The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are in last place in the Atlantic Division. In a division that looks like this…
…after Saturday’s action, the Sound Tigers don’t seem to be interested or have the guns to compete in the division on a night to night basis.
Well, it sure didn’t look like it tonight.
A 3-2 shootout loss for the Penguins who, as you can see above, are in one for the playoff seeding. They led Saturday at 1-0 and again at 2-1 only to see the Sound Tigers even it late then win in a shootout that went seven rounds. Emil Larmi was the hard luck loser in goal.
The thing about the Sound Tigers that I noticed tonight was they got under your skin at every opportunity. How many times would you see a game Penguins team hang with some of the better teams in the AHL and go on to find a way to win? Penguins teams of old just wore on teams and it won them games and playoff berths. Same thing happened tonight, but the roles were reversed.
Larmi opposed Jared Coreau.
Lineup Notes: Sam Lafferty got recalled to Pittsburgh before the game so Brandon Hawkins went in on the fourth line where Jake Lucchini was. Lucchini replaced Lafferty’s spot on the top line. John Nyberg took warmups.
Bridgeport doesn’t post lines because not only does Lou Lamoriello not like facial hair, he doesn’t like when his top minor league affiliate posts a lineup graphic.
First Period: Joseph Blandisi scored this highlight reel goal on a power play to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
Shots were a pretty even 9-8 for the Sound Tigers who carried the play for much of the period. It was a highlight reel goal only that had them trailing.
Second Period: On a delayed call against the Penguins, Oliver Wahlstrom goes bar down to tie the game at one for the Sound Tigers.
Jake Lucchini would score when Zach Trotman swept a pretty pass to him for a goal that made it 2-1 Penguins heading into the third.
Third Period: Felt like there were more than just seven total (three for Bridgeport, four for Wilkes-Barre) power plays in the game, but that was one area that goes to the top of the story where you need to just skate away when you have someone bothering you.
Through the loss of Zach Trotman (puck to the face, later returned) and David Warsofsky (off then back, quick) the Penguins were without their two best defensemen and Bridgeport hung around and hung around and finally got the equalizing goal with about two and half minutes left to play.
It was off to…
Overtime: Emil Larmi had a couple of huge stops in the overtime round, Joseph Blandisi had a chance on a two on one with Joseph off of one of those Larmi saves to end it but ran out of room.
Shootout: Much like the game, Bridgeport had an answer for every Penguins goal and finally got a save from Coreau when it mattered. Matt Lorito in the bottom of the first, Travis St. Denis in the bottom of the fifth and finally Simon Holmstrom in the bottom of the seventh to win it. Jake Lucchini and Thomas DiPauli for the Penguins scored in the second and fifth rounds, respectively.
The Good: Teachable moments for playoffs if they make it there on how to take advantage of a tight game?
The Bad: What the hell were they doing keeping a Bridgeport team, who is the lowest scoring team in the AHL, around for?
Turning Point: Ho-Sang’s goal which forced overtime kind of cooked the goose. The Pens were done from there.
Around the Division: Charlotte got revenge on the Marlies and beat team 4-3 Saturday afternoon….Lehigh Valley beat Hershey 3-0 for just their fifth win on the road this season….Springfield gets a measure of revenge on Hartford 2-0….Providence beats up on Syracuse 6-2.
Standings: Gave them to you in the lede. Scroll up, please.
Wheeling Update: Orlando beats Wheeling 5-2. The Solar Bears strike on both power play attempts. Wheeling went 0-for-4.
Pens are back Wednesday when they take on the Binghamton Devils, who have been on a tear recently. But for anything breaking, look check us out Wednesday at 3 for the Gameday setup.
Let’s Go Pens!