If you read the below and only this, I won’t be mad.
Thanks to Hartford losing AND Lehigh Valley losing in overtime, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are playoff bound.
Oh, the Penguins needed to handle their business themselves in order to even have the out of town scoreboard matter and they did. They did it with about the most methodical takedown if I ever saw one of one of the top teams in the Atlantic Division.
Penguins win 4-1 Friday night in Providence, a place they have not lost in regulation in this season and have fortified what looks like a 4th place finish in the division.
Lineup Notes: Reinke for Swoyer on defense, Drew O’Connor for Anthony Angello.
First Period: All Penguins to start. Providence took a penalty and in short order, Radim Zohorna made them pay.
But then the Penguins took a penalty and the roles were reversed. Justin Brazeau scored to tie the game at one.
Shots were 12-7 at the end of one. The Penguins came into the game needing a win and help from out of town to clinch a playoff spot, so to this point they were holding up their end of the bargain by controlling what they could control.
Second Period: All Penguins in this period as well, Matt Bartkowski scored off a nice setup and the Penguins were up 2-1.
The Penguins were getting power plays and kept making the Bruins pay. Radim Zohorna scored again on a power play to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead.
Juuso Riikola took a hard hit along the board and left the game.
That was the power play the Zohorna scored on.
FIlip Hallander scored at the buzzer of another Bruins power play but time had already expired.
Third Period: The surgical dissection continued and the Penguins optioned to press. Then Kyle Olson salted the game away with a goal that made it 4-1 and that quelled any Bruins attempt at a serious comeback.
Three Stars: 3) Justin Brazeau (goal) 2) Drew O’Connor (two assists) 1) Radim Zohorna (two goals)
The Good: What a way to take down the top (coming into tonight) team in the Atlantic tonight with a surgical takedown. That will be a good sign if these teams meet again down the road this season.
The Bad: Can’t think of anything here because the Penguins pressured all game and got what they came for.
Turning Point: The second Zohorna goal, which came about after the hit into the board by Riikola, one of the Penguins best defenseman, put the game in serious favor for the away team.
Around the Division: Got help from Hershey beating Lehigh Valley 4-3 in overtime (thank Brett Leason when you see him next, he scored the OT game winner) and Charlotte beating Hartford 2-1. None of the other scores mattered.
Standings: Wilkes-Barre, Hershey, and Bridgeport secured playoff spots. The Penguins are still in fourth, .542 to .527 over Hershey.
Wheeling Update: Nailers are in Game 1 with Fort Wayne. Box here.
Video Highlights: I am RVing this weekend so I am not sure I will work my way back around to this.
Now to see what type of lineup they dress the final five games of the season with the x next to their name. Guess we don’t have to wait to find out long, back at it Saturday in Springfield.
Let’s Go Pens!