Chirps from Center Ice

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

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile — Pens LOSE 3-2


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Brady Lyle’s two goals propels the Springfield Thunderbirds Wednesday night but it was Matthew Peca’s power play goal late that get the visiting Springfield Thunderbirds a 3-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins Wednesday night.

It’s a rough loss because of how tight things are in the division with a lump of teams and this is the first of nine straight against division foes. But, there’s plenty of time (for now) to make up ground.

Here’s how they lined up. 

Lineup Notes: As the tweet indicates, Filip Hållander, Jonathan Gruden and Dustin Tokarski were all back from either injury (Hållander) or reassignment (Tokarski, Gruden)

First Period: Didn’t take long, Penguins got on the board first courtesy of a Mitch Reinke shot that Corey Andonovski deflected in for a goal just 2:18 into the game. 

Penguins clamped down on Springfield and it was working, the Thunderbirds had just two shots through the first ten or so minutes but worked their way out of it and managed to get closer and more opportunities. 

Second Period: Penguins had the games first two power plays then started giving away power plays to the visitors. On their third such offering, Brady Lyle fired a dart through a screen for a goal. 

Such foreshadowing. 

Penguins couldn’t get a power play to go their way, so at least referees Rob Hennessey and Matt Menniti were calling it down the middle. 

Third Period: Matt Kessel was given a 5:00 major and a game misconduct for a violent cross check on Ty Smith, who left the game briefly but later returned. During the major, Brady Lyle scored at four on four for his second of the game but a minute later or so Alex Nylander, named as a replacement for Xavier Ouellet in Laval at All Stars this weekend, scored to give what seemed like a feckless Penguins attack the kick in the pants it needed to tie the game at two. This came during the 5:00 major. 

The last thing you wanted to see was a silly Penguins penalty. 

:54 later and Matthew Peca roofs one in while in a scrum for his first of the season at a big time and the Thunderbirds lead 3-2. 

But with Tokarski pulled for the extra attacker, the Penguins wouldn’t find the equalizer. 

Three Stars: 3) Alex Nylander 2) Matthew Peca 1) Brady Lyle

The Good: It’s been a hell of a couple days and it’s good to break away and head to a hockey game for the needed distractions of the everyday regardless of the result. I’ll get back to the Weekend Previews hopefully next week. 

The Bad: Too many penalties and too much carelessness. You’re out of a playoff spot. You can’t take silly penalties and be silly with the puck. 

Turning Point: The Peca goal was the dagger in a razor thin contest. 

Around the Division: Providence beats Hartford 4-2 to make up ground on Hershey who lost to Lehigh Valley 5-2.

Standings: Hershey 61 – Providence 59 – Charlotte 50 – Lehigh Valley and Springfield 47 – Bridgeport and the Penguins 45 – Hartford 43

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off. 

Video Highlights: AHL VideoCenter will probably have ‘em. I have a nephew to beat in a video game. 

Let’s go Pens!

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