These are house money games. Meaningless when you are cemented into the four seed and you already know your fate, the idea with the final two games of the regular season is simple, don’t get hurt.
It’s deeper than that sure, but going 5/5 on the power play while losing your top two players to injury in a 7-1 blowout doesn’t do you any favors.
The Pens better hope they don;’t run into Syracuse again this season. I have the feeling that the Crunch are going to be a tough out in this Calder Cup Playoffs and good luck to the rest of the teams in the North Division that have to run up on this side. It very well may be Syracuse that comes out of the North in the Conference Finals.
Maybe, Utica led that division wire to wire, but that’s for next weeks Playoff Preview.
Pens lose 4-1. No one got hurt, so it’s a loss in the books but a win anyway.
Tommy Nappier opposed Max Lagace.
Lineup Notes: Color me shocked that they went with Nappier in goal, but perhaps he wanted to stay sharp against live fire vs. sitting at home this weekend. Clayton Phillips and Ty Glover made their pro debuts, Niclas Almari’s first game since December 14.
First Period: Droned on in bits, but Remi Elie found some space and opened the scoring past halfway to put the Crunch up 1-0.
Pens had the only crack on a power play which had some good looks but lacked finish. Where have I seen this before?
Second Period: Radim Zohorna finally cracks the Lagace code and scores to tie the game at one.
But Syracuse answers right back on a 2-on-1 to go up 2-1.
That was Symon Ryfors taking a feed from Remi Elie.
Gabriel Dumont scores his 30th goal of the season with a pretty play.
Third Period: Pens had a crack at an early power play but couldn’t come up with anything. Syracuse had two cracks and had the same luck. Alex Green hit an empty netter with Tommy Nappier pulled.
Three Stars: 3) Max Lagace (20 saves) 2) Symon Ryfors (goal) 1) Remi Elie (goal, assist)
The Good: No one got hurt.
The Bad: Would like to see them beat Syracuse, but that’s discounting a Crunch team which still had the two seed in the North to play for.
Turning Point: The Dumont goal late in the second put an already out of reach game it seemed for the Penguins, that much further from their grasp.
They finish out the regular season in Allentown Saturday. The Penguins will kick off the Calder Cup Playoffs Friday at home against Hershey.