The corner, the corner, the corner. We have been talking for a few weeks whether the Penguins have turned the corner.
Well, this week you will find out. Tonight, they are off to a positive start, a 4-3 overtime win off Jordy Bellerive’s game winner.
I didn’t like giving away a point to a team that you are chasing in the standings, but that’s discounting the opponent and you should never do that.
After falling in a 2-0 hole, they battled back to take a 3-2 lead but gave away an extra attacker goal with under a minute to play.
Alex D’Orio got the start, looked like he was getting shelled when they went down 2-0, but shut it down and made key stops to keep the Penguins in it.
Wilkes-Barre got an influx of talent back from Pittsburgh. P.O. Joseph, Kasper Bjorkqvist, Michael Chaput and Juuso Riikola all were returned this morning.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Jan Drozg for Filip Hallander. I saw on Pens social media a photo of him practicing in a red sweater. He’s day to day.
First Period: Tommy Cross beats Alex D’Orio to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead then Calle Rosen went bar down on a cannonading shot for a 2-0 lead. The Penguins were sleepwalking to start and the Thunderbirds were off to the races.
P.O. Joseph scores this coast to coast goal on a power play to give the Penguins some jump going into the second period:
Second Period: No scoring in this period but the Thunderbirds took back to back to back penalties and the Penguins weren’t able to score on any of them.
Third Period: Michael Chaput 8 seconds in. If you were late back to your seat at the Arena you missed it.
Chaput would be lost to the locker room with an apparent injury. I think it was in the area of the upper body.
They went back and forth for a bit, then Jan Drozg scored on a rebound to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
(Pens didn’t GIF that one….slackers)
But then with Joel Hofer pulled for Springfield, a puck pinballs around near D’Orio to Will Bitten left unmarked on the far side. Bitten slams it home to tie the game with under a minute to play.
If that would have held up as a game winner the headline would have read, “Bitten off more than you can chew.”
Thank goodness it didn’t, your puns are bad and you should feel bad.
Here’s the goal:
Overtime: I had a feeling a few seconds into the session that the game would be decided here. Springfield had a chance but then Bellerive ended it.
Three Stars: 3) P.O. Joseph (goal) 2) Michael Chaput (goal, assist) 1) Jordy Bellerive
The Good: I like they way they battled back. Springfield is good, but the Penguins were resilient and got timely saves from their goalkeeper when needed.
The Bad: I think you all know where I am going here, the power play went 1/5, but three straight in the second getting one, maybe two, would have buried the Thunderbirds and you could have gotten those clean points you were after when you came in.
Turning Point: In a game that chased it all night, it settles on Bellerive and his game winner.
Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Lehigh Valley 4-1 in a kids day game in Connecticut…Hartford clips Hershey 3-2 in a shootout…Rochester thumps Charlotte 5-1.
Standings: Hartford .618 percentage points — Springfield and Hershey .600 — Providence .588 — Charlotte .564 — Penguins .500 — Lehigh Valley .486 — Bridgeport .476
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Bridgeport in for the first time all season on Friday. Don’t underestimate this Islanders team, please.
Let’s Go Pens!