Chirps from Center Ice

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

Fight, Steen, Fight — Pens LOSE 4-3

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A turnover at center ice with time running down in the third period is enough to get the Providence Bruins over the edge Friday as they defeat the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins 4-3. Fifth straight loss for the Penguins who may be happy to see the calendar flip to 2023 soon.

Penguins played the Bruins close, yet lacked something. I think I know what that something is, and a good majority of it is in Pittsburgh.

But they have to press on and Lehigh Valley awaits to close out 2022 Saturday.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Coal Street called up Brooklyn Kalmikov after the Weekend Preview hit and sent Jordan Frasca back to Wheeling. Drake Caggiula was returned to Pittsburgh at 5 Friday and didn’t make it in time. Sean Josling made his debut for Caggiula. Colin Swoyer for the also recalled Ty Smith.

First Period: Both teams capitalized on the other teams too many men on the ice penalties. Sam Houde’s power play goal was matched by Georgii Merkulov’s later on.

Houde’s goal was a snipe. J.D. Forrest put him on the top line and he thrived. Let the kid eat.

Providence’s power play was 31st overall coming into Friday up against the Pens 4th best at home.

Second Period: So of course Providence would score another power play goal when Mike Reilly would score at 9:49 to give the Bruins the 2-1 edge.

But Valtteri Puustinen’s low angle shot without much to play in the period would bring them level at two a side.

Third Period: Connor Carrick’s bar down snipe from way downtown would make it 3-2 Bruins.

No penalties in the third period so the game just flowed. That played into the hands (paws?) of the Bruins and they were waiting for the Penguins to make a mistake to pounce and if not they would at least skate into overtime.

Penguins made a mistake.

What it does not show in that clip above is Alex Nylander blowing a tire and giving the puck away to the Bruins, who skate in on the two on one and score.

The Steen goal capped off a nice night for the Bruins forward, who also assisted on two other Providence goals.

The Penguins, with Dustin Tokarski pulled, found one goal but not the other. Puustinen again here with 89 seconds left.

Three Stars: 3) Georgii Merkulov (goal, assist) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (two goals) 1) Oskar Steen (goal, two assists)

The Good: They kept it close against a team that was better then they were in pretty much all facets.

The Bad: Untimely errors from players who should know better (consider the circumstances, though)

Turning Point: The Steen goal put a game in reach out of reach.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses in Utica 3-1…Springfield beats Bridgeport 6-3.

Standings: Hershey 47 – Providence 41 – Bridgeport 34 – Charlotte 33 – Penguins 31 – Lehigh Valley and Springfield 31 – Hartford 27

Thing is that Bridgeport is not playing like a third place team. It’s rare that there is a gap in the ever competitive Atlantic, but it’s clear that the Bears and Bruins are  the two best teams in the the division without question.

Wheeling Update: Nailers were defeated at home by the Reading Royals 4-2. Justin Addamo had a goal, Tommy Nappier from The Ohio State University took the loss with 23 saves.

Video Highlights: 

Back at it Saturday in Allentown.

Let’s Go Pens!

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