Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Comeback Kids — Pens WIN 6-4


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I looked at the first period of today’s game and saw positives. In sum, they were:

Penguins were down 3-1, but controlled play after Clark Donatelli replaced Anthony Peters with Etienne Marcoux, limiting Hershey’s chances. It sounds strange to say at the time given the score line and the loss the night before to Hartford and the loss Wednesday to the Checkers.

But Wilkes-Barre battled and battled, led by Thomas Di Pauli and some big stops by Marcoux, and beat the Hershey Bears 6-4 in Wilkes-Barre to reduce their magic number to clinch a playoff spot with Providence beating Bridgeport to 15.

Anthony Peters opposed Pheonix Copley.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Joseph Cramarossa – Jarrett Burton – Adam Johnson
Tom Sestito – Gage Quinney – Christian Thomas
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Czuczman – Lukas Bengtsson
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: 

Jooris went up bin emergency recall around noon Sunday. Daniel Sprong, good for 12 points against Hershey this season, was a healthy scratch. Tom with more postgame from Donatelli…

First Period: Liam O’Brien scored a goal when he found a ray of light when Peters was sealed off near post. Then the Penguins saw the Bears score again on a play I thought was offsides that made it 2-0. That was the end of Peters who was pulled for Etienne Marcoux. Things settled from there.

Cramarossa slammed home a rebound on a Burton shot and the Pens were back within one.

Jona Siegenthaler scored one of his two goals of the day when he put a shot on through bodies that re-established the two goal Hershey lead.

Wilkes-Barre went 0-for-4 on the power play in the period and it was starting to cost them.

Second Period: What won the game for the Penguins was this period here. The reason? No penalties at all called by referees Terry Koharski and Andy Howard. Penguins just went after the Bears 5-on-5 and started to come in waves.

Tom Sestito slammed home a Quinney round to make it 3-2…

Ol’ Tommy Sestito, noted goal scoring machine against the Hershey Bears…

Penguins continued to roll in waves. It was becoming apparent that Thomas DiPauli was taking a beating every shift. Then, with time dwindling,. DiPauli puts a shot on net that goes in at the buzzer.

After a brief video review, the goal stood. It was 3-3 and a whole new game heading into the…

Third Period: Jarred Tinordi and Liam O’Brien fought early to try and set the tone. O’Brien hung in there with Tinordi who won on points.

Christian Thomas scored while Sestito was clearing bodies in front of Copley that made it 4-3 Wilkes-Barre.

Tom Kostopoulos slid a pass over to DiPauki who quickly one timed the shot at net that got in and it was 5-3 Wilkes-Barre.

On a busted assignment while the sides were four on four, Siegenthaler scored his second of the game that made it a one goal game again.

{Penguins could have packed it in from there and rode defense the rest of the way. They did, in part. Let me set this up.

Hershey, pressing late for a tying goal in the third period of a three in three, emptied out the gas tank and set up shop in the Penguins defensive end. Cyling shot after shot, pass after pass through the zone, it was only a matter of time before they scored.

A pass in front set to be one timed into a yawning Penguins cage was stopped by Etienne Marcoux. I mean just a ten bell, highlight reel save that Marcoux had no business making. Later, Tom Kostopoulos clears the puck out of the zone and Teddy Blueger put on a power skating exhibition and finished off the Pens three on one.


DiPauli had a chance on a hat trick bid, but his effort went wide. Hershey never got closer.

Three Stars: 3) Teddy Blueger (goal, two assists, +2) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (three assists, +2) and 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals, +1)

First AHL win for Etienne Marcoux, fifth Penguins goaltender to beat Hershey this season (Sean Maguire, Anthony Peters, Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry) — Lukas Bengtsson returned to the lineup after injury and picked up two assists also.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley with another shutout, this time 3-0 to the Springfield Thunderbirds….Binghamton earns a split in Charlotte and beat the Checkers 4-1…Providence beats Bridgeport 4-1 which reduces the Penguins magic number even further. Hartford gets a late goal to push past the Rochester Americans and win 6-4.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.697 percentage points) — Penguins (.645) — Providence (.633) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.547) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.477) — Springfield (.477)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Penguins are bussing to Toronto Monday for their game with the Marlies and staying there the rest of the week. They will return to the States Friday when they play up in Utica then bus down to Binghamton Saturday before returning home to take on the Sound Tigers at home.

Power Rankings here Monday and then we will see you Tuesday for the Toronto game.

Let’s Go Pens!

No Luck in Green — Pens LOSE 4-1


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No luck on St. Patrick’s Day for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins who lose 4-1 to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Penguins went o-for-5 on the power play and this has become the biggest problem for the league’s worst power play at 13.3%. Penguins Head Coach Clark Donatelli to Tom Venesky after the game…

I don’t necessarily buy all that Clark is selling here. The Penguins have such a hard time entering the zone and when they do they never get anything that resembles a shot on goal worthwhile of a goalie making a save.

Hartford scores two fluky goals :38 apart in the first, :54 seconds in the third and beat the Penguins. Anthony Peters was fine in net. The Penguins put 18 shots on Hartford in the second period but Chris Nell was fantastic for Hartford all game really and that was it. Wolf Pack looked as good as they did yesterday when they beat Lehigh Valley in a shootout.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Josh Jooris – Sam Lafferty
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: Tom Sestito and Christian Thomas were healthy scratches tonight. Ryan Haggerty retuned from injury. Ethan Prow played, and showed no ill effects from his concussion on the Josiah Didier hit Wednesday in Charlotte.

First Period: It ended 2-0 for Hartford but by rights should have been 4 or 5-0. Anthony Peters was bailing out his teammates with save after save. Both sides had chances both ways.

Hartford scores bang bang plays when Simon Denis rakes a puck off the wall and throws it at Peters and on the way its deflected in by Cole Schneider. :38 later, a big rebound left by Peters is put in by Dan DeSalvo.

Second Period: Hartford put two early shots on Peters, but after that Wilkes-Barre responded with a ton of shots at Nell.

Hartford took four penalties that resulted in power plays for the Penguins but Wilkes-Barre was not able to find the back of the net on the man advantage. This is what cost them the game, we just didn’t know it at at the time.

Wilkes-Barre outshot Hartford 18-3 in the second period.

Third Period: Daniel Sprong scored on his birthday to bring the Penguins to within one.

He looked off Quinney on a two on one and never really looked at Nell and the net and put the shot on and it went five hole and in.

Kevin Czuczman appeared to have scored a goal, but referee Stephen Thomson never signaled goal and play continued and then Steven Fogarty beat Peters to make to 3-1. After a video review on the Czuczman shot, which confirmed no goal, it was 3-1 Hartford.

On the Czuczman shot, I have no idea how it wasn’t a goal. There was no ping noise signifying a shot off the pipe. and from where Czuczman shot the puck there was no way that puck couldn’t hit anything more than inside the net from they angle it was shot from but the type doesn’t lie. A review lasting more than a minute confirmed Thomson’s eyes in real time.

Vinni Lettieri scored :54 later to make it 4-1 and suddenly all the air was out of the balloon or the keg was kicked at a party full of thirsty patrons. Use whatever inference you wish, Penguins weren’t coming back from this one.

Three Stars: 3) Daniel Sprong (goal, even) 2) Dan DeSalvo (goal, +1) and Chris Nell (30 saves on 31 shots)

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley shuts out Providence 3-0….Charlotte wins 4-2 against Binghamton…Hershey beats Springfield 4-2. Bridgeport was off.

The Hershey game was significant because it was referee David Banfield’s final game. Judging from the reaction around social media, he must have been one hell of a referee because no one had a nice thing to say about him.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.692 percentage points) — Penguins (.639) — Providence (.627) — Charlotte (.592) — Hartford (.492) — Hershey (.485) — Springfield (.484)

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 3-2 in overtime in Glens Falls against the Adirondack Thunder. Reid Gardiner and Troy Josephs scored for the Nailers in the OT loss. Nailers are five points up on Worcester for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

Video Highlights: 

Pens back at it Sunday at 3 against Hershey. Gameday setup is yours at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

Let’s Go Pens!

Charlotte Chaos — Pens LOSE 3-1


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I guess the lesson here tonight is be careful what you wish for.

If the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins somehow overtake the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the number one spot in the Atlantic Division, they will most likely play the Charlotte Checkers in Round One of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Right now, I don’t like the Penguins chances if that were to become a reality.

Wilkes-Barre loses 3-1. A lifeless effort tonight for the Penguins who only had 8 shots on goal throughout two periods. This game obviously meant more for the Checkers, being pursued by fifth place Bridgeport, than it did the Penguins.

Alex Nedeljkovic won his 28th game of the season which leads all AHL goaltenders, he opposed Anthony Peters in a rematch of last night.

Lines were the same as last night save for Jarrett Burton for Sam Lafferty on the third line. Josh Jooris was re-assigned by Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon. Jooris was not in the lineup for Wilkes-Barre tonight. Etienne Marcoux again backed up Anthony Peters while the status of Michael Leighton remains a mystery.

First Period: But for :26 of 5-on-3 penalty kill time that came and went for the Penguins, it was an overall fast pace of a period. Wilkes-Barre was out shot 9-5. J-S Dea hit a post in the early stages, Jarred Tinordi had a clear in the early seconds of the 5-on-3 against and Charlotte was never able to establish anything threatening while on the man advantage.

Second Period: Wilkes-Barre looked lethargic in the first period and continued in the second period, firing just three shots at Nedeljkovic, tied for a season low.

Charlotte jumped out to a two goal lead as a result of keeping their feet moving as their opponents were content with watching instead of competing.

Julien Gauthier, scratched last night, scored first for Charlotte to open the scoring…

That is three Penguins defenders around Gauthier and he still manages to get his shot off.

On a power play, ex-Penguin Greg McKegg scored on a tic tac toe play in front while Chris Summers was out in left field daydreaming…

Gotta mark the man in front.

A puck went out of play in front on Nedeljkovic and the Penguins then tried to get something going with the physicality. Everyone grabbed a man and pushing and shoving ensued. The Penguins sleepwalked through the first two periods and needed something, anything to get them going…

Third Period: Penguins started to chase the game and the worst thing that could happen would be a power play. Chasing a game late caused Wilkes-Barre to play fast and loose and the Checkers easily killed the penalty.

But the Penguins were able to get to within one when Tom Sestito put home a rebound of a Daniel Spring shot that made it a one goal game.

Another power play came and went for the Penguins in a golden opportunity missed for Wilkes-Barre. The lack of success on the power play is going to bury this team.

Wilkes-Barre continued to press, made mistakes in their own end and Greg McKegg scored a second goal against his former team.

I’d say so.

Penguins ice the puck with Peters pulled for the extra attacker and then were called for too many men while again trying to get Peters off.

Ethan Prow may have been injured here in this sequence with Josiah Didier.

Dirty hit. Didier was assessed a charging penalty for what it is worth.

Three Stars: 3) Tom Sestito (goal, even) 2) Juian Gauthier (goal, +1) and 1) Greg McKegg (two goals, even)

Around the Division: For the second night in a row, they all watched us.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.690 percentage points) — Penguins (.650) — Providence (.631) — Charlotte (.586) — Bridgeport (.557) — Springfield (.492) — Hartford (.476) — Hershey (.468)

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Charlotte didn’t put up any highlights last night when they lost, I wonder if they will now that they won. If they do, I will work the edit in this spot.

Pens travel back from North Carolina and are scheduled to practice Friday. I would assume that there would be information on Prow, Leighton and anyone else for the two home games against Hartford Saturday and Hershey Sunday.

Next blog post here will most likely be Saturday’s setup with Hartford at 3. I may run a recap of the Friday games with any information shared after Friday’s practice late Friday night depending on circumstances.

Let’s Go Pens!

Quick Hitters — Pens WIN 5-2


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Goals :31 apart in the first and :20 in the second are enough to propel the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins past the Charlotte Checkers for the first time this season. Pens win 5-3 and reduce their magic number to 21. They also use one of their five games in hand to eat into Lehigh Valley’s lead on the Atlantic Division. It’s now nine points.

Teddy Blueger had himself a game. Two goals, one being an empty netter. Blueger also swept away a would be Checkers goal late in the third period.

Checkers have been riding high as of late. They scored first but the Penguins answered quickly with two quick hitters in the first period that set up the second period.

Anthony Peters was good in net, picking up his tenth win of the season. Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith set up the Penguins in the first half of the season and Anthony Peters has done a fine job guiding the ship the rest of the way.

These two teams rematch Wednesday.

Anthony Peters opposed Alex Nedeljkovic.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Sam Lafferty – Joseph Cramarossa
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: Zach Trotman was back in the lineup for the first time in seventeen games….Dylan Zink was returned to Wheeling Monday.

First Period: Valentin Zykov scored his league leading 31st goal of the season when Anthony Peters stopped a Dennis Robertson shot but spilled the rebound back to the Checkers defenseman who dished over to Zykov for the goal…

Checkers are 21-3-0-1 when scoring first.

But the Penguins answered rapidly, :31 apart, when Daniel Sprong put a shot high over the cage of Nedeljkovic that rimmed around to Trotman, who gathered the puck and fired at goal that tied it at one.

Next, Garrett Wilson used his body to create a turnover and the puck went over to Gage Quinney who found Tom Kostopoulos for the goal that made it 2-1 Penguins…

Kostopoulos has two goals and four assists in his eight games since his return from injury.

Second Period: Penguins scored a pair of goals :31 apart in the first, so they wanted to beat that record set in the first frame and scored two within :20 in the second.

Tom Sestito forced a turnover, Sam Lafferty continued to forecheck and passed off to a streaking Joseph Cramarossa for the goal that made it 3-1 Penguins…

That was Sam Lafferty’s first professional point.

Off the face-off at center ice, Gage Quinney was high sticked, setting up another Penguins power play. Their first was a train wreck, but this second coming was much more successful.

Give and go with Garrett Wilson who found Teddy Blueger for the power play goal. Coming into tonight’s contest, the Penguins had the leaves worst power play.

Penguins gave away a power play and the Checkers third best overall power play improved on their 27% conversion rate on home ice when Andrew Poturalski was left alone in the slot for this goal that cut the Penguins lead back to 4-2…

Third Period: Penguins nearly score but are denied here when Nedeljkovic went post to post to deny Teddy Blueger.

Teddy Blueger then saved a goal late as a puck got past Peters but Blueger swept it away.

With just under five minutes to play, Nedeljkovic vacated his cage for an extra attacker, never found the equalizer and Teddy Blueger nailed the empty net to make it 5-2.

Three Stars: 3) Lucas Wallmark (two assists, even) 2) Anthony Peters (29 saves on 31 shots) and 1) Joseph Cramarossa (goal, even)

No idea what they were thinking with the three stars. Teddy Blueger had two goals, Garrett Wilson assisted twice and Tom Kostopoulos had a goal and an assist. Who knows.

Around the Division: They all watched us.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.690 percentage points) — Penguins (.661) — Providence (.631) — Charlotte (.579) — Bridgeport (.557) — Springfield (.492) — Hartford (.476) — Hershey (.468)

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off. They are moving to the ECHL’s Central Division of the Western Conference next season.

Charlotte may put up video highlights. If they do they will run in this spot in a later edit.

These two teams are back at it again Wednesday at 7. Gameday setup comes at you Wednesday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Sweeping the Mythical Creatures — Pens WIN 2-1


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Wilkes-Barre showed a lot of resolve tonight against a rested Grand Rapids Griffins team. Penguins last night struggled at times last night against a Binghamton Devils team that isn’t going to make the Calder Cup Playoffs, most likely.

Bend but don’t break play and maintaining a perfect penalty kill which included a full two man disadvantage see the Penguins edge the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1 tonight in Wilkes-Barre.

Grand Rapids came in with the third best overall power play in the American Hockey League. Penguins found themselves on the wrong end of the referees whistles a total of five times tonight and you could say that this is what won them the game tonight in this close affair.

Anthony Peters opposed Tom McCollum.

Lines were…

That is Sam Lafferty on the third line tonight. Lafferty carried himself well tonight and showed a lot of flash as well. He had this sequence here that really impressed and shows that he belonged in the game…

Etienne Marcoux backed up tonight. The plan going into to the weekend was to have Leighton start Friday and Peters to start Saturday with each player getting the night off entirely when they weren’t starting. Look for Marcoux to get released this weekend and Leighton to split a start this week in Charlotte with Peters.

First Period: Griffins found a lot of power plays in the first, three total, but Anthony Peters quickly established himself in net and let nothing by.

Adam Johnson scored shorthanded. He corralled a loose puck, fought it all the way down the ice really and fired one past McCollum to put the Pens on the board first.

Second Period: No scoring in this period but the story in the frame was the Griffins power play again and the lack of success. Penguins did no favors in a sequence that saw seven Penguins on the ice, then on the ensuing face-off they took a faceoff violation gift wrapping the visitors a full two minute 5-on-3 power play.

Through a time out called by Griffins head coach Todd Nelson, Grand Rapids were unable to solve Anthony Peters to this point.

Felt more like a battle against a rival like Hershey than it was against a team making its first visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in nine years.

Third Period: You know if you watched the game tonight that the Griffins would not go away quietly. A shot bounced off of bodies at the net towards Peters where Street crashed the net and the ex-Penguin tied the game for his team.

Undeterred, Kevin Czuczman cashed with a shot from the point that went through bodies and got past McCollum to push the Penguins back ahead 2-1 a couple minutes later.

Penguins would get a power play with under five minutes to play and then time became the enemy for Grand Rapids. With McCollum pulled, the Griffins were never able to find the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Adam Johnson (goal, even) 2) Anthony Peters (32 saves on 33 shots) and  1) Kevin Czuczman (game winning goal, +1)

Around the Division: Toronto beats Providence 4-3 and are the first team in the AHL to punch a postseason ticket….Charlotte beats Hartford 7-3 where Checkers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic scored a goal…Hershey is shutout 3-0 in Binghamton Springfield is back to .500 after shutting out Utica 4-0 and Lehigh Valley beats Bridgeport 4-1.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.685 percentage points) — Penguins (.655) — Providence (.631) — Charlotte (.589) — Bridgeport (.550) — Springfield (.500) — Hartford (.476) — Hershey (.476)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers will split their series with the Reading Royals. Reading wins 6-3. Cody Wydo and Troy Josephs score for the Nailers in the loss.

Video Highlights: 

Power Rankings at 4 Monday. Check us out then.

Let’s Go Pens!

Teddy Loves Time and a Half — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)


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Wilkes-Barre / Scranton found themselves in a dogfight Friday night on the Southern Tier of New York.

After going up 2-0 in the first period, a Binghamton Devils team that has lost way more than they have won this season could have packed it in and accepted the loss to their I-81 rivals.

But that didn’t happen. The Devils battled back level with their visitors tonight and forced overtime.

That’s where Teddy Blueger, time and time again in these situations, stepped in.

Blueger’s fourth overtime game winning goal this season give the Penguins the win to start the weekend off the right win as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Binghamton Devils 3-2 in overtime.

I am not saying games are scripted, but this tweet from Nick Hart 45 minutes before puck drop tonight makes you wonder….

Michael Leighton opposed Eddie Lack.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Joseph Cramarossa
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jeff Taylor – Jarred Tinordi

Michael Leighton – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sam Lafferty to an NHL contract that kicks in next season so in the meantime Lafferty reported to Wilkes-Barre on an amateur tryout contract….Kevin Spinozzi was assigned to Wheeling…Josh Jooris was recalled to Pittsburgh because Bryan Rust was diagnosed with a concussion, Dominik Simon is week to week with an upper body injury while Zach Aston-Reese and Matt Murray are progressing but not close to returning to the NHL Penguins. On the ice in Binghamton, Tom Sestito jumped in the third line after having Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee off. Marcoux was a surprise backup to Leighton tonight and not Peters, they didn’t say anything on radio eluding to a Peters injury, so it will be interesting to see the goaltender combos Saturday night back at home against Grand Rapids.

Also, Seth Rorabaugh from The Athletic wrote today that Frank Corrado is done for the year after season ending knee surgery.

A lot to digest there. I didn’t link in anything on the recalls / signings, assuming that if you read this blog you also read the official guys.

First Period: Penguins were off to a good start. In a low shot period, they led 2-1 after twenty minutes.

J-S Dea scored on a two on one shorthanded that broke open the scoring…

Then Gage Quinney scored a few minutes later from an odd angle to make it 2-0.

Michael Leighton was passing his tests, stopping a two on one for the Devils and a shot through traffic that led to an offensive zone face-off with under three seconds to play in the period.

This was important, because a face-off win by Michael Latta back to the best offensive defenseman in the AHL Jacob McDonald resulted in a goal that took all of one second that put the Devils on the board with literally 1.2 seconds to play in the period. McDonald paces all defensemen in the AHL in goals. This was his sixteenth of the season.

Second Period: Penguins couldn’t get anything past Lack off of a nice passing play then when the Devils were short some players during a busted line change. A two-on-one and a follow up rebound attempt weren’t enough for Wilkes-Barre to extend their lead to 3-1.

Instead, Josh Jacobs feathers a pass down low to Michael Latta who spins and puts a backhand shot on that Leighton can’t make a save on. Changeup setup, fastball finish.

Third Period: Lack continued to close the door on the Penguins. More two-on-one saves. Denies Sestito, Cramarossa and all follow up attempts. Just making saves he has no business making. Despite this, I felt that the majority of time was spent played in front of Leighton and the Penguins chances were too much one and done.

Overtime: After a period of organized confusion, J-S Dea walks in, fights off a hook and Teddy Blueger puts home the garbage to end it.


Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, assist, +2) 2) Michael Latta (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Teddy Blueger (overtime game winning goal, +1)

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses at home to Bridgeport who have won five in a row. 3-2 is the final from Allentown. Penguins make up ground on first place Lehigh Valley but their magic number doesn’t dwindle any further tonight….Charlotte beats Hartford 4-3….Providence beats Rochester 2-1 in overtime….Utica gets past Springfield 3-2 in overtime….Hershey beats Syracuse 2-1.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.680 percentage points) — Penguins (.649) — Providence (.642) — Charlotte (.582) — Bridgeport (.559) — Springfield (.492) — Hartford (.484) — Hershey (.484)

Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Reading at home in overtime on Troy Josephs’ overtime winner. 4-3 was the score. Here is the goal…

Man down!

If the Devils put up video highlights, I will run them here in this spot.

Pens travel home to take on a rested Grand Rapids Griffins team who did not play tonight. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Lindback Firing Squad — Pens LOSE 3-2 (SO)


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Penguins take 3 out of a possible 6 points out of the Midwest trip through Grand Rapids, Rockford and Milwaukee to kick off their meat grinder month of March that put them on the road all over the place. They still have to visit Charlotte later this month and have just played 3 of 16 games in this month.

A 3-2 shootout loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, who sweep the weekend. But that’s in the Western Conference and those points given away to the IceHogs and Admirals of the world are Iowa and Chicago’s problem.

Penguins comeback in Grand Rapids and win. They do the same late in the third period, late in the final minute with the goalie pulled to force overtime on a Sunday, to get these three points. Another step towards locking up a playoff spot but with Lehigh Valley on the tear that the Phantoms are on, Wilkes-Barre may be playing for second place.

Who knows. After getting points in 16 straight games, Utica has lost the last six in regulation. It’s a weird league. It’s not over till it’s over.

Anthony Peters opposed Anders Lindback.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Tom Kostopoulos
Jarrett Burton – Josh Jooris – Joseph Cramarossa
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jeff Taylor – Jarred Tinordi

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: Jarrett Burton for Tom Sestito was the only change.

First Period: Penguins would outshoot the Admirals 20-5 in the period, but Milwaukee would strike first shorthanded after a bonehead pass by Daniel Sprong across his own blue line that created a turnover that saw Freddy Gaudreay score to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.

But eventually with the amount of rubber Lindback was facing, one had to get in, right?

Ethan Prow made sure.

Nice setup here. Prow received a pass off the near wall, waited, waited and waited and sniped home a goal that pulled the Penguins even.

Second Period: Milwaukee outshoots the Penguins by a 2-to-1 margin this period despite the Penguins with a ton of offensive zone time. An Anthony Richard shot from the slot deflects off of Thomas DiPauli and into the top corner of the net that gives the Admirals the lead heading into the….

Third Period: Pens had an early power play. Kevin Czuczman missed an empty net wide. Milwaukee turned the tables on the Penguins. After getting outshot 20-5 in the first period, the Admirals were outshooting the Penguins 15-9.

Time dwindled, and this time with the net vacated, the Penguins were able to find the equalizer. This time Josh Jooris scored his first with the Penguins with this fine display of hand / eye coordination.

This came in the final minute.

Overtime: Peters made a big save second into overtime, then Wilkes-Barre came at Lindberg in waves.

A nice setup for Daniel Sprong, missed.

Josh Jooris with the same hack and whack that tied the game for his side, nope.

Shootout: Justin Kirkland and Christian Thomas scored in round one, no one scored in rounds two and three, and then Anthony Richard scored here to give the Admirals the extra point before Garrett Wilson couldn’t score to extend the round…

Three Stars: Frederick Gaudreau (goal, +1) 2) Anthony Richard (goal, shootout winning goal, assist, +2) and 1) Anders Lindback (38 saves on 40 shots)

Around the Division: Springfield shuts out Providence 2-0…Lehigh Valley beats Hershey in a shootout 3-2…Charlotte beats Hartford 4-3. Bridgeport was off.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.692 percentage points) — Penguins (.643) — Providence (.629) — Charlotte (.575) — Bridgeport (.552) — Hartford (.492) — Springfield (.492) — Hershey (.475)

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are leaving Milwaukee tonight. I don’t know if they are flying back tonight or tomorrow. Next game is Friday in Binghamton.

Power Rankings Monday at 4. Check them out then.

Let’s Go Pens!