Chirps from Center Ice

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

Filip-Bustered — Pens LOSE 2-1


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You always wonder if treading away a prospect meant to come through your hallway is the right move or not.

Filip Gustavsson was that prospect.

He started in goal Friday for the visiting Belleville Senators and stole the show for the away team as the Senators win 2-1. 31 saves for Gustavsson earned him second star honors.

With that out of the way, this is a game that the Penguins would have easily won last week.

Thing is, the game evolves and teams get film on you. Troy Mann, the head coach of the Senators, is a hell of a coach and a guy I would take in a heartbeat to run my team. He had his team prepared tonight and while the Penguins were in the home black jerseys, everywhere they went on the ice, they were followed by a white shadow.

You could maybe make the same argument for Wednesday in Rochester too. Teams get film on you and if you don’t evolve, you get left behind.

Tommy Nappier opposed the aforementioned Gustavsson.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Valtteri Puustinen and Michael Chaput were returned by the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday morning. Jan Drozg and Sam Houde came out of the lineup.

First Period: Parker Kelly wasn’t on my sheet I print off the AHL on game day mornings. Neither were Puustinen or Chaput. That’s because Kelly was also sent back to the minor leagues by his parent team Ottawa today. He scored in the first period on a rush that put the Senators on the board.

Someone told me walking out that it could have been 5-0 at the end of the first. With shots being 15-5 Belleville, they may have been onto something.

Second Period: Ex-Penguin Andrew Agozzino scores this dart to double Belleville’s lead:

Shots evened up in the second period a bit. No penalties to speak of either.

Third Period: Penguins finally break through on a power play goal by Puustinen.

The Penguins had a few more chances on the power play but couldn’t find the equalizer,

Back to my point about scouting. Late, the Penguins couldn’t even get Nappier off because they couldn’t gain entry into their offensive zone. That’s excellent coaching.

Three Stars: 3) Tommy Nappier (31 saves) 2) Filip Gustavsson (31 saves) 1) Andrew Agozzino (goal)

The Good: Power play is warming up…

The Bad: …not warm enough though. Could have used more than one tonight.

Turning Point: Keeping with the theme, down a goal late in the third with under 7 to play the power play didn’t come through.

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Charlotte 4-3…Springfield beats Hartford 4-2. James Neal (yeah, him) with a pair of goals….Lehigh Valley beats Hershey 6-3…Providence beats Rochester 3-2 in a shootout.

Standings: Springfield goes back top with .614 percentage points. Hartford .610 – Hershey .605 – Providence .595 – Charlotte .548 – Penguins and Lehigh Valley .488 – Bridgeport .477.

Wheeling Update: Nailers win in overtime 3-2 over Atlanta. Josh Maniscalco with the game winner.

Video Highlights: 

Back at it Saturday in Allentown.

Let’s Go Pens!

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