Two goals by ex-Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Connor Bunnaman ad German Rubtsov sink the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins tonight, who fell in a 2-0 hole in the first period, an abysmal one at that, and then get a shorthanded goal from Filip Hallander, but then in a tight third period give up a goal and lose 4-1 on Wednesday night.
All isn’t lost however in the division, as the Hershey Bears lose 2-1 to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Hartford Wolf Pack lose 1-0 to the Belleville Senators.
It’s a work night, so let’s blow through this. Louis Domingue opposed Joey Daccord.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Colin Swoyer made his pro debut.
First Period: A disaster for the Penguins, who played the game in first gear while the Checkers were lapping them on the ice in fifth gear.
Zac Dalpe whiffed on his initial shot, regathers and beats Domingue for a 1-0 Charlotte lead. Later, a turnover and ex-Phantom-now-Checker German Rubtsov scored to make it 2-0 Charlotte. This all the while the Pens were being outshot 10-1. Here were the goals:
Second Period: A much better Penguins period. They stayed step for step with the Checkers and finally get a goal shorthanded by Hallander.
But the Pens had back to back chances before that to score on back to back power plays and missed. Regardless, it was a more inspired period of hockey and a one shot game heading into the…
Third Period: There was this point in the game…
…where the Penguins didn’t or couldn’t score. Then this happened.
Alex True hits an empty net goal to make it 4-1.
Three Stars: 3) Filip Hallander (goal) 2) Joey Daccord (27 saves) 1) German Rubtsov (goal)
The Good: But for the start, they played them pretty decently five on five. But the start is what crippled them and with Charlotte being as good as they are (division leader) a comeback isn’t going to come easy. Also, the Penguins have killed off 30 straight power plays against.
The Bad: Score a frickin’ power play goal when it matters, will ya? 0/5 tonight.
Turning Point: Pick one. Either the two power plays to start the second period or the time where they were 4 on 3 and 5 on 3 and couldn’t get one to go in a one goal game.
Around the Division: I gave you what mattered at the top. Rounding out, Springfield loses to Syracuse 4-2.
Standings: 4) Hershey .536 5) Penguins .515 6) Hartford .507 7) Bridgeport .507
Wheeling Update: Nailers sew up a playoff berth with a 3-2 win in Kalamazoo against the Wings. Cam Hausinger with a pair of goals and Justin Almeida with the other.
Who Plays Who Friday: Hershey is in Wilkes-Barre, Hartford is up in Toronto, Bridgeport is in Allentown.
Back Friday for a big one against the Bears.
Let’s Go Pens!