Chirps from Center Ice

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

No Love For The Space Force — Pens WIN 3-2 (SO)


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It was Military Appreciation Night at the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins game Saturday and they stopped during a break in play to acknowledge members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines.

No love at all for the Space Force.

I don’t know what if anything that had to do with the Penguins beating the Springfield Thunderbirds 3-2 in a shootout Saturday, but that’s another story.

The Penguins raced out to a 2-0 lead in the second period and held the Thunderbirds to just three shots. Then Springfield turned the tables and tied the game back up with a relentless attack in the third period like you saw in Charlotte Tuesday and Wednesday.

Styles make fights, and the Penguins have the number of the division leading Springfield Thunderbirds. It’s something to keep in mind if these two teams ever meet in the playoffs later this season.

Tommy Nappier opposed Joel Hofer. Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: I’m the dummy for not plugging in the MacBook since last Wednesday. Will Reilly for Cam Lee.

First Period: Thunderbirds go on a power play and the Penguins keep them out. No power plays for the Penguins till  the third period.

Second Period: Alex Nylander scores in the first minute of the period.

Mitch Reinke through traffic makes it a double for the Penguins.

Seeing eye shot.

Conceivably, this is the same team that got smoked in Charlotte. Running the division leaders on Saturday at home? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Third Period: Sometimes I get a sense sitting down for a period against a team that is really good like Springfield that the Penguins are up on, that really would have no business being up on that the period will go south in a hurry.

I got that same sense tonight.

Springfield runs the table on the Penguins and ties the game at two.

First, James Neal on a power play.

Then Josh Wesley from a terrible angle beats Nappier for a goal.

Springfield let off there I felt. They could have kept going but the Penguins picked themselves off from the mat and started pushing back.

They had their first power play of the game, overthought things and didn’t score. They got it to the end of regulation tied.

Overtime: Fun, but no scoring.

Shootout: Alex Nylander scores in the top of the second. Tommy Nappier denies Sam Anas, Jim Neal and Hugh McGing in that order for the win.

Three Stars: 3) Mitch Reinke (goal) 2) Tommy Nappier (30 saves) 1) Alex Nylander (goal in regulation and in shootout)

The Good: Pick yourself up off the mat game for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. Ride that momentum into a place you struggle at in Hershey Tuesday.

The Bad: It wasn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when the Thunderbirds were going to make their push. When they started, they ran downhill till they got what they wanted.

Turning Point: Nappier’s save on James Neal, he of close to 300 NHL goals, in the bottom of the second in the shootout was a big moment, Springfield follows with their hammer Hugh McGing, and if Neal scored there McGing may have after. Big save from Big Time Tommy Nappier from THEE Ohio State University.

Around the Division: Computer is at under 9% – gotta hurry. Not gonna link to each box, here’s the boxes for February 19. Utica beat Lehigh Valley 3-2 in a shootout, Charlotte beat Cleveland 4-2, Hershey beats Bridgeport 4-2, Providence beats Hartford 3-1.

Standings: Pens should get sixth back with .489 percentage points. Lehigh Valley has two games in hand on the Penguins though.

Wheeling Update: Wheeling beats Reading 5-3. Patrick Watling had a goal and two assists.

Video Highlights: My guess is that the Pens will have these up later, and if I can get an edit in I will.

Pens are back at it Tuesday in Hershey. Weekend Preview will be there Tuesday. Maybe I get Power Rankings Monday. Gotta charge the laptop first.

Let’s Go Pens!

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