Wednesday night games mean hurried recaps. Mind any spelling errors. If you’re an email customer, head to the blog at some point for a the refined piece in the morning or whenever. The idea is to get this right on the first attempt. Here goes.
Here’s your box for this one. The Checkers win 6-3, their sixth win in row. The Penguins are struggling. Leading scorer in Pittsburgh, a game opponent on a good run of form and a defense that looks worse and worse by the day. You just have to fight out of it.
That’s three straight games where they have given up six goals against. Defense can’t stop a nose bleed.
Casey DeSmith opposed Alex Nedeljkovic.
Lineup Notes: Everything was shuffled from Saturday. Cole Cassels was the first line center with Andrew Agozzino on recall with Pittsburgh. Thomas DiPauli was back down and was on the third line. David Warsofsky returned from injury and was paired with Matt Abt. Michael Kim was out.
First Period: Charlotte wasted no time. First shift of the game, David Gust snaked in and scored at :40 to give the Checkers the lead.
The Penguins got it together and got a goal when Jordy Bellerive led a rush and centered to PO Joseph who dished off to Cole Cassels who tapped in an easy goal for his first as a Penguin that tied the game at one.
Good response by the Penguins there who got slapped cold at the open and got it back level. It could have got bad but didn’t.
Second Period: Charlotte found themselves on the wrong end of a four on three against after getting called for too many penalties at the open. Someone on the bench voiced their displeasure at referee Tim Mayer and Mayer issued a misconduct. It didn’t matter to Charlotte who scored a breakaway 3 vs. 4 goal against the Penguins when Clark Bishop scored to make it 2-1.
Anthony Angello, at least I think it was Anthony Angello, scored on a deflection of a David Warsofsky shot on the tail end of the two man advantage to tie the game yet again.
Anthony Angello forced a turnover and found Adam Johnson who scored to give the Pens a lead.
It was a lead that the Penguins could not protect, Charlotte would score twice to take a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
Steven Lorentz on a most ridiculous backhander with a scramble in front tied the game again.
Then PO Joseph tangled up with Casey DeSmith taking out his goaltender and Charlotte capatilized with a power play goal that gave them the lead again.
I mean our goaltenter was taken out on the play, but you do you, Checkers social media guy or girl.
Game had a track meet feel. Set up for an interesting third.
Third Period: Hardly the same story of the first two periods offense wise in the third. Julien Gauthier found himself alone in front, made a move and stuck it past DeSmith to give the Checkers a two goal lead.
Penguins tried for an extra attacker with DeSmith off but Joseph bobbled a puck in the neutral zone, and the Checkers scored on the empty net to ice the game away. Steven Lorentz with his second. Ballgame.
Three Stars: 3) David Gust 2) Julien Gauthier 1) Steven Lorentz
The Good: They stayed step for step with a game Checkers team for 40 minutes. But…
The Bad: They waited for something to develop in the third and got developed. Leading scorer in Pittsburgh, down one in the third and a team on a positive run of form gets a goal from their all-star and wins the game.
Turning Point: Gauthier’s goal in the third was pretty much it. WBS wasn’t coming back, that goal made sure of it.
Around the Division: The only other game on this Wednesday night was Hershey and Hartford. That box is here. Hartford gets a goal with under a minute to play in the third and win 2-1.
Standings: Hartford 51 — Hershey 47 — Providence 43 — Springfield 42 — Charlotte 41 — Penguins 39 — Lehigh Valley 31 — Bridgeport 31
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off and don’t play until Friday.
Video Highlights: I will look later and work them in as a morning update likely.
Mid-January AHL Power Rankings here Thursday at 11. Check them out then.
Pens are back in action again Friday at 7 against Hershey.
Let’s Go Pens!