The Penguins were down 5-0 in this game and came all the way back to tie it with an extra attacker late in the third only to lose on a T.J. Brennan goal in overtime on a delayed call 6-5.
I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive:
1) That I stayed tuned in when it was 4-0 after one and AHLTV was not working properly at all;
2) Mike Vellucci didn’t turn to Casey DeSmith at backup when starter Emil Larmi stopped just 9 of 14 shots and the Penguins were trailing 5-0;
3) They mounted anything resembling a comeback after being down five;
4) They came all the way back:
5) They didn’t win in overtime.
Remember this point in April. It looks like five, possibly six, teams for four spots in the division this season. Every point is going to be valuable down the stretch and the points hold the same value in November as they do in March or April.
Coal Street didn’t do any GIFs in the game, I think it had something to do with a lot of things and Twitter wasn’t playing nice tonight with graphics and stuff, so just bear with me. Lehigh Valley did theirs, but I didn’t write the game up through the intermissions like I normally do for road games because it was 4-0 and the Pens were getting flattened and I was pissed that AHLTV wasn’t streaming the game the right way.
Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi was recalled Friday afternoon for Bryan Rust who injured his leg in morning skate today. Jordy Bellerive went in for Blandisi. No other lineup changes but for at backup, DeSmith was in and Tokarski was given the night off.
First Period: The goal came hot and heavy for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
1) Matthew Strome on a tip in front for his first AHL goal at 5:29
2) Pascal Laberge scored on a rebound left in the slot after Larmi stopped Isaac Radcliffe with the blocker at 5:50
3) Carsen Twarynski through AHLTV buffering on my end at 8:08
4) Twarynski again on a power play goal, the second of the game for the Phantoms (Strome’s goal was also on the power play) at 16:31
It was 4-0 Phantoms after one period. Despite this, the Penguins outshot the Phantoms 14-12 through the period.
Second Period: Isaac Ratcliffe scored to open the period and whatever was said and what adjustments were made didn’t do anything as the Penguins were down deep in a 5-0 hole.
I noticed that the Penguins still stuck to the same game plan, didn’t really tuck tail and run, sure they pushed and shoved and there were extracurriculars after whistles and stuff, but they kept pushing.
Jamie Devane tipped in a Thomas DiPauli shot on a power play with under minute to play and it turned out to be the turning point in the game. It gave the Penguins faint hope that they could get back into the game.
Third Period: Comeback went like this.
1) Andrew Agozzino scored on a rebound to cut the lead to three at 9:22
2) Anthony Angello, seemingly getting the message after being benched Wednesday in the third period, scored to cut the lead to two. He took a great pass from Chase Berger and slammed it home in the crease at 11:06
3) Andrew Agozzino breakaway goal. One goal game at 12:09
4) Adam Johnson, with Larmi pulled for the extra man, from an impossible angle, tied the game at five at 18:00.
I am really big on the numbered lists tonight.
Overtime: TJ Brennan scored an extra attacker goal in overtime on a delayed call to win it for the Phantoms, a game that should have never been in doubt, but the problems have to be bigger for Lehigh Valley, don’t they?
Three Stars: Somehow all Phantoms. 3) Matthew Strome (goal) 2) T.J. Brennan (game winning overtime goal, assist) 1) Carsen Twarynski (two goals, assist)
The Good: The never say die attitude of this Mike Vellucci guided club. They could have easily packed it in and left with their tails between their legs, but they didn’t. They didn’t try to get three back with one, they just scored one after another after another.
The Bad: If they played the second half of the game in the first half, tell me who wins?
Turning Point: Jamie Devane’s tip of a Thomas DiPauli power play started an impossible comeback for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and earned them a point.
Around the Division: Bridgeport has won four in a row, beating Springfield 4-1. The Sound Tigers are in Wilkes-Barer Saturday night….
That was it. The rest of them were off.
Standings: Hartford, the Penguins and Providence 27 — Springfield 24 — Lehigh Valley 23 — Hershey 21 — Bridgeport 20 — Charlotte 19
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
Video Highlights: I don’t know who will get to them first, but who ever does I will run the edit here and you can see how this car crash of a hockey game went down.
Pens back home Saturday night to host Bridgeport on Hockey Fights Cancer night. Gameday setup here Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!