Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: WBS

Penguins on the Brink — Pens LOSE 4-2

   button_adk200       vs.       WBS

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Bounces, bounces, bounces.

If you have read this blog long enough, you know that I always look to seek out the positive in all the negative. All tonight, a 4-2 Penguins loss in Game 4 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals which forces a Game 5 Sunday afternoon at 3:05 against the Providence Bruins, it was a game of bounces.

First period. Tim Erixon attempts a pass to Teddy Blueger in front of Casey DeSmith’s crease, Blueger mishandles the puck and spills it right to Wayne Simpson who scores 1:15 into the game.

Then you are chasing. When you chase you get desperate. When you get desperate you make mistakes.

Too many men on the Penguins at 5:01. Providence power play.

Penguins kill it. But then Oskar Sundqvist takes a tripping call. The Bruins player he tripped may have oversold a bit, but it’s a penalty nonetheless.

Bruins cash this time. Colton Hargrove sweeps home a puck laying in front of DeSmth to make it a 2-0 lead. Did Kevin Porter push the puck across erroneously? Hard to tell on the one replay I saw.

Penguins start to push, Derrick Pouliot takes a hard snapshot which is blocked, he is caught flatfooted and an odd man rush ensues and Jake DeBrusk scores on a nice goal that puts Wilkes-Barre in a deep, 3-0 hole that they, despite a push at the end, were never able to dig out of.

Bounces, bounces, bounces. Did it start at the turnover in the games first two minutes? Or did it come from the face that the Penguins, who were 2-for-5 on the power play the night prior in Game 3, go 0-for-6.

Nevertheless, Game 5 for all the marbled goes Sunday at 3:05.

Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Troy Josephs – Sahir Gill – Jarrett Burton

David Warsofsky – Tim Erixon
Derrick Pouliot – Barry Goers
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

Lineup Notes: Two for the Penguins. Adam Krause and Ryan Haggerty out for Troy Josephs and Sahir Gill. Before you point fingers, the fourth line was the only line which was even this evening. Providence made four changes. Three guys were banged up. From Mark Divver from The Providence Journal Rob O’Gara (lower body), Ben Marshall (upper body) and Peter Mueller (facial injury) were out for Chris Casto and Linus Arnesson on defense and Colton Hargrove and Ryan Fitzgerald up front. New guy Zach Senyshyn played last night but was scratched for the Bruins.

First Period: Described above, Penguins found themselves in a 3-0 hole after one period of play. I said in my Gameday setup that the Bruins would play fast and loose and it was the Penguins that were playing loose and tried to win the game in the third period with time running out fast.

Second Period: Penguins had two cracks at back to back penalties but couldn’t push noting across nor get a decent setup to cut the deficit to two.

Instead, a Tommy Cross shot was deflected in by Jake DeBrusk for his second of the game for a 4-0 lead. This goal will not stand up as the game winner, but it’s a different story in the third period if it’s 3-2 instead of 4-2.

Teddy Blueger atoned for his turnover in the first with a goal after Dominik Simon forced a turnover that made it 4-1.

But Jarrett Burton took his second penalty of the period and that ended up being a momentum crusher.

Third Period: Penguins continued to push, pulled one back on an Ethan Prow deflection of a Cameron Gaunce shot that made it 4-2. Providence took a penalty right after that but the Penguins could not score on the power play to make it 4-3 and after a timeout with DeSmith pulled, were never able to get another goal.

Three Stars: 3) Dominik Simon (two assists, +1) 2) Colton Hargrove (goal, -1) 1) Jake DeBrusk (two goals, +2)

Hard to disagree. Hungry players stepped up for a team in desperate need of a win.

Prepare your sphincters appropriately.

Around the Conference: Lehigh Valley and Hershey play Game 4 Saturday. Syracuse eliminates St. John’s in Game 4 in overtime 2-1. Toronto beats Albany in triple overtime 2-1 on a shot by Justin Holl that eliminates the Albany Devils in four games.

Video highlights…

Next blog post will be the Gameday setup at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Let’s Go Pens!

RAPID RECAP – Pens LOSE 4-2

Game 5 Sunday. 

Providence put 42 shots at the Penguins tonight and got bounces, bounces, bounces. 

Penguins got goals from Tim Erixon and Ethan Prow tonight. 

Penalty trouble and loose play struck the Penguins. A turnover in front of DeSmith minutes into the game turned into a goal for the Bruins, Providence cashed on a power play for the second goal then scored on an odd man rush for the third goal. 

The rout was on at that point. Providence played to win, Penguins played to lord knows what and it’s a winner take all contest Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre. 

Full piece in a bit. 

Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 4: Providence Bruins (WBS leads 2-1)

vs.     15PRO

Atlantic Division Semifinal — Game 4

AHL Game: A4

Who: Providence Bruins

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Series: WBS leads 2-1 (Best of Five)

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins scored two power play goals to Providence’s one and beat the Bruins 2-1 to go up in the series by that same margin. Penguins defenders Tim Erixon and David Warsofsky scored the goals for the Penguins in the win and Casey DeSmith made 32 saves to pick up the win.

What to watch for: Bruins leaving it all out there. Expect Providence to play fast and loose and give the Penguins all they have. Wilkes-Barre just needs to replicate what they did in Game 3 if they want to end the night with handshakes as opposed to coming back for a winner take all Game 5 Sunday afternoon.

Referee(s): Pierre Lambert / Tim Mayer

Linesmen: Jud Ritter / J.P. Waleski

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @AHLBruins

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /providencebruins

Instagram: wbspenguins / ahlbruins

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TomVenesky // @MarkDivver

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS and Nick Hart @_NickHart // For PRO: None

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For PRO: None

Television: AHL Live

When is Game 5?: Providence needs to win in order for this to occur and if they do it will be Sunday in Wilkes-Barre at 3:05.

Bruins on the Brink – Pens WIN 2-1

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This one was more like it.

A defensive battle of wits between the leagues top two teams on defense sees the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins best the Providence Bruins in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Semifinal by a final score of 2-1. The Penguins can close out the series Friday night at home at 7:05.

It was a game decided with all three goals scored on the power play. The Penguins leaders stepped up in a big way as well as Kevin Porter and David Warsofsky continued to terrorize the Providence Bruins.

Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

…lazy legged by the blogger on a work night. No lineup changes for the Penguins.

First Period: Great period for Wilkes-Barre who out hit the Bruins, winning nearly every board battle and outshot the Bruins 13-5. Period was marred by two penalties taken by Wilkes-Barre, but overall a clean, nearly perfect period by the Penguins.

Second Period: Tension mounting, McIntyre making huge saves with all ends of his body. Penguins had chance after chance and a few power plays and finally cracked the Bruins goaltender with a power play goal by Tim Erixon with :16 left to play in the period.

There was some confusion after Sean Kuraly and Oskar Sundqvist engaged in a tussle. Kuraly was the aggressor and Sundqvist wasn’t tied down. Normally with two willing combatants, the guy who doesn’t have the fight strap is tossed from the game. We were all fooled at the time, because of the aggressor, the fight strap violation is nullified.

Third Period: After a fight between Tom Sestito and Tyler Randell :07 in then an Alex Grant hold seconds after that, David Warsofsky stepped into this one giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

Bruins were coming unraveled at this point, taking a penalty for closing the hand on the puck. Penguins could have iced the game away here but couldn’t add a third goal.

Head Coach Clark Donatelli used his coaches challenge on a Tim Erixon shot that hit the post on replay. Penguins lost their time out as a result.

Penguins had to kill off a double minor when Josh Archibald clipped Peter Mueller with a high stick. Jordan Szwarz scored on the back end of the double minor with 6:35 left to play to cut it to one.

Penguins played park the bus at this point, didn’t let the Bruins get any sustained offensive zone time and Providence, with McIntyre pulled, never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Casey DeSmith (32 saves on 33 shots) 2) Tim Erixon (power play goal, even) 1) David Warsofsky (power play game winning goal, even)

Around the Eastern Conference: Everyone else’s Game 3’s were Wednesday and they will all require a Game 4. Lehigh Valley avoids the sweep with a win in overtime in Hershey 2-1, Syracuse pushes St. John’s to the brink with a 3-2 win and Toronto did the same to Albany in overtime 3-2. Game 4 goes for all Friday but for the Bears and Phantoms which goes on Saturday.

Sprong Watch: Daniel Sprong’s Charlottetown Islanders team is in a hole after losing to Blainville-Boisbriand 4-2 on Wednesday. The Islanders are down 3-1 in the best of seven series with Game 5 going on Saturday. They will be without Sprong for that game as he was suspended for a hit in Game 4 and will miss Game 5.

Video highlights….

Game 4 between Pens and Bruins goes tomorrow here in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05. Gameday setup hits the blog Friday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 3: Providence Bruins (Series Tied 1-1)

vs.     15PRO

Atlantic Division Semifinal — Game 3

AHL Game: A3

Who: Providence Bruins

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Series: Tied 1-1 (Best of Five)

Media Kit

Last Game: Sunday in Providence, the Penguins snatched victory from the jaws of defeat scoring with 63 seconds left in regulation when Josh Archibald scored to tie it then Derrick Pouliot scored in overtime to win it to send the series back to Wilkes-Barre tied 1-1

What to watch for: Discipline must be the name of the game for both teams. For the Penguins it has to be on special teams and with Providence it has to be on the blue line. Wilkes-Barre gave up too many penalties in Game 1 and it cost them and the Bruins couldn’t stop the Penguins offense in Game 2 and it cost them. After four days off, expect these two to go after each other early to get the upper hand.

Referee(s): Olivier Gouin / Evgenii Romasko

Linesmen: Kory Nagy / Francois Dussureault

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @AHLBruins

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /providencebruins

Instagram: wbspenguins / ahlbruins

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TomVenesky // @MarkDivver

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS and Nick Hart @_NickHart // For PRO: None

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For PRO: None

Television: AHL Live

When is Game 4?: These two teams rematch here in Wilkes-Barre Friday night at 7:05.

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)

   button_adk200       @       WBS

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Shame on you if you thought the Penguins were in danger of going down 0-2 in the series with the Providence Bruins.

Shame on you if you thought it was another wasted season down the tubes after the Bruins stormed from three goals down to tie it, then take the lead late in the third.

Shame on you.

Shame on me.

Shame on me for thinking that it was another wasted year down the tubes after the Bruins stormed for three goals down to tie it, then take the lead in the third.

Shame on me for thinking that the Penguins were in danger of going down 0-2 in the series with the Providence Bruins.

An offensive explosion between the two top defensive teams in the American Hockey League was on full display as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins take Game 2 of this best of five series with the Providence Bruins by a 6-5 score in overtime after Derrick Pouliot’s heroics in the overtime session.

Game 3 is Thursday in Wilkes-Barre.

Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Ryan Haggerty – Jarrett Burton – Adam Krause

Tim Erixon – David Warsofsky
Derrick Pouliot – Barry Goers
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

Lineup Notes: No changes up front for the Penguins, Cameron Gaunce and Barry Goers were back and were in for Brett Stern and Frank Corrado.

First Period: Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre was the story of the period, stopping 18 Penguins shots, many of them coming on the two power plays Wilkes-Barre had. Casey DeSmith had 9 saves of his own on the Bruins, but was bested by McIntyre’s performance in the first where he stopped Tom Kostopouolos point blank and a Kevin Porter shot with his mask.

Second Period: Tale of two halves for both teams. Wilkes-Barre struck thrice, then Providence struck back with a trio of goals of their own.

David Warsofsky scored twice in :23 to make it 2-0 Penguins. Here is the second one…

Tom Sestito scored when he was setup by Tom Kostopoulos exiting the penalty box that made it 3-0. The rout was on.

Until it wasn’t.

Providence struck for their first while four on four when Chris Porter redirected a shot in from the slot that made it 3-1 :14 after the Sestito goal.

Tom Kostopoulos had his stick slashed in what would have been a 4-1 lead for the Penguins when Providence raced back down the ice to score to make it 3-2 on a rebound. Chris Porter again.

1:03 later, Tommy Cross scored on a dart that made it a tie game. Three goal lead evaporated.

Third Period: Josh Archibald scored after what looked like a blown icing call by the linesman to make it 4-3 Penguins. But the Penguins found themselves on a kill again and at the tail end of if Danton Heinen scored bar down that made it a tie game once again….

Sorry that I don’t have all the goals here. I didn’t cut up any and my usual sources didn’t do any GIFs.

Teams traded chance after chance, which was uncharacteristic for the top two defensive teams in the AHL. Peter Mueller scored to make it 5-4 when the Penguins were not able to clear the puck out of the zone…

First lead of the game for the Bruins.

If you know the answer to this question, drop a line in the comments.

Penguins pulled Casey DeSmith and this time were able to find the equalizer when Josh Archibald scored his second of the period with 1:03 left that brought the Penguins back from the dead.

To…

Overtime: Derrick Pouliot floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee when he faked like he was going to go around the net of McIntyre but instead banked it in off of the Providence netminder that won it for the Penguins.

Ballgame. Coming to you Thursday night tied 1-1 in the series for Game 3.

Three Stars: 3) Tommy Cross (goal, two assists, +1) 2) David Warsofsky (two goals, two assists, +2) and 1) Derrick Pouliot (game winning overtime goal, even)

Around the Eastern Conference: Every other series was in action Saturday night. Big comebacks by Syracuse and Hershey, both down multiple goals in the third period and walked away winners. Syracuse in double overtime in St. John’s 4-3 and Hershey in regulation after Alex Lyon went down with injury leaving the Phantoms with the third string goalie Martin Ouellette as the man for now. Hershey wins 5-4. Bears are up 2-0 in their series with the Phantoms and Crunch and IceCaps head to Syracuse tied at a game a piece. Toronto tied the series with Albany with a 6-2 win also. Game 3 for all here will be played Wednesday.

Sprong Watch: Daniel Sprong’s Charlottetown Islanders lost their first game of the QMJHL Playoffs Saturday after Blainville-Boisbrand won 5-4 to even that best of seven series at a game a piece. Daniel Strong had two goals and an assist in the game. Game 3 is Tuesday.

I’ll have to think of stuff to write about between now and Thursday. Maybe I will come back with something Tuesday night or Wednesday night. Who knows. Stay tuned.

Let’s Go Pens!

Atlantic Division Semifinal Game 2: Providence Bruins (PRO leads 1-0)

@     15PRO

Atlantic Division Semifinal — Game 2

AHL Game: A2

Who: Providence Bruins

Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center

When: 3:05 p.m.

Series: PRO leads 1-0 (Best of Five)

Media Kit

Last Game: Friday in Game 1 the Bruins scored two power play goals and took Game 1 by a 2-1 score. J-S Dea scored for the Penguins in the loss.

What to watch for: Discipline for the Penguins who took too many penalties Friday. Also, the blue line will get a boost with the return of Cameron Gaunce and possibly Barry Goers.

Referee(s): Terry Koharski / Furman South

Linesmen: Ryan Daisy / Nick Briganti

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @AHLBruins

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /providencebruins

Instagram: wbspenguins / ahlbruins

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TomVenesky // @MarkDivver

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS and Nick Hart @_NickHart // For PRO: None

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For PRO: None

Television: AHL Live

When is Game 3?: The series shifts to Wilkes-Barre Thursday at 7:05.