More on them in a bit.
Peters opposed Patrik Rybar.
Lineup Notes: Linus Ölund replaced Cam Brown at 4C, Anthony Angello replaced Jimmy Hayes at 4RW. Tim Erixon replaced Macoy Erkamps on the Chris Summers pairing. The Pittsburgh Penguins reassigned Tristan Jarry to Wilkes-Barre Saturday afternoon.
First Period: Griffins have a lot of offense in their lineup yet are somehow last in the AHL in power play overall. But, their power play at home clicks at just about 20%. Got all that? Good, cause they scored the only goal of the period on said power play. Filip Zadina
Anthony Peters had to stop a Chris Terry penalty shot earlier in the period. The Penguins could not score on a late power play.
Period featured a lot of pace and some feistiness. Shots were 13-12 Griffins.
Second Period: Wilkes-Barre needed to kill a penalty at the beginning of the period and got out of it fine, with Peters making some nice stops to get through it.
Then, the Penguins tied the game on a deflected pass by Ethan Prow that made it to Sam Miletic’s stick and the Penguins rookie backhanded the puck in.
The Penguins and Griffins played a careful second half of the period and the score stayed 1-1 heading into the…
Third Period: The Griffins would score in the first minute of the period when Anthony Peters makes an initial stop on a shot and thinks the puck went right when it went left, right to the stick of Colin Campbell who scored to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead and one that they would not relinquish.
Libor Sulak would score around half way when a shot from the point is stopped again by Peters but no one was in front to clear away Sulak who scored to make it 3-1.
Griffins would add to the lead when Matt Puempel would score on a one time at the top of the near face-off ring on a two man Griffins advantage that made it 4-1 Grand Rapids.
(no goal GIF here, sorry)
Wilkes-Barre had a couple of chances late, but those chances never came to pass.
The Good: Wilkes-Barre played the Central Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins tight for 40 minutes of play.
The Bad: Both teams had a chance to win in the third period, and the Penguins never got out of the starting block and were down 3-1 before they knew what hit them, then Puempel’s power play goal on the two man advantage added insult to injury. The killer instinct just was no where to be found on anyone in a white sweater and it cost them on a night where the out of town scoreboard was kind to the Penguins.
Turning Point: Colin Campbell’s goal :45 into the third period would give the Griffins a lead they would not relinquish, and it held up as the game winning sequence and buried Wilkes-Barre in the process.
Around the Division: Hershey’s point streak grows to eleven, beating Charlotte 3-2 in a shootout. The Bears got a late goal from Riley Barber to preserve their eleven game point streak. Providence sees their twelve game point streak end in Bridgeport, losing 4-2. Lehigh Valley lays an egg at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack and lose 2-1. Wolf Pack win for the first time nine games. Springfield’s free fall continues, losing 4-2 in Toronto.
Standings: Charlotte 71 — Bridgeport 60 — Providence 57 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Hershey 53 — Penguins 53 — Springfield 52 — Hartford 46
Wheeling Update: Nailers went to Worcester and won 5-1. Michael Phillips had two goals and an assist. Jordan Ruby stopped 33 of 34 shots. John Muse is probably heading back early next week.
Sunday: Wilkes-Barre will fly home. Hartford and Lehigh Valley rematch in Allentown, so to Charlotte and Hershey, Providence hosts Syracuse; Bridgeport hosts Utica. Springfield is the other team idle.
Maybe I will jump on here and put out a blog post recapping the Sunday action. Stay tuned.
Let’s Go Pens!