Not because the score line was close, but because it’s about as close as this team will get to a playoff like atmosphere on the ice as the Atlantic’s top team, the Providence Bruins, skate away with a 4-3 shootout win Wednesday over the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
Putting myself in Providence’s shoes for a second here as I have been there with the Penguins, the Bruins can’t like how they won this game and how difficult it was for them at times to breakthrough against a last place team in their division. If you can’t beat a last place team, what makes you think you’ll have any success on the road in Game 6 of a Conference or Calder Cup Final?
But again, as I mentioned earlier in the day, maybe they sleepwalked through the game and won when they needed to. Sure looked like it.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Jordan Frasca for Lukas Svejkovsky up front and the returning Ty Smith and Taylor Fedun for Andrew Nielsen and Peter DiLiberatore on defense.
First Period: Was going to tweet, “yawn” at some point but just as I was, a flurry of three goals in the span of 1:14.
Valtteri Puustinen off the bar and in for a 1-0 Penguins lead followed :49 later by a Tyler Sikura tip of a Taylor Fedun shot and it’s 2-0. Immediately after, Sam Asselin answers (that on again, off again thing I mentioned in the open) and Providence was on the board :25 later. Here they are…
Second Period: They held it at 2-1, but were badly outshot 13-4 in the period but the Bruins had a number of power plays. Jamie Devane fed J.D. Greenway his lunch with a few uppercuts and was give an instigator and a misconduct. A call I don’t agree with but an argument I will make another non-worknight day.
Third Period: Always had the sense that the bottom was going to fall out as it has in recent memory.
4:51 in and Luke Toporowski scores chasing his first shot and scoring via backhander on his second.
But the Penguins showed life and Valtteri Puustinen scores his second of the night giving the Penguins a lead again and made the score 3-2.
But Fabian Lysell dances through Ty Smith and flips a backbend shot at Tokarski to tie the game at three.
Just walking the dog there.
It was an offensive onslaught by the Providence Bruins, but Tokarski and the Penguins held the Bruins at bay and forced…
Overtime: Chances a plenty for both sides, but it was off then to a…
Shootout: Summarized here:
Three Stars: 3) Ty Smith (two assists) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (two goals) 1) Fabian Lysell (regulation and shootout goal)
The Good: I’d say it’s something to build on, holding the best team in the division close like that and something to build off of, but it’s the end of March and they aren’t making playoffs instead of it being early January.
The Bad: Potential is in there, somewhere, but it’s too little, too late.
Turning Point: I’ll give it to Puustinen and his second goal of the game which re-established the Penguins lead and showed they weren’t going to go down without a fight.
Around the Division: Hershey beats Toronto 3-1…Springfield crushes Charlotte 7-4…Hartford beats and overtakes Bridgeport for the 6th seed with a 4-1 win.
Standings: Providence 90 – Hershey 87 – Charlotte 76 – Springfield 75 – Lehigh Valley 72 – Hartford 69 || Bridgeport 68 – Penguins 62
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
If I see video highlights and can get back around to an edit I’ll work them in.
Phantoms Friday in Allentown. More then.
Let’s Go Pens!