I don’t like Sunday games. Home, away, doesn’t matter I don’t like them. Sunday is my day off where I look forward to doing nothing.
I can only imagine how the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins felt Sunday after the Providence Bruins dealt them a 2-1 loss. The Bruins didn’t play Friday, while the Penguins were in a. battle with the Hershey Bears then had to travel overnight to play Saturday in Hartford, then traveled up to Providence to play less than 24 hours after that.
The Bruins hosted the Springfield Thunderbirds and didn’t have to travel a lick this weekend and got a weary Penguins team that gave up an early goal and Max Lagace and the Bruins defense locked them down from there. Providence wins its fifth in a row and gets some breathing room on the Penguins and the rest of the teams chasing them for a playoff spot.
I don’t really like making that excuse because the Bruins are no strangers to three games in three days as any team in the AHL is. The Penguins still have not applied the services of Phil Varone yet because his immigration issues are likely sitting on some lackeys desk somewhere to get approved top play and work in the United States.
Moral of the story, we will see what this Penguins team is like when they are rested, the Bruins have to travel down for a Wednesday game with Phil Varone most likely in the lineup.
Dustin Tokarski opposed Max Lagace.
That lineup graphic is not correct. Casey DeSmith was listed as the starter, but it was Tokarski and Emil Larmi was listed as the backup. They didn’t say the reason as to the late pull.
Lineup Notes: But for the late, unexplained switch at goal, no changes.
First Period: Zach Senyshyn wrister from the circle in the games first two minutes and it was 1-0 Bruins. I didn’t get setup to watch the game and missed the goal and with this being a Sunday, decided not to GIF any goals going in. Providence didn’t provide video proof of the goal but it stood.
Pens pressured from thereon, but Lagace was making some really good saves. One on Miletic even strength and a few on Riley Barber on a power play late.
Shots were 8-5 Bruins at the end of the period. Sounded like the Bruins had the jump, and the Penguins had the finish.
Second Period: Pens had a power play early, then the Penguins had some defensive issues that Tokarski navigated them through without issues. Pens had a penalty kill that they got through also. Providence continued to wear down the Penguins having not played Friday and finally got a goal to go when Steven Kampfer threw a shot on goal which may have been deflected but counted with .4 to play in the period which gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead heading to the…
Third Period: The Penguins, seemingly needing to empty the tank in the final period of a three in three, responded with a goal by Cole Cassels 63 seconds in to draw to within one.
But they would get no further. Providence strapped down defensively and had a late power play. Then, with Tokarski vacated for the extra man, the Bruins were able to keep Wilkes-Barre from finding the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Dustin Tokarski (25 saves) 2) Brendan Gaunce (assist) 1) Steven Kampfer (goal)
The Good: Pens kept it close, couldn’t get over the hump. They were lucky Friday, good on Saturday and out of both Sunday. It happens. Providence is a good team.
The Bad: Ideally the start was less than ideal and the penalties were a bit excessive, but fatigue can do that for you.
Turning Point: Kampfer’s goal with .4 left in the second gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead against a road weary Penguins team they are battling for a spot.
Around the Division: The most important other game of the day for the Penguins was the Springfield / Syracuse game. The Thunderbirds win 3-2 in overtime….Hartford beat Bridgeport 4-1.
Standings: Hershey 72 — Hartford 71 — Providence 68 — Charlotte 64 — Springfield 62 — Penguins 62 — Lehigh Valley 54 — Bridgeport 45
Wheeling Update: Nailers with a big 3-2 win in Brampton today. Justin Almeida had a pair of goals and Jordan Ruby had 27 saves.
Video Highlights: I am working in an edit here at around 8 p.m. Sunday, Providence doesn’t have any and I doubt they will.
Trade deadline is Monday. Imolst likely will have a roundup of the moves around the Atlantic Division with their NHL parent teams and offer my take on what it means down the stretch. Look for that Monday if there is enough there. If not, then check back Wednesday for the Gameday setup between the Penguins and Bruins.
Let’s Go Pens!