Oh boy, a lot happened Friday.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins recalled Tommy Nappier from THEE Ohio State University earlier in the day. The reason is because the Pittsburgh Penguins play a back to back with one of the games in Canada (Saturday) so they recalled Louis Domingue to have him back up Casey DeSmith because Tristan Jarry will start Sunday in Washington.
Got all that? Good.
Filip Lindberg was the starter Friday night against the Charlotte Checkers, played two periods, stopped all but one shot but was no where to be seen for the third period.
Enter Tommy Nappier.
Nappier turns aside all 10 shots faced, the Penguins get a big goal by Chris Bigras late in the third period and edge past the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 Friday night.
Nappier may be sticking around for a while.
“Currently being evaluated” is coach speak for, “we really don’t know how bad it is yet.” So expect Nappier to play second fiddle to Louis Domingue once he gets back from his trip to Ottawa Saturday.
Shame, too, considering this was one of Lindberg’s better games of late.
Joey Daccord opposed for Charlotte. Here is how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Taylor Fedun was sent back Thursday with Juuso Riikola but Riikola turned around and went right back up Friday because of Canada and their COVID rules. Fedun and Dylan MacPherson were in for Will Reilly and Chris Ortiz on defense. Jamie Devane returned form injury and replaced Justin Almeida.
First Period: Gregori Denisenko threw a changeup at net and it went in.
It may have deflected off of Bigras there. Still counts.
Penguins were getting squashed in their own zone, with Lindberg there to bail them out. Also, they had one paltry shot on goal more than halfway through the period.
Late, Pens get a goal from Valtteri Puustinen on this one timer:
Gotta get him going again if you want to have success.
Second Period: No scoring, roles reversed. Charlotte went a long stretch without a shot on goal, Penguins forechecked the hell out of the Checkers and got great goaltending from their guy.
Third Period: Out came Nappier, no where to be found was Lindberg.
There was one penalty a side in the first two periods. You didn’t want to see the game end decided by special teams. Seemed like the third period was full of it. Thankfully, they navigated through it all and it looked like they were headed to overtime.
Forecheck. Get good goaltending. And a little bit of luck.
Enter Chris Bigras.
They held on from there.
Three Stars: 3) Tommy Nappier (10 saves, first AHL win of the season) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (goal) 1) Chris Bigras (game winning goal)
The Good: Looked like it was another night of the game going off the rails from the get go, with Charlotte scoring early. Thankfully the goaltending was there from both players wearing oversized pads tonight.
The Bad: Pens were lucky to win tonight. Fall in a hole, get out in the same period, don’t score at all until late. Hang on to win. I don’t like that recipe.
Turning Point: Bigras’ goal is the clear, obvious choice.
Around the Division: Laval takes down Bridgeport in overtime 5-4…Providence obliterates Lehigh Valley 6-3…Hartford surges past Springfield 6-4.
Standings: Springfield .750 / Hartford .708 / Hershey .591 / Providence .545 / Penguins .542 / Bridgeport .500 / Charlotte .450 / Lehigh Valley .333
Wheeling Update: The Nailers go to Toledo and take down the Walleye 3-2. Alex D’Orio went the distance and is probably on a plane right now, stopping 24 shots.
Don’t forget Saturday’s game begins at 6:05.
Let’s Go Pens!