I want to say they have turned the corner, but they have a game Saturday yet to play.
But four wins in a row, in an array of ways of getting them, has me believing that they have turned the damn corner.
4-3 win over a game Bridgeport Islanders club tonight. If I was going to give you a hot take, it would be that the Islanders make the playoffs. They are a good team.
Tommy Nappier opposed Cory Schneider. A rare night off for Alex D’Orio.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Filip Hallander was back in after missing Wednesday, Nathan Legare came out as a healthy scratch. Sam Houde was upgraded to day to day. Michael Chaput was also back as well after being slashed badly Wednesday.
First Period: Penguins started out like a house on fire, jumping out of a 2-0 lead just 3:27 into the game.
Sam Poulin drops a pass to Alex Nylander for a 1-0 Penguins lead.
Great heads up work by both players.
Then, a shot from Taylor Fedun is dug out of the pads of Cory Scheider by Jan Drozg and put in for a 2-0 lead.
They were off to the races. Then stopped and let the field catch back up to them.
Bridgeport would tie the game.
Kyle MacLean digs a pass out of his skates and beats Tommy Nappier to make it 2-1.
Then a shot from the point is deflected in by Erik Brown.
Second Period: Needed a response coming out of the intermission and Anthony Angello gave it to you.
Just 1:49 into the period. Pick off a lazy pass from the defender and re-establish the lead.
The Penguins made Cory Schneider work, outshooting Bridgeport 20-4 in the period. One of those shots went in, and no one knew it at the time.
Ex-Penguin Paul Thompson with the shot that they thought went out of play. But upon further inspection, the puck was stuck behind the bar inside the net.
Yeah, that was a weird one.
The 20 shots in the period were the most in a period by the Penguins this season.
Third Period: Mitch Reinke shoots, Cory Schneider makes the save, Sam Poulin there for the rebound but spots a streaking P.O. Joseph for a goal that puts the Pens ahead again 4-3.
Bridgeport would come alive and would pepper Tommy Nappier but Nappier and the Penguins defense would withstand the charge.
With Schneider pulled, the Islanders would never find the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Anthony Angello (goal) 2) Sam Poulin (two assists) 1) P.O. Joseph (goal)
The Good: They continue to roll, four wins in a row and they didn’t take a penalty which gave the Islanders a power play.
The Bad: It should have been a runaway after those first three minutes, but the Islanders stuck around like an unwanted house guest. But the Penguins did get the job done and got two clean points from a team chasing them in the Atlantic Division.
Turning Point: The Joseph goal gets it here, but Nappier’s stops right after, that sequence there where Bridgeport was buzzing, gets it as well.
Around the Division: Hershey beats Cleveland 4-1. Lehigh Valley thumps Providence 5-1. Springfield beats Hartford in overtime 3-2. Charlotte dismantles Rochester 5-2.
Standings: Hartford .615 percentage points – Hershey and Springfield .610 – Charlotte .575 – Penguins .513 – Lehigh Valley .500 – Bridgeport .465
Wheeling Update: Nailers beat the Indy Fuel 3-1. Nick Hutchinson with a goal and an assist.
6:05 start against Providence Saturday. Chance to sweep the week and further climb the standings.
Let’s Go Pens!