I was really looking forward to this weekend and in particular this game to see exactly how the Penguins would stack up against the other teams in the Atlantic Division not named Lehigh Valley.
I still don’t know. If I had to give you an answer, I would say they are lucky.
They were lucky last night when they were grossly outplayed by the Hartford Wolf Pack, but gutted out a point in a shootout loss.
They were lucky Saturday in Springfield to build up a big early lead then ride Filip Lindberg as long as they could to eke out an overtime win thanks to Nathan Legare’s first goal as a professional and win 4-3 in overtime on a power play goal.
Sometimes you can be lucky and good. I think it’s a mix of both.
Filip Lindberg opposed Joel Hofer.
Lines were as follows:
Lineup Notes: Jan Drozg and Felix Robert were in for Michael Chaput and Jamie Devane who Pens radio man Nick Hart advised were out with lower body injuries and are day to day. Niclas Almari was out for Will Reilly. I thought that Almari was particularly and last night in Hartford so the lineup change was justified in my opinion.
First Period: Matthew Peca plays shorthanded catch with High McGing and the Thunderbirds strike first with a shorthanded goal, their second of the season.
Too much standing around.
Felix Robert meanwhile, makes the best of his opportunity and scores over the shoulder of Hofer and ties the game at one.
Radim Zohorna was taken out with a high hit at the blue line by Tanner Kaspick.
Zohorna went to the room, the Penguins went to the power play.
Watch to see if the AHL follows through with supplemental discipline in the form of a suspension to Kaspick. If I remember my rules right, if Zohorna is injured, the Penguins can ask the League to look at the hit again and make a call on a suspension. But that’s only if there’s an injury. I could be wrong.
Zohorna did not return for the second period.
Second Period: Wilkes-Barre tacks on two more goals to lead 3-1. They came out flying to start the period and got another goal from Felix Robert…
…and then a goal from their leading scorer Valtteri Puustinen…
So a goal from the guy that has been doing it all so far offense wise and a second goal from a guy who wasn’t even in the lineup Friday in Hartford. Nice.
Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble late and Springfield had :40 of two man advantage but Wilkes-Barre was able to sail out of there unscathed.
Third Period: You could get the sense that the Penguins were just hanging on by a thread as the period wore on. The Penguins were outshot 15-5 in the second period but that’s because they were killing penalties in the period. In the third, Springfield took it to the Penguins at even strength. It was only a matter of time before the Thunderbirds would strike.
Keean Washkurak scores to cut the deficit for the Thunderbirds to one.
Shades of last night, handing on by a thread.
Also shades of last night, the team that pulls the goalie for the extra man scores to force overtime.
Calle Rosen with a shot which deflects off of Penguins defenseman Cam Lee’s face and into the net for a goal. I mean look at this.
It was off to…
Overtime: Springfield takes a penalty, a retaliatory one when Steven Santini thought he was tripped / interfered with but no call was awarded. He got mad and slashed called someone. The Penguins call timeout and score a power play goal when Nathan Legare shoots and scores his first professional goal to win it for the Penguins.
Three Stars: Keean Washkurak (goal) 2) Felix Robert (two goals) 1) Nathan Legare (game winning overtime goal)
The Good: You took 5 of 6 points out of the week and 3 of 4 out of teams not named Lehigh Valley. They have not been pretty by any stretch, but sometimes that’s all you need.
The Bad: I still can’t get a handle on this team. Goaltending is there. Scoring is, I think as well. Defense is hit / miss, but such is life.
Turning Point: Boy there were a lot tonight, weren’t they? The kill at the end of the second and into the third, the Rosen tying goal off Lee’s chin. Have to give it to Legare though for the game winning goal.
Around the Division: Good night overall on the scoreboard for the Penguins. Lehigh Valley was up 2-0 to start the third at home against Syracuse and lost 3-2 in overtime. The Phantoms still don’t have a win. Cleveland beats Hershey 2-1 in a shootout. Charlotte beat Hartford 3-2. The Checkers visit the Thunderbirds Sunday. Bridgeport outgunned Providence and won 6-4.
Standings: Springfield (on percentage points) have 10 points because they haven’t yet lost in regulation yet… then the Penguins with 11, Hershey 8 on percentage over the Wolf Pack’s 9, Charlotte 7, Bridgeport 8 Providence 6 and Lehigh Valley 2.
Wheeling Update: Nailers are out in Wichita, Kansas and are down multiple goals when this blog post went up. Alex D’Orio was chased from goal after giving up 4 goals on 8 shots. Box here.
November is here! Power Rankings Tuesday, Weekend Setup Wednesday then an away game against the Phantoms, again.
Let’s Go Pens!