Looked shaky there for a bit, but they hold on for a 3-2 lead in Bridgeport Saturday night and only allow the Islander, who were chasing the game down a goal in the third period, to just two shots.
They get 22 saves from Dustin Tokarski, fresh off NHL duty and are pointed in the right direction again.
Perhaps, just maybe, they turned the corner with the display they put on in the second half of the game Saturday.
Here’s how they lined up:
Bridgeport didn’t post lines.
Lineup Notes: Lukas Svejkovsky is day to day with a lower body injury after leaving the second period Friday…Taylor Fedun, fresh off re-assignment from Pittsburgh was inserted back and replaced Chris Ortiz…Brooklyn Kalmikov made his AHL debut, replaced Jamie Devane (essentially) … Josh Maniscalco played at forward, commonly a defenseman.
First Period: Pens killed a Bridgeport early power play then on their second attempt finally got one to go courtesy of Sam Houde.
Then Alex Nylander took a neat pass from Drake Caggiula for a goal at even strength that put the Pens up 2-0 exactly one minute later.
Off ice guys took away the assist. It reads Nylander from Caggiula and Nathan Légaré at 16:51.
Pens were rolling down hill but hit a stop sign in the form of a Samuel Bolduc shot that cut the home teams deficit to one.
Second Period: Samuel Bolduc scores his second of the contest to tie the game when his shot goes off Tokarski, then the post, then off Colin Swoyer and in.
Bridgeport takes three penalties in the period but it’s Drake Caggiula scoring with under two minutes to play to give the Penguins the lead for good.
Third Period: Jakub Skarek took over for Cory Schneider in the third period. Penguins get a big save from Dustin Tokarski in the rare work that he daw in the period.
Pens navigate through a Raivis Ansons interference penalty cleanly and then with Skarek pulled for the extra man, Bridgeport is not able to locate the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Alex Nylander (goal, assist) 2) Samuel Bolduc (two goals) 1) Drake Caggiula (goal, assist)
The Good: Maybe they turned a corner with that effort and display in second half of the game.
The Bad: How much of it was Bridgeport’s woes though as a team? The Islanders may not be the measuring stick you are after to call this a turnaround.
Turning Point: Caggiula’s goal that gets them the lead for good gets it here.
Around the Division: Charlotte blows out Cleveland 9-0…Hartford beats Rochester 4-1…Springfield slips past Grand Rapids 3-2 in overtime…Hershey beats Belleville 4-2. Providence was off.
Standings: Hershey 57 – Providence 53 – Charlotte 44 – Penguins 43 – Lehigh Valley 43 – Springfield and Bridgeport 41 – Hartford 39
Wheeling Update: Nailers lose in Kalamazoo 3-2 in overtime.
Video Highlights: Probably best to seek them at the AHL VideoCenter.
Back at it Tuesday for the makeup game with Utica then Wednesday for a full game in Rochester.
Let’s Go Pens!