Two power play goals and more than two goals scored in a track meet of a game of sorts compared to the games thus far and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are 4-1 after a 4-2 takedown of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night.
Radim Zohorna led the way with a pair of goals on the scoresheet but it was an all around showing from the offense and defense that got the Penguins the win. A team effort win, if there was one.
Filip Lindberg opposed Felix Sandstrom. Here’s how they lined up:
First Period: Wild, to say the least. There haven’t been many goals scored between these two teams this season. That all changed in the first period. Five total goals were scored in this period alone.
The Penguins got on the board first when Jamie Devane tipped in a Nicolas Almari shot from the point. Those two will get the headline, but Jonathan Gruden did all the work.
Gerry Mayhew for the Phantoms tied it on a power play on a tip in off a rush and the two teams were off to the races.
No GIF of it or any Lehigh Valley goal, just use your imagination.
Then later, Adam Clendening pinched from his normal defensive spot and got himself a goal off of a bit of a busted play to put the Phantoms up 2-1.
Felt like a little bit of a turning point here. Phantoms were being outshot and yet still led 2-1. Pens maybe were in trouble here and questions about Lehigh Valley’s potent offense were starting to come to life, how do the Pens respond here?
Michael Chaput scores on a power play with a Hallander screen in front to toe the game at 2, that’s how.
But they weren’t done. With 2.4 seconds left, Valtteri Puustinen has his ice taken away from him and Radim Zohorna bags his first of the season to give the Pens a 3-2 lead.
First time the Penguins have scored more than three goals in a game this year and they come all in one tidy period.
Second Period: Penguins add to their lead and get some good goal keeping to preserve their lead. It’s a Wednesday night and I have work in the morning, gotta move this along.
Radim Zohorna on a power play for his second of the night. Nice centering pass by Puustinen here.
Two power plays in one game? I love Wednesday night home games!
Phantoms start buzzing then Chris Bigras hooks Gerry Mayhew in front to take away what probably would have been a goal. Good penalty to take there which squelched the Phantoms momentum because they were unsuccessful on the power play chance.
Filip Lindberg robs Tyson Foerster going post to post to keep it a two goal Penguins lead:
Third Period: Special teams practice. Penguins had :51 of five on three advantage but weren’t able to ice the game away, the Phantoms had a few chances to get back into the game on their man advantage chances but were unable.
Three Stars: 3) Filip Lindberg (20 saves) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (two assists) and 1) Radim Zohorna (two goals)
The Good: Adversity stared them in the face, they stared right back and hit them in theirs. Nice way to come back from a deficit and hold the opponent off the score sheet the rest of the way tonight.
The Bad: Phantoms Head Coach Ian Laperriere probably isn’t long for this coaching world. His team is 0-4, at the bottom and fading in what looks to be a very competitive division and the firepower that the Phantoms possess look rigid and out of sync. Take the 4-1 start with a grain of salt, three wins so far have come against a Phantoms team that doesn’t look like they know what they are doing half the time, and that starts with the head coach.
Turning Point: Gave it to you in the first period. Penguins were down, picked themselves back up and ran away with the game from there.
Around the Division: Only other action in the division was in Hershey and the Bears lost their game in overtime to the Syracuse Crunch 3-2.
Standings: Pens are second, a point off Springfield for first. They could, conceivably, take the overall division lead Friday with a win at Hartford with Springfield idle that night. But a long way to go.
Wheeling Update: Justin Almieda playing hero for the Nailers out in Iowa tonight:
Am I reading that graphic right? The Nailers finished the game with 43 shots on goal to the Heartlanders 17? Tommy Nappier from THEE Ohio State with the win for the Nailers only two Wheeling skaters didn’t register a shot on goal. Nailers win 4-3.
Catch you back here Friday to recap the meeting with the Wolf Pack.
Let’s Go Pens!