Chirps from Center Ice

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

Heather Needs to Drive More — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)


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Twitter is a fun place. There are these folks that are on there that tell me that when Heather drives them to the game, the Penguins win. I have never met these people in real life. I have never met Heather. I am sure they are upstanding citizens and all around good people. Moral of the story is, Heather needs to drive more.

Quite the turnaround for the Penguins this last week, eh? You could say that this game, a 3-2 Penguins comeback and overtime win, was a microcosm of the last few weeks. Down by multiple goals but that doesn’t deter them. They pull themselves up from their bootstraps and come back and win.

That’s exactly what the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins did to the Toronto Marlies tonight. The Marlies had the Penguins down 2-0 to start the third, the Penguins allow the visitors just three shots on goal in the period and storm back to get it back to one about halfway through on a dart by Valtteri Puustinen and then a goal by Alex Nylander with starting goaltender Alex D’Orio pulled to tie the game and force overtime. Then, in overtime, Nylander and the Penguins score a power play goal to send the large crowd home happy on a Saturday night.

Comeback complete. The Penguins sweep the Marlies for a pair at home. A huge set of wins against a really sound, good hockey team.

The Pens played the same way they did Friday, but didn’t get a goal before half the patrons were in their seats and didn’t then see their opponents spiral out of control and lose it. They ran up against old buddy Michael Hutchinson in goal for the visitors, who owns the Penguins it seems going back to his days with the St. John’s IceCaps. Hutchinson stymied the Penguins at every opportunity and the Marlies got goals from Jack Kopacka and Mikhail Abramov in the first period. After a scoreless, quick moving second, this set up the Penguins and their epic comeback.

Alex D’Orio started in back to back games. I think it was more of a merit thing that J.D. Forrest gave him off of his first win of the season on Friday. Go right back to the kid when the team ahead of him picked up a clean win the night before. No shame in the goals he gave up either.

Oh, let’s get those out of the way here.

I mean it was OK.

That was a dart and seconds after the Penguins killed a Jonathan Gruden cross check.

Then in the third, the Penguins mount their comeback.

That pass from Robert had a river of sauce behind it.

Taylor threaded the Nylander goals together there, so check those out. The first came with D’Orio pulled. This was after a timeout. Again, from last night, keeping it simple reared big results for the Penguins. Again in overtime, the Penguins employ the same method, wait for the moment to arrive and Nylander does it for a power play goal that caps off the comeback.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup: Jan Drozg for Jamie Devane was the only change. Devane listed as out week to week. Scuttlebutt around the arena was a broken jaw. Listen, Curtis Joseph is almost as tall as I am. If I hit you as hard has he hit Devane in that fight from Friday, I am probably going to break your jaw too if I land one clean on you.

I’ve never been in a fight though, so who knows. If we were ever in real street fight and you every got close enough to hit me, it would be all over.

Three Stars: 3) Juuso Riikola (two assists) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (goal, two assists) 1) Alex Nylander (two goals, OT game winner)

The Good: Never say die attitude was in full effect these. last two games, moreso tonight when they were down two. They didn’t go down more in the second, found their you know what and came back in the third.

The Bad: I can’t think of anything. The penalty kill was perfect. They scored a power play goal when they needed to.

Turning Point: Nylander’s goal that tied it with :47 left was Toronto’s fait accompli. You had a sense that if the Marlies did something bad in three on three overtime it would cost them. It did.

Around the Division: Charlotte beats Lehigh Valley 4-1…Providence beats Bridgeport 5-3…Hershey is in a runaway game against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Standings: The Penguins aren’t in last anymore! They are in seventh now with .455 percentage points. Lehigh Valley is in sixth for now with .469 and Bridgeport now occupies last with .449. Lots of games with the Islanders yet to go, it’s the one divisional opponent the Pens have yet to play.

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose at home to the Iowa Heartlanders 4-2. Patrick Watling had a goal and an assist, Niclas Almari had an assist.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are home Monday against the Cleveland Monsters. 10 days ago this was a game I looked at and said no to attending. But every time I think I am out, these idiots pull me right back in.

See you Monday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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