Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Hit ’em With The Hein! — Pens LOSE 2-1

   button_adk200       vs.       WBS

  2                                           1

I don’t know what to say.

I had a feeling, around December or January, when the call-up started happening and the Penguins maintained first place overall in the AHL and the Eastern Conference that this year was going to be different.

This was the year I thought. Our Cup to lose I said to a select few.

In the 30 team American Hockey League, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were the best overall team in it during the regular season. They won the Atlantic Division, the Eastern Conference and the Kilpatrick trophy.

But none of that mattered in the postseason. Ask any favored team going into a playoff series. Golden State Warriors in basketball. The Atlanta Falcons in the third period of the Super Bowl past.

In the postseason, you aren’t playing the 30 team AHL schedule any longer, your focus is one opponent.

For the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, it was the Providence Bruins.

I went through the stats that one afternoon and looked at how dead even the two teams were in every facet. Goaltending, Offense and Defense, it was almost a dead heat.

I gave the advantage to the Penguins, as did many others, and erroneously selected them to advance in four games.

A masterful, herculean, down right impossible effort by Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre Sunday afternoon, stopping 50 shots sent his way. Danton Heinen scores twice, once in the first on a power play after a too many men on the ice call, the third in the series called against the Penguins and then late in the third with seven minutes to play. J-S Dea pulled one back for the Penguins on a later power play but the Penguins fate had already been sealed. Penguins fall 2-1 in Game 5 and bow out of the playoffs in the first round. The are the first regular season champion since the 1995-96 Cornwall Aces to not advance in past the first round of the AHL playoffs.

They failed to score on a double minor right after the Heinen first period goal, already down one, and McIntyre settled into groove that stole one for the number four seeded Providence Bruins, who finally overcome the postseason nightmare which is the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. The ghosts of a 3-0 blown series lead a few years ago and a sweep last year die a cold death on the ice at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

I don’t think there is anything left here to recap. Penguins shot themselves in the foot with a too many men on the ice call that the Bruins capitalized on :09 later on, couldn’t convert a double minor high sticking call on Tom Kostopoulos immediately after, put a mountain of shots on Zane McIntyre and could not advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Seth had some nice quotes here which I think sum up the game and the series for me. Your mileage may vary.

To sum, the Penguins offense sputtered when it had a 2-1 series lead when the clock struck midnight Friday morning.

But to be fair, these teams were evenly matched and were built from goaltender on out.

And sometimes you get beat.

Three stars were all Providence, Jordan Szwarz was third with two assists, Danton Heinen was second with two goals and Zane McIntyre was first with 50 saves on 51 shots.

I will have a Year in Review piece on the blog thus week. I’ll probably go back and look at what I got wrong in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs and try to predict Round Two sometime later this week.

Things will be quiet here until the end of the playoffs after that unless there is breaking news like a guys signing overseas or someone signing on for next season. My offseason moves chart will probably go up at some point within say a month or so.

I will most likely have the AHL Free Agent Big Board again around July 1. I’ll crowdsource it again like I did last year. Apply today!

Thank you.

Thank you to the Penguins for another good season of content here on the blog. It’s easy when you are good and the Penguins were this season and that made for some goofy and awful puns and some overall good times during the regular season. Thank you to Brian Coe in the front office, the braintrust that makes all of this social media go. Voices of the Penguins Mike O’Brien and Nick Hart had another stellar year as a tandem. You will go to bed tonight bummed that the Penguins didn’t win the Calder Cup they were favored to win, but remember this, the team that beat the Penguins doesn’t have a broadcaster, and has little to no social media presence whatsoever.

Thank you to you, the reader, who reads this blog religiously either by stopping me on the concourse, finding me on Twitter or Facebook and saying how you enjoy the blog or by subscribing via e-mail. Growing a reader base doesn’t come overnight. It takes work, hard work, to grow a base of people who consider your stuff on par with the print media. For that I say thank you.

Thanks to Seth Lakso of the Citizens’ Voice and Tom Venesky of The Times-Leader for another stellar year of coverage of the team. Another thing to consider when you turn in for the evening and begin to start your summer, the newspaper business is a fading industry. Most towns don’t have a full time beat covering their minor league team. Ask any Texas, Hershey, Binghamton, Hartford, or Rochester fan off the top of my head what it’s like having to go to the internet to read a final score of that night’s game. Wilkes-Barre has two beats that religiously follow the team.

So that’s all she wrote.

One final video from the best in the business…

Thank you again. Enjoy your summer, and Let’s Go Pens!

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!

Bruins on the Brink – Pens WIN 2-1

   button_adk200       vs.       WBS

  1                                           2

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!

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!

When The Bruin Sees Four, It Bites — Pens LOSE 2-1

   button_adk200       @       WBS

  1                                          2

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins had the top overall penalty killing unit in the regular season.

So of course the Providence Bruins score not one, but two power play goals and hold on to beat the Penguins 2-1 in Game 1 to take a 1-0 series lead with Game 2 Sunday afternoon in Providence.

Providence blocked a ton of shots, stymied the Penguins offense in that way and scored twice on a power play. Wilkes-Barre had a would be goal with :56 left in the third period taken away in a pile of bodies and the Bruins hung on. It’s that simple.

Don’t fret, unless you had Wilkes-Barre in a sweep, you’d be the only one, a lot of pundits, myself included (I’d like to consider myself a blowhard) had the Penguins advancing in four or five games. Say it with me, in order for that to happen, the Bruins have to win at least a game.

Game 2 goes off Sunday afternoon from Providence in what has to be must win for the Penguins.

Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

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

David Warsofsky – Frank Corrado
Derrick Pouliot – Brett Stern
Tim Erixon – Ethan Prow

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

Lineup Notes: Pittsburgh re-assigned Josh Archibald, Cameron Gaunce and Tom Sestito to Wilkes-Barre Friday morning. Gaunce was not in the lineup because he needs to clear waivers first. Zach Aston-Reese is out for Games 1 and 2 per Providence media. Barry Goers should be back for Game 2.

First Period: It was all Wilkes-Barre to start, but Casey DeSmith had the best save of the period when Jordan Szwarz snuck through but DeSmith got the pad on it.

Wilkes-Barre was outshooting the Bruins 8-3 at one point but then the Bruins started to push back and forced the Penguins into a penalty.

Peter Mueller shot it, Jake DeBrusk was there to clean up the rebound to put the Bruins on the board on the power play goal…

Another angle…

After being all Wilkes-Barre to open, Providence put their foot down then controlled the pace. It could have been worse than the first intermission score line indicated.

Second Period: Penguins opened with some bit of a push by the Bruins weren’t budging. Both teams traded power plays but neither were able to capitalize. McIntyre made a cool save on J-S Dea in front and DeSmith made a few saves with the glove, one notably on Peter Cehlarik after a face-off around the halfway point of the game.

J-S Dea finally broke through for the Penguins scoring his first postseason goal on this shot by David Warsofsky…

Shots were an even 10-10 in the period heading into the…

Third Period: Bruins go up one again on this Danton Heinen goal that made it 2-1…

After that goal, the Penguins took another penalty. They got out of that one unscathed, but that killed momentum as the Penguins continued to buzz and push, but weren’t able to get anything by McIntyre.

Penguins think they score with :56 left here….

Referee right on top of play, washes out possible goal. Penguins continue to whack, puck bleeds across and is in, Penguins celebrate a tie game, but the referee does not make a signal either way as to the puck crossing or not. After an initial washout to make the call to get to a review, the call on the ice stood as no goal.

That, of course, set off the Penguins bench.

Penguins weren’t ever able to get the equalizer.

Forget about the last minute. If you look at Taylor’s GIF there carefully, the referee was not able to see the puck cross the line being right on top of the play. Replay is just an overhead view, and the Bruins were wearing all black. What color is the puck? The Penguins didn’t lose the game because of that call. They need to be more disciplined, giving Providence six power plays in the game, and better structured a man down, allowing the Bruins to score twice.

Good thing that there is a day between games. Lots of time to break down tape and execute plans.

Three Stars: 3) Zane McIntyre (30 saves on 31 shots) 2) J-S Dea (goal, +1) and 1) Danton Heinen (goal, -1)

Around the Eastern Conference: Hershey beat Lehigh Valley 1-0 in overtime on a Nathan Walker overtime goal. Game 2 is Saturday in Allentown….Syracuse falls 2-1 to St. John’s, Game 2 is Saturday in Newfoundland and Albany looks to go up 2-0 in their series against Toronto Saturday after beating the Marlies 3-0 Thursday.

Sprong Watch: The Charlottetown Islanders remain unbeaten in the QMJHL Playoffs as they take Game 1 over the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada 3-0 Friday night. Daniel Spring had two assists. Game 2 goes Saturday from the EastLink Centre in Prince Edward Island.

If Cameron Gaunce is claimed on waivers at noon tomorrow I will have a blog on it. Let’s hope that is a piece I do not have to write.

Gameday setup for Game 2 will hit the blog Sunday at 11 a.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Sauer Krause — Pens WIN 5-4

BRI         vs.         WBS

4                                              5

I’d like to thank Brandon Povilitus for the pun headline idea, it was exactly what I was thinking when Adam Krause scored his second goal of the game and of the period, that game the Penguins a 5-4 lead and a lead they would not relinquish as the defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight in the regular sermon finale.

The Penguins were trailing 3-2 to start the third and went down 4-2 when Carter Verhaeghe scored his second. Wilkes-Barre, with seemingly nothing left to play for could have packed it in and went home with the Eastern Conference Championship and begun preparations for the Providence Bruins, who the Penguins will face in the first round.

But Adam Krause, not a regular player in the lineup and a fringe guy, stepped up big with two goals after Jarrett Burton scored to bring the Penguins back within two.

Krause smoked Devon Towes on the first goal and scored a shorthanded goal that gave the Penguins the lead for good.

Sean Maguire made his AHL debut and won with 22 saves including a stop on Josh Ho-Sang on a penalty shot.

51-20-3-2 and 107 points will close the books on the 2016-17 AHL Regular Season for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. They enter the Calder Cup Playoffs the top overall team in the Eastern Conference and open against the Providence Bruins in round one. A team that has answered every challenge presented to them in the regular season face the biggest challenge yet, a championship run.

Blog story is late tonight because I wanted to figure out who was going to be the regular season champion. It’s the Penguins, after the Bakersfield Condors defeated the San Jose Barracuda in overtime tonight.

Sean Maguire opposed Eamonn McAdam

Lines were…

Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Ryan Haggerty
Nick Sorkin – Jarrett Burton – Adam Krause
Cody Wydo – Troy Josephs – Patrick McGrath

Jeff Taylor – Frank Corrado
Brett Stern – Kevin Schulze
Dylan Zink – Ethan Prow

Sean Maguire – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: Regulars Tom Kostopoulos, Kevin Porter, David Warsofsky, Tim Erixon and Derrick Pouliot were given the night off. I saw Zach Aston-Reese with a cast on high right hand on his pinky and ring fingers. Donatelli told WBS media postgame that he is considered day to day and will have further tests done Monday. Barry Goers is undergoing concussion protocol.

First Period: Better start for the Penguins in comparison to last night agains Hershey and Wednesday against Lehigh Valley. Bridgeport got the first power play of the night and cashed when Ryan Pulock scored a bullet from the point that made it 1-0 Sound Tigers. Penguins got a power play and Teddy Blueger scored that tied the game:

Sound Tigers went back on the power play and Carter Verhaeghe skated to a spot and found a spot and ripped a shot that found its way past Maguire that made it 2-1 Bridgeport.

Heading into the second, every goal was scored on the power play.

Second Period: A miscommunication between Penguins defensemen saw Travis St. Denis score a tap-in on the doorstep of Maguire that made it 3-1 Sound Tigers.

Josh Ho-Sang was hooked down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. Sean Maguire denied him.

J-S Dea connected on a power play goal late that made it 3-2 Sound Tigers…

Third Period: Sean Maguire wasn’t able to control a rebound and Verhaeghe was there to put it in again that made it 4-2 Bridgeport.

That’s it. Pack it in and go home right?

Wrong.

Eamonn McAdam this time isn’t able to control a rebound and Jarrett Burton whacked home the puck that made it a 4-3 game.

1:16 later, Adam Krause races past Devon Toews and ties the game at 4….

Patrick McGrath earned the sole assist on that goal.

He then took a penalty with 4:19 left and the Sound Tigers were on a power play. Ut-oh, Buckwheat…

Krause. Again. Shorthanded….

Sound Tigers, with McAdam vacated, were never able to find the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Jarrett Burton (goal, +1) 2) Teddy Blueger (goal, assist, -2) 1) Adam Krause (two goals, one assist, +3)

Around the Division: The Hershey Bears shutout the Providence Bruins 3-0. The Bears are hitting the postseason in stride and are the three seed in the Atlantic. They will face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Round One….Lehigh Valley beats Binghamton 4-1 in the Senators finale under the Ottawa affiliation. Springfield beats Hartford 5-1 and out of conference, a Josh Currie hat trick sealed the fate of the San Jose Barracuda, the Bakersfield Condors win 3-2 which gave the Penguins the Macgregor Kilpatrick trophy for best overall record in the AHL regular season.

Standings: Penguins (.704 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.664) — Hershey (.638) — Providence (.632) — Bridgeport (.605) — Springfield (.493) — Hartford (.355)

Video highlights…

Playoff schedule is set. Here it is…

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 3:05
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 27 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Your blog schedule for this week is as follows… Final Power Rankings will be up Monday at 4. I’ll have the Fourth Quarter Grades Tuesday at noon, a Calder Cup Playoff Preview Wednesday at noon for both conference and a Penguins / P-Bruins Playoff Preview Thursday at noon then the full pregame setup Friday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Turn It On! Turn It Off! Turn It On! — Pens LOSE 2-1

HER        vs.        WBS

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Look at this game, a 2-1 Pens loss to the Hershey Bears, this way. When you don’t have anything left to play for (Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference Championships are already the Penguins) it’s hard to get motivated.

Think of it this way. You work at a widget factory. You are only given 110 widgets to make in an eight hour day. You can’t make any more, you can’t make any less. You have to make 110.

Well, the Penguins just made their 110th widget and the clock still reads 3:30 in the afternoon when they knock off at 5.

The Penguins, with little to play for in their final three games, lost Wednesday in a shootout to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and tonight to the Hershey Bears 2-1. Each winning team clinched a playoff spot. Four teams in the Atlantic have to make it, the Penguins just happened to play two that hadn’t yet.

Penguins turned it on in the third period on a power play goal by Tim Erixon, but :27 later the Bears scored again.

Providence clinched tonight as well, locking Bridgeport out after the Sound Tigers got smoked 7-0 at home against the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Bruins travel to Hershey Saturday with the winner heading to Allentown to open against the Phantoms and the loser heading to Wilkes-Barre to take on the Penguins next weekend in in the Atlantic Division Semifinals.

Casey DeSmith opposed Pheonix Copley.

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Ryan Haggerty
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Troy Josephs – Jarrett Burton – Adam Krause

Derrick Pouliot – Frank Corrado
Brett Stern – David Warsofsky
Tim Erixon – Jeff Taylor

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

Lineup Notes: Two changes from Wednesday, Adam Krause for Patrick McGrath and Brett Stern for Ethan Prow.

First Period: Pens with a season low one shot on goal. Bears had seven with one power play. That was it.

Second Period: Chris Bourque centered a pass from behind the goal line to Jakub Vrana who scored to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. There were more goal posts hit in this game then there were goals, Bears had four by my count and the Pens had three.

Third Period: Penguins were guilty of making way too many extra passes tonight. They started to turn up the heat on the Bears and forced them into taking a puck over glass delay of game. On the ensuing power play, the Penguins only of the game, Tim Erixon scored to make it a tie game at one…

Off the face-off and :27 later, Christian Djoos scored to make it 2-1 Bears. Penguins thought hey had the light switch fully on, but just as quick the Bears came in and quickly shut the light off.

With DeSmith pulled for the extra attacker, the Penguins were never able to find the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Tim Erixon (goal, -1) 2) Pheonix Copley (22 saves on 23 shots) and 1) Christian Djoos (game winning goal, +1)

Around the Division: Already gave you the 7-0 Springfield pasting that they laid on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…Providence was up 4-1 to start the third against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown, but the Phantoms scored three unanswered to tie it and Corban Knight scored :48 into overtime to win it. Phantoms win 5-4 in overtime….Utica keeps its playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 win at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Standings: Penguins (.700 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.660) — Providence (.640) — Hershey (.633) — Bridgeport (.613) — Springfield (.487) — Hartford (.360)

Here is the Penguins Kilpatrick Trophy clinching scenarios, which is basically the regular season championship and ensures home ice in the Calder Cup Playoffs…

Pens win against Bridgeport, they still need help in the form of the Barracuda not getting two points tomorrow. I’ll probably have something on this either late Saturday or Sunday morning, depending on how thing shake out tomorrow.

Gameday for the final game of the regular season hist the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!