I had this to say after the second period of this 3-0 Penguins loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the regular season finale Saturday night.
A dud of a game, but when you are resting regulars and cemented into a seed and already know your opponent, who oh by the way didn’t play this weekend and are resting at home, you get these types of results.
They got scored on :28 into the first period when Linus Sandin scored after a blitzkrieg by the Phantoms to start. They settled in after that but couldn’t find a goal.
In the second, it was good for a bit, but workhorse goalie Felix Sandstom held them out and then Cal O’Reilly scored a power play goal that really made it seem like the game was out of reach then Isaac Ratcliffe split Colin Swoyer and Niclas Almari and scored right down Main Street to make it 3-0.
Not a lot of help for Alex D’Orio, who started for the Penguins in goal. Joel Blomqvist was released from his ATO and went back to Finland. He has to complete mandatory military service and probably will be back next year at this time. So it’s a tandem of Tommy Nappier from The Ohio State University and Alex D’Orio.
Nothing of significance happened in the third period. For posterity, here is how they lined up:
Note: Drew O’Connor was recalled by Pittsburgh about two hours before the game started.
Three Stars: 3) Isaac Ratcliffe (goal, assist) 2) Cal O’Reilly (goal, assist) 1) Felix Sandstrom (26 saves)
The Good: Relatively unscathed in these two meaningless games. Bring on Hershey.
The Bad: Niclas Almari still hasn’t changed. But that’s nitpicking a warm body in a meaningless hockey game for the Penguins.
Turning Point: The O’Reilly power play goal put it away for the Phantoms.
I’ll have a Calder Cup Playoff Preview this week, likely before the first round of playoff games which will be sometime during the week, out for you. I will pick each game, each round, and an eventual champion. I’ll probably be very wrong, but read it anyway.
Let’s Go Pens!