Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

This Tuesday in Texas — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)

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There is a saying that, “everything is bigger in Texas.”

For Jordy Bellerive, it must be true, he’s scoring goals and the net must look twice the size for the Penguins rookie.

A 3-2 overtime win for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on Tuesday night with the goal scored by, who else, Jordy Bellerive that ended the game. Bellerive’s trip through San Antonio this past weekend saw him score two goals and the shootout game winner on Saturday and an overtime game winner Tuesday.

He may not want to board that flight to Charlotte Wednesday, but he will have to.

The Penguins draw to a point of idle and fifth place Springfield and three points back of fourth place Providence for the final playoff spot. A huge meeting with third place Charlotte, who the Penguins are just four points behind, looms this weekend.

Casey DeSmith opposed Ville Husso in a rematch from Saturday.

Lineup: 

Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi was recalled Monday, so Christopher Brown slotted in for him at center, the forward lines were jumbled up, Jordy Bellerive found himself on the second line, up from the fourth, based off of his performance on Saturday.

Dustin Tokarski was injured in warmups Saturday with what Head Coach Mike Vellucci told Nick Hart was a hand injury. He’s still with the team, practiced Monday and took part of Morning skate. No timetable was given, but I’ll point out that if it were bad, he would have been sent back to Wilkes-Barre or Pittsburgh if it was.

On defense, the same pairings from Saturday. San Antonio didn’t post lines.

First Period: Largely uneventful period. Andreas Martinsen was the only Penguin forward with a shot on goal, Wilkes-Barre only managed five to the Rampage’s ten.

Klim Kostin deflected a Joey LaLeggia shot about halfway through that gave the Rampage a 1-0 lead.

Penguins killed the only penalty called in the period. Like I said, largely uneventful.

Second Period: Largely eventful period. The Penguins outshot the Rampage 16-4 in the period and got a goal when Jon Lizotte connected with Anthony Angello on this tie setup that tied the game at one.

Ville Husso was forced into some great saves, John Nyberg had one on a shot through traffic, Husso got help from his post when Chase Berger fizzed one past and Jordy Bellerive had a bid go off of the post early on in a two on one.

Third Period: Penguins navigated through back to back penalties easily, then Kevin Roy tipped in a John Nyberg shot that gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

I liked what I saw from John Nyberg tonight, doing all the little things right.

Good, subtle keep in by David Warsofky there at the start of the video that kept play onside. The scoring play doesn’t happen without it.

Wilkes-Barre had one more penalty to kill and did so, but just as Husso came off for an extra attacker, San Antonio indeed found the equalizer on this sequence with ex-Penguin Derrick Pouliot.

Tipped in by Nathan Walker that sent us to…

Overtime: They went back and forth s they often do with all that open ice. It was a sequence with Thomas DiPauli that led to the Bellerive goal. He was tangled up with Husso, got a puck at the neutral zone and put a shot on he didn’t get all of, followed his shot and caused enough interference (legal) on Husso that Bellerive was there for the goal and the finish.

Three Stars: 3) Anthony Angello (goal) Kevin Roy (goal) 1) Jordy Bellerive (overtime game winning goal)

The Good: Any time you get four points at an opponent, you take it and run. Don’t worry about the games finishing past regulation, giving points to a Western Conference opponent is meaningless for the Penguins.

The Bad: I still can’t figure out of it was Penguins good or San Antonio bad (they are last place in a competitive Central) but will likely have that answer this weekend when Mike Vellucci visits his old stomping grounds in Charlotte this weekend.

Turning Point: How can you not go with the Bellerive overtime game winner in this situation? These are big points that could be remembered as the Penguins are shaping up to be in a race with three, maybe four with Lehigh Valley’s sudden resurgence, teams for a playoff spot come April.

Around the Division: They all watched us. It’s a Tuesday, the Atlantic Division just doesn’t play on a Tuesday.

Standings: Hartford and Hershey 55 — Charlotte 51 — Providence 50 — Springfield 48 — Penguins 47 — Lehigh Valley 41 — Bridgeport 35

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off, it’s the ECHL All-Star break.

Video Highlights: Coal Street tweeted Saturday’s highlights Monday morning. I hope they don’t wait till Thursday for these. Anyway, if I see them and can work an edit in I will.

I would expect, with Pittsburgh on bye for the next ten days, that you will see Joseph Blandisi and Andrew Agozzino get returned to Wilkes-Barre with Kevin Czuczman and possibly Sam Lafferty. EDIT: They didn’t wait long, check out this time stamp:

AHL Power Rankings will be here Thursday at 11 and then the Gameday setup for the two game set in Charlotte will be here Friday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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