Really nothing to this one tonight.
Cole Schwindt bags a natural hat trick, Wilkes-Barre / Scranton’s power play woes continue and they give up a league high fourth shorthanded goal and make Christopher Gibson and his sub .900 save percentage and +4 goals against average look like Ed Belfour and the Penguins lose 4-0.
Turning point of the game was when Schwindt scored his first of the game shorthanded on what was the Penguins third power play of the first period to give the Checkers a 1-0 lead.
Remember how we talked last night about how when the Penguins would go down early in a game and get buried after that and how it didn’t happen on Friday? Well, it happened tonight. Three straight power plays to start the game, they don’t score AND they get scored on another power play?
Schwindt would score at 2:52 of the second on what could have been a too many men on the ice call on Charlotte. Big hit which dislodges a Checkers player helmet and it is laying on the ice. That player has to get off of the ice for Schwindt who comes on. Penguins head coach J.D. Forrest thinks Schwindt jumped on too early thus too many men, but referees Mason Riley and Mike Sullivan disagree and Schwindt and the Checkers are off to a 2-0 lead.
Schwindt completes his hat trick when he’s set up nicely by Henry Bowlby later in the second period and it’s 3-0.
The AHL was nice enough to capture all three of his goals.
Charlotte would bag a meaningless empty net goal scored by Matt Kiersted. Yippee.
Penguins power play drought is 0/36. 0/7 tonight after not scoring on the first three and the last four. Wilkes-Barre didn’t allow a power play goal, if you are looking for a silver lining.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Alex D’Orio was recalled from Wheeling earlier Saturday. I heard Taylor Haase in the postgame show ask Forrest the status of Lindberg and he gave her some scrambled answer that they don’t even know where the injury is yet on Lindberg. Malarky. Ask him to point to where it hurts. He’s going Monday to get evaluated.
Not that it matters, goalies stop goals, they don’t score them.
Cam Lee returned from his two game suspension and drew in for Niclas Almari. When a Wheeling guy like Dylan MacPherson is getting reps over you, call home.
Up front, Jamie Devane wasn’t going to play back to backs after coming back from injury so Sam Houde jumped in for him.
These 6:05 stars are great when you are home by nine. Not so good when you are finished with the blog piece at 9:30 and there are other teams in the division and their games are just going final.
Maybe in 2022 and when we are closer to the end of the season I’ll add boxes to the finals around the division. If you are really interested, here’s the page for the day. Here’s the standings page too. Pens are on .500 percentage points and seventh in the division, currently out of a playoff spot (six teams in the division make it this year) but it is still early.
Here’s the highlights for posterity.
Pens are back in action next Friday in Springfield. Power Rankings Tuesday.