If the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins would have lost this game today in Hartford, you would get no argument from me if you said to me that their playoff chances are done like dinner.
If the way that the Penguins would have lost this particular game, I would be the one telling you that here in this opening.
After going up 4-1 to start the third, Hartford ties it to force overtime, but Adam Johnson scores in the extra session to give the Penguins a 5-4 overtime win and a much needed two points in Connecticut this afternoon.
The Penguins may still not make playoffs, but this afternoon’s game didn’t close the door entirely. Faint hope remains.
John Muse opposed Dustin Tokarski.
Lineup Notes: Blake Siebenhaler made his Penguins debut on the third defensive pairing with Chris Summers, replacing Macoy Erkamps.
First Period: The Penguins put up a ton of shots at Dustin Tokarski, but couldn’t score. Then, the Wolf Pack put their first shot on goal at Muse and it goes in. Vinni Letteri threw a seemingly harmless backhander at Muse and it found daylight and squeaked in near post.
Later, Ryan Haggerty got credit on a deflected puck which fluttered past Tokarski to even the game at one. Penguins had the only power play of the period and didn’t capitalize.
No GIFs of the goals today. Sorry.
Second Period: Penguins added three goals in the period. Adam Johnson put a shot on Dustin Tokarski and Sam Lafferty was there to collect the rebound and put it in to make it 2-1.
Then the Penguins made it 3-1 when Chris Summers scored his first of the season when a puck squeaked through Tokarski.
Hartford picked up the pace a bit, putting a few pucks on Muse and even were the benefactors of two power plays, but Muse closed the door on all of the chances.
Joseph Blandisi deflected a Zach Trotman shot that made it 4-1.
Brandon Halverson replaced Dustin Tokarski in net.
Man, I miss those GIFs.
Third Period: When Ethan Prow turned a puck over to Steven Fogarty to make it a 4-2, game, I felt that it was a bad omen.
When Peter Holland scored to make it 4-3 when the Penguins flew the defensive zone, I knew it was a matter of when, not if.
Jimmy Hayes took a trip at 9:51 and Sean Day let one rip six seconds later for a power play goal for the Wolf Pack and a tie game.
What an implosion. Hartford is a last place team!
Wilkes-Barre continued to play fast and loose. Some of the exit passes were lazy and blind. Then Blake Siebenhaler turned a puck over to Peter Holland but Johnny Muse was there to make the cool glove save. I don’t think its was a matter of playing not to lose, as much as Hartford just going for the kill at the hop at the start of the third, knowing that they couldn’t win the game with one shot, but methodically eating the elephant one bite at a time, if I can use a metaphor.
Overtime: Blog story is absent of visuals and I apologize, but I Periscoped it for you here.
That is Adam Johnson with the goal. If you don’t want to sit through the whole thing, Coal Street was good on getting the GIF of the game winning shot up on Twitter quickly:
The Good: Getting out to a three goal lead.
The Bad: Blowing said three goal lead.
Turning Point: There were a few which are crumbled up in a ball here in my mom’s basement. The glove save by Muse on Holland to preserve the tie to get it to overtime get an honorable mention, but let’s go with Adam Johnson’s game winning shot.
Around the Division: Charlotte loses to Bridgeport 7-3. Checkers are sputtering, but they won Friday and Saturday….Springfield beats Providence 5-1. Hershey beats Lehigh Valley 4-3 to tie a franchise record with a. point in 15 straight games.
Standings: Charlotte 75 — Bridgeport 67 — Hershey 61 — Providence 61 — Lehigh Valley 60 — Penguins 57 — Springfield 54 — Hartford 50
Wheeling Update: Nailers take down the Fort Wayne Komets in Indiana 6-5 in a shootout this afternoon. Alec Butcher had a goal and two assists and scored the shootout winners for the Nailers.
In the evening update, I didn’t see any video highlights from Hartford or Wilkes-Barre’s accounts.
Pens are back in action Friday at home against Hershey. News as it comes this week.
Let’s Go Pens!