It was Hall of Fame night for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins with Steve Barrouk, Tom Grace and Tom Kostopoulos being enshrined in the Penguins Hall, but the team on the ice played nothing like it, getting obliterated 5-1 by the Bridgeport Islanders.
The Islanders are a good team. You knew that if you read the Weekend Setup. They lost just three games in regulation coming into Saturday. Just three. It was going to take a heck of an effort to beat the visitors. After a scoreless first, it looked like it was going to be a close contest. But a few minutes into the second and Bridgeport started rolling down hill and never looked back.
I don’t want to say it’s a problem yet. But if they lose to Hershey Sunday then go on to beat Cleveland next Friday (like they always do) then go on to lose again to Hershey in back to backs two weeks from now, we may be onto something.
Dustin Tokarski opposed Cory Scheneider.
Here’s how Wilkes-Barre lined up:
Bridgeport didn’t post lines.
Lineup Notes: Mark Friedman was back after his illness. The Penguins sent Colin Swoyer to the ECHL Saturday morning. Alex Nylander wasn’t listed among the injured but was a scratch. My thought is he caught what Friedman had. I’ll listen to Hart pregame Sunday in Hershey if Nylander isn’t back and update appropriately.
First Period: No scoring. Pens had a late power play and a good chunk of the chances.
Second Period: Complete reversal of the first. Islanders jump on the Penguins for three goals in under ten minutes. Ruslan Iskhakov gets some daylight and scores a five hole goal on Tokarski to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Not a good goal to give up.
A little over a minute later. Collin Adams scores to double the visitors lead.
Andy Andreoff scores a deflection goal and the rout was on and it was 3-0 Islanders.
At this point I think that Tokarski should have been pulled. Some said to me that he should her been yanked after the second goal, but I think he should have been given the hook after that Andreoff deflection goal. No GIF of it by the way.
Penguins could have jumped back into it with a power play. I don’t think I have ever seen a kill ike Bridgeport’s. They sit back, concede possession, and block everything. It’s frustrating because you have all the zone time, but you don’t get anything out of it.
Third Period: William Dufour scores appropriately the fourth goal of the game for the Islanders.
Bouncing puck that isn’t totally controlled by the goaltender and it ends up in the net. Just a boffo goal to give up under any circumstance.
Another Penguins power play and you could have thrown 25 pucks at the ent at the same time and Cory Schneider would have stopped them all.
After another Bridgeport kill, Chris Terry makes it 5-0.
Penguins finally get on the board with a goal by Nathan Legare.
Three Stars: 3) Collin Adams (goal) 2) Chris Terry (goal, two assists) 1) Cory Schneider (32 saves)
The Good: Steve Barrouk didn’t implode the arena he helped build after that showing by the main tenant from the last 20+ years.
The Bad: You’re going to be doing a lot of of out of town scoreboard watching if they continue to stink out the place like they did tonight. Sure, they had points in five straight games coming into Saturday, but Bridgeport has the looks of an elite team.
Turning Point: That goofy Andreoff deflection goal sucked out all the good vibes in the arena after the Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Around the Division: Charlotte beats Lehigh Valley 6-4….Rockford (yes, Rockford) beats Hartford 3-2….Providence beats Springfield 2-1. Hershey was off.
Standings: Providence 31 — Hershey 30 — Bridgeport 30 — Charlotte 27 — Penguins 23 — Lehigh Valley 20 — Springfield 18 — Hartford 15
Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Fort Wayne at home 4-2. Tommy Nappier from THEE Ohio State University with the win for the Nailers, stopping 26. Colin Swoyer with an assist.
Back at it at 3 on Sunday with the Bears.
Let’s Go Pens!