Penguins power play: 0/4.
Phantoms power play: 2/3.
That should tell you all you need to know about this one, a close game through two scoreless periods when the Phantoms power play comes to life. Lehigh Valley wins 3-1 to start a hellacious five game, seven night stretch for the last place Penguins.
Alex D’Orio opposed Felix Sandstrom. Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Anthony Angello, Kasper Bjorkqvist, Filip Hallander and Juuso Riikola replaced Jan Drozg, Sam Houde, Pat Watling and Taylor Fedun.
Watling was sent back to Wheeling. Fedun’s wife had their second child. The Pens signed Tristan Cote-Cazenave to a PTO. Reason? Tommy Nappier (along with Sam Houde) are in COVID protocols.
Filip Lindberg isn’t practicing anymore with his bad ankle and Michael Chaput is still week to week.
That was a lot.
First Period: Went scoreless. Alex D’Orio’s finest period I thought. He had a series of saves here which kept it deadlocked at zero.
He was indeed dialed in.
Second Period: Well if you are abhorrent to change, this period was for you! Same as the first! No scoring! I couldn’t tell if it was a battle of two evenly matched teams or two teams that weren’t very good.
Third Period: Jamie Devane takes a questionable interference call and seven seconds later Wade Allison scores.
The Penguins answer back when Jordy Bellerive tips in a Juuso Riikola shot from the point to tie the game at one.
But Jonathan Gruden staples a guy to the wall and is called for boarding….
It wasn’t seven seconds this time, but about a minute or so into the power play Linus Sandin scores to make it 2-1.
Here’s both power play goals.
Maksim Sushko scored an empty net goal to seal it for the Phantoms.
Three Stars: 3) Jordy Bellerive (goal) 2) Adam Clendening (two assists) 1) Linus Sandin (goal, assist)
The Good: Alex D’Orio deserved a better fate. He kept the Phantoms off the scoreboard through two periods and was let down by his special teams unit.
The Bad: They had two clean power plays, one in the second and one in the third, and couldn’t do anything with them. Lehigh Valley scores seven seconds into their first real chance of the night. Special teams are an abject disaster.
Turning Point: Sandin’s goal in the third turned the game into a runaway at that point.
One note from the postgame, I heard Pens play by play man Nick Hart say that the Phantoms haven’t scored an even strength goal against the Penguins in some time. I don’t know where it matters when the Phantoms take two of three from the Penguins but it’s a stat!
Around the Division: Only other action in the division was Hartford hosting Toronto. Wolf Pack cool off the Maries with a 5-2 win. Toronto ran into Keith Kincaid and it didn’t turn out well for them.
Standings: I’m not hammering out percentage points for eight clubs when the club which matters most is in last with .419
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Back Friday against the Toronto Marlies.
A Note About Friday’s Game: It’s the AHLTV Game of the Week.
More after that game. Tune in if you can if you are from out of town. Should be a decent enough test.
Let’s Go Pens!