Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Special Wolves – Pens LOSE 3-1


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Sometimes games are won and lost on special teams. This game was a prime example of that, a 3-1 Hartford Wolf Pack win over the Penguins, who have now lost three straight and are winless in November.

A first period short handed goal and heavy hockey by the Wolf Pack coupled with a cocksure attitude by their goaltender Louis Domingue and Hartford made it look easier than it probably was.

Penguins don’t have a lot of time to regroup as the team that knocked them out of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Springfield Thunderbirds, stop in for a Saturday evening visit.

Dustin Tokarski opposed Louis Domingue. Here’s how they lined up:

Hartford didn’t post lines.

Lineup Notes: Sam Poulin in fact did not make it in time for the game on his reassignment from Pittsburgh. Kyle Olson was back for Ty Glover and Drew O’Connor replaced the recalled Filip Hallander (essentially). Mitch Reinke also returned from injury and (essentially) replaced Mark Friedman.

Lines were all jumbled as well, as it should be when you lose two straight coming in.

First Period: Pretty innocuous start, until the Penguins went on the power play late.

But then Hartford breaks in on a 2-on-0 short handed and scores to make it 1-0 for them. Tim Gettinger gets the Wolf Pack on the board.

Second Period: This sequence kinda kicked things off in the period:

The Penguins would score on the ensuing power play via Drew O’Connor.

Tie game.

Tokarski had a hell of a save on C.J. Smith with about 10 seconds to play.

Third Period: Penguins were looking for a spark but couldn’t find one. Then leading scorer Lauri Pajuniemi scored to put the Wolf Pack up 2-1.

Brutal turnover by Jonathan Gruden there set the whole thing up.

I noted that I felt that the intensity in the game matched or exceeded anything we saw last weekend with the Hershey Bears. Seemed that the Penguins couldn’t get anywhere close to Domingue in goal because of the muscle that they have to go through first.

Penguins take Tokarski out of the net for an extra attacker and take two straight penalties putting them two men down. Hartford finds an empty net goal from Tim Gettinger, his second of the contest.

Three Stars: 3) Drew O’Connor (goal) 2) Lauri Pajuniemi (goal) 1) Tim Gettinger (two goals)

The Good: Pens limited Hartford shot chances Friday, only allowing 23 but…

The Bad: Three of team went in and one was a short handed goal while the other comes right after you take two stupid penalties late, chasing the game.

If you didn’t like the referees tonight I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. Morgan MacPhee and Marc-Olivier Phaneuf will be running things again tomorrow. I thought they could have let those two penalties (Svejkovsky hook, Fedun slash) go, by the way.

Turning Point: Chasing the game late, Pens take a pair of penalties squelching any chance of a tying goal.

Around the Division: Hershey beats a very good Bridgeport’s team 4-3 in overtime…Lehigh Valley beats Springfield 2-1…Providence, the AHL’s top team, pounds Charlotte 5-2.

Standings: Providence 20 – Bridgeport 16 – Hershey 14 – Penguins 13 – Charlotte and Springfield 12 – Hartford 10 – Lehigh Valley 9

Wheeling Update: Nailers pound Kalamazoo at home 5-1. Taylor Gauthier picks up the win in goal for Wheeling, stopping 28 shots.

Video Highlights: 

Back at it Saturday with the Thunderbirds. More then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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