Chirps from Center Ice

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

Point Earned — Pens LOSE 3-2 (SO)


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Some nights, you need your goaltender to make a save or two.

Most nights, you need your goaltender to win a game.

Every night, your goaltender can’t do it all.

A dazzling 35 save performance for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins net minder Louis Domingue tonight as the Penguins battle back to force overtime but lose in a shootout 3-2 on Friday night. A point earned draws the Penguins even with idle Springfield, who is the opponent Saturday night.

Domingue was the best player on the ice in road black tonight for the Penguins. If Wilkes-Barre gets him run support, then maybe he isn’t the best player on the ice (the guy putting up all the points would be) but tonight, with goals becoming scarce, Domingue was the best player on the ice.

That wasn’t a good thing, because the Penguins were lucky to earn a point Friday and by rights should have lost the game. It was only Sam Poulin’s goal with Domingue pulled that earned the Penguins a point.

We talked this week about how the Penguins really haven’t answered any questions about what type of team they can be because Lehigh Valley is a mess right now and they aren’t a fair measuring stick. The real test was going to come this weekend against a rested Hartford and Springfield side.

Saturday night in Springfield can’t get here fast enough.

Domingue opposed Keith Kinkaid.

Here’s how they lined up:

Despite what the graphic says, the game was played at the XL Center in Hartford,. Connecticut.

Lineup Notes: Kasper Bjorkqvist was returned from Pittsburgh Friday afternoon. He didn’t play while up there. He replaced Felix Robert.

First Period: The thing about Wolf Pack goaltender Keith Kinkaid is that he spills rebounds everywhere. The Penguins, as well as every other team that Hartford plays, are aware of this. Example:

Initially it was announced by Nick Hart as Nathan Legare’s goal, but the scoresheet says otherwise.

Hartford draws even in the last five minutes of the period. Here’s where I thought that the Penguins let off here. Wolf Pack race through the neutral zone and into their attacking side, draw Domingue out who lost his stick. The Wolf Pack would score this goal after video review by referees Mathieu Menniti and Dominic Cadieux:

Hartford outshot the Penguins 8-1 over the last five-ish minutes of the first period and it cost them a goal.

Second Period: Louis Domingue was the best player on the ice for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton this period. Hartford peppered the Penguins net minder with 13 shots and bailed his club out on multiple occasions when Hartford had the Pens hemmed in their zone for long stretches. No one scored.

Third Period: Penguins were hanging on, Domingue continued to make saves. Finally a penalty on Valtteri Puustinen for a hook, saw Morgan Barron score on a deflection of a Zac Jones shot that gave the Wolf Pack a lead:

The Pens would pull Domingue in favor of an extra attacker and Sam Poulin would score to tie the game at two late:

Big goal. Hartford let off for the first time since the first period and it bit them.

No one else scored in regulation and it was off to overtime.

Overtime: More saves by Domingue, a few by Kinkaid too.

Shootout: Tim Gettinger scored in the top of the fourth. Puustinen, Zohorna, Poulin and Bellerive all missed in their chances, in that order.

Here’s Gettinger’s attempt:

Three Stars: 3) Anthony Greco (goal, assist) 2) Keith Kinkaid (26 saves) 1) Tim Gettinger (assist, shootout winning goal)

The Good: They battled back for a point which will probably come in handy later in the season.

The Bad: I didn’t like how they couldn’t seem to get anything going offensively. Again, it seems. The lack of offense is being shielded now by winning games with defense and goaltending, but you are going to need goalscoring if you want to win games.

Turning Point: Poulin’s goal that got the Pens the point gets it here.

Around the Division: The woes for the Phantoms continue, losing 5-2 up in Utica….Providence beats Charlotte 4-3.

Standings: Three way tie for first with Springfield, the Penguins and Hartford on 9 points. Hershey 7, Charlotte 5, Bridgeport and Providence 6 (remember they rank by points percentage) and then Lehigh Valley on 1. Eventually I will switch to the points percentages when I start taking this section more seriously.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers started an hour after the Penguins because they are out in Independence, Missouri playing the KC Mavericks. Here’s your box. Nailers were down 2-0 when this post went up on the blog.

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