Joel Blomqvist started the game in goal for the Penguins, making his debut in goal for Wilkes-Barre and deserved a better fate.
Blomqvist is the future in goal for this team and his team ran into special teams trouble against a team really good at that aspect of the game and Wilkes-Barre loses 3-1. Blomqvist deserved a better fate, in my opinion.
Blomqvist opposed Joel Hofer.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Joel Blomqvist made his AHL debut in goal for the Pens. No other lineup changes for the Penguins so the #PlayYourKids isn’t on just yet, with fourth place still on the line.
First Period: Radim Zohorna scored two power play goals last night in Providence, and scored another Saturday in Springfield.
Springfield responded fairly quickly, with a goal by Tommy Cross.
Springfield didn’t score on their first power play, James Neal got close when a puck squirted on him in the crease and the Penguins rookie made the save.
But then, on a double minor, the Thunderbirds scored on the back end of it. James Neal didn’t miss this time.
He scored with four seconds left.
Second Period: Uneventful but for the fight between Will Bitten and Cam Lee. Pens navigated out of another Springfield power play.
Third Period: Pens had pedal to the metal attitude to start the period and that continued throughout, but Hofer was a wall in net for the Thunderbirds. Time slowly became the enemy of the Penguins and with Blomqvist pulled, the Penguins couldn’t find the equalizer.
The Good: Good showing for Blomqvist in goal. Really no complaints with the kids play. The Pens played a decent game but we’re bit on the penalty kill.
The Bad: Sentimental games are nice, but as the Penguins are a playoff team, they are going to ruin in to teams better than them on special teams like the Thunderbirds. They have to figure out how to win games like this.
Turning Point: They we’re four seconds way from getting out of the first 1-1, but NHL sniper James Neal snipes Blomqvist for the goal that stands up as the game winner.
Three Stars: 3) James Neal (goal) 2) Will Bitten (goal, assist) 1) Joel Hofer, 32 saves.
Around the Division: Link to those boxes here. 6:05 start in Springfield tonight, Pens were done an hour early.
Standings: Pens magic number for the four seed and home ice in the first round is four. They should make it, with three games left.
Wheeling Update: Nailers in Game 2 with Fort Wayne, up 1-0 in the series. Box here.
Video Highlights: You should know where to find these.
Back at it in Hartford at 3 Sunday.
Let’s Go Pens!