Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Hartford Scare — Pens WIN 5-4 (OT)

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If the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins would have lost this game today in Hartford, you would get no argument from me if you said to me that their playoff chances are done like dinner.

If the way that the Penguins would have lost this particular game, I would be the one telling you that here in this opening.

After going up 4-1 to start the third, Hartford ties it to force overtime, but Adam Johnson scores in the extra session to give the Penguins a 5-4 overtime win and a much needed two points in Connecticut this afternoon.

The Penguins may still not make playoffs, but this afternoon’s game didn’t close the door entirely. Faint hope remains.

John Muse opposed Dustin Tokarski.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Blake Siebenhaler made his Penguins debut on the third defensive pairing with Chris Summers, replacing Macoy Erkamps.

First Period: The Penguins put up a ton of shots at Dustin Tokarski, but couldn’t score. Then, the Wolf Pack put their first shot on goal at Muse and it goes in. Vinni Letteri threw a seemingly harmless backhander at Muse and it found daylight and squeaked in near post.

Later, Ryan Haggerty got credit on a deflected puck which fluttered past Tokarski to even the game at one. Penguins had the only power play of the period and didn’t capitalize.

No GIFs of the goals today. Sorry.

Second Period: Penguins added three goals in the period. Adam Johnson put a shot on Dustin Tokarski and Sam Lafferty was there to collect the rebound and put it in to make it 2-1.

Then the Penguins made it 3-1 when Chris Summers scored his first of the season when a puck squeaked through Tokarski.

Hartford picked up the pace a bit, putting a few pucks on Muse and even were the benefactors of two power plays, but Muse closed the door on all of the chances.

Joseph Blandisi deflected a Zach Trotman shot that made it 4-1.

Brandon Halverson replaced Dustin Tokarski in net.

Man, I miss those GIFs.

Third Period: When Ethan Prow turned a puck over to Steven Fogarty to make it a 4-2, game, I felt that it was a bad omen.

When Peter Holland scored to make it 4-3 when the Penguins flew the defensive zone, I knew it was a matter of when, not if.

Jimmy Hayes took a trip at 9:51 and Sean Day let one rip six seconds later for a power play goal for the Wolf Pack and a tie game.

What an implosion. Hartford is a last place team!

Wilkes-Barre continued to play fast and loose. Some of the exit passes were lazy and blind. Then Blake Siebenhaler turned a puck over to Peter Holland but Johnny Muse was there to make the cool glove save. I don’t think its was a matter of playing not to lose, as much as Hartford just going for the kill at the hop at the start of the third, knowing that they couldn’t win the game with one shot, but methodically eating the elephant one bite at a time, if I can use a metaphor.

Overtime: Blog story is absent of visuals and I apologize, but I Periscoped it for you here.

That is Adam Johnson with the goal. If you don’t want to sit through the whole thing, Coal Street was good on getting the GIF of the game winning shot up on Twitter quickly:

The Good: Getting out to a three goal lead.

The Bad: Blowing said three goal lead.

Turning Point: There were a few which are crumbled up in a ball here in my mom’s basement. The glove save by Muse on Holland to preserve the tie to get it to overtime get an honorable mention, but let’s go with Adam Johnson’s game winning shot.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Charlotte loses to Bridgeport 7-3. Checkers are sputtering, but they won Friday and Saturday….Springfield beats Providence 5-1. Hershey beats Lehigh Valley 4-3 to tie a franchise record with a. point in 15 straight games.

Standings: Charlotte 75 — Bridgeport 67 — Hershey 61 — Providence 61 — Lehigh Valley 60 — Penguins 57 — Springfield 54 — Hartford 50

Wheeling Update: Nailers take down the Fort Wayne Komets in Indiana 6-5 in a shootout this afternoon. Alec Butcher had a goal and two assists and scored the shootout winners for the Nailers.

In the evening update, I didn’t see any video highlights from Hartford or Wilkes-Barre’s accounts.

Pens are back in action Friday at home against Hershey. News as it comes this week.

Let’s Go Pens!

No Firepower — Pens LOSE 3-2 (OT)

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Another microcosm of the season as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Utica Comets play to a first period deadlock, then Utica scores in the final minute of the second and again in the opening stages of the third before the Penguins bounce back and score two to tie, with the the tying goal coming in the final minute of regulation. Cam Darcy’s goal in overtime seals it for Utica, and the Penguins fall 3-2.

I don’t think there was anything special that the Comets did that the Penguins didn’t. Everyone had to work for a goal tonight. They went like this:

— A tired group of Penguins gets caught on the ice when linesman Luke Murray rules that Joseph Blandisi did not beat out an icing call, thus trapping Wilkes-Barre out late. Wacey Hamilton wins a face-off back to Brendan Woods and the Comets go up at 19:24 of the second period.

— Vincent Arseneau puts home a juicy rebound left by Tristan Jarry off a shot initially stopped from the point and it’s 2-0 Utica at 2:15 of the third period.

— J-S Dea wins a face-off back to Sam Miletic and the Pens get on the board at 5:46.

— Ryan Haggerty sweeps the tying goal across the line on a power play in the final minute of the game at 19:17 with Tristan Jarry pulled for the extra attacker.

Nifty passing sees Cam Darcy get free and he scores on Jarry in overtime to give the Comets the extra point.

Is it a game where a player like Teddy Blueger would have had an impact? I think so, but he’s up in Pittsburgh and you have to play the cards you’re dealt.

Utica only had 23 shots tonight. The Penguins had 37. I think it was a mixture of lack of a true finisher and the fact that Utica rolled out future hall of famer Michael Leighton in goal. Leighton stopped 35 of 37 and some of his saves were highlight reel. If the Comets are looking for a hero, they found them in Michael Leighton. He down right stole the game for the Comets tonight.

The Penguins are running out of time in looking to be serious contenders in the playoff race. Yes, it’s February, but if you start March ten points back, it’s a tough hole to dig out of and you are looking at three other games on the scoreboard looking for things to break your way.

Gap is now four points to fifth place Hershey and five to fourth place Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms played Friday while the Pens and Bears were off. They won in overtime to Bridgeport at home. Saturday, they played the Bears in Hershey and lost in a shootout. That’s bad for the Pens for a lot of reasons. First, don’t give points to both teams on Friday when both teams are playoff teams right now. Second, don’t give points to both teams when both teams you are pursuing for what is most likely to be the final playoff spot in the Atlantic.

Lineup was the same they used in Hershey Wednesday. John Muse backed up. I don’t know what is going on in that regard. Anthony Peters I do not think is hurt, but that whole situation with him this year has been a jumbled mess on top of a much bigger jumbled mess called the 2018-19 Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

The Good? The good was coming back from two in the third period to manufacture at least a point.

The Bad? The bad was Utica not really interested in putting a ton of shots on net and the Penguins just throwing everything they could at Leighton that the Comets net minder turned away easily. I didn’t see a ton of traffic in front of him and his night was pretty easy from where I sat.

Turning point was the blown icing call. The Pens were looking for something to happen, good or bad, and something bad ended up happening. They got a point, but they never recovered.

That’s basically it. More Sunday after Hartford. Gameday setup hits the blog Sunday at 11.

Shootout in the Chocolate Factory — Pens LOSE 4-3 (SO)

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In an important game for both teams currently sitting out of a playoff spot in a midweek in February, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins stood toe to toe with the Hershey Bears.

Ever the championship opponent that they are, the Hershey Bears stood right back.

Bears take this one in a shootout. If I didn’t write these road games on the fly after the intermissions, I would just start at the third period and go from there.

Ah, hell, let’s do it anyway.

After the Penguins took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission, the Hershey Bears faced a deficit in the third period and only one time before after trailing after two periods.

Tristan Jarry goes out to play a puck, and with visions of Mike Sgarbossa scoring on an empty net the last time Tristan Jarry tried that move in this rink, the Pens caught a small break and avoided the embarrassment of having a goal scored in a wide open net with the goaltender nowhere to be located but still on the ice.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The Penguins chased, panicked, took a penalty and on the delayed call Tyler Lewington scored to tie the game.

The Penguins responded immediately with Ryan Haggerty throwing a puck at the net trying to find teammate Ryan Scarfo for a back door tap in goal. Only the puck hit the skate of Brian Pinho and deflected into his own net to give the Penguins the lead.

Adam Johnson was not able to score on a penalty shot where he was slashed by Lewington. That would have made it 4-2 and would have changed the entire complexion of the game.

Later, Haggerty, who ended up having a very eventful period, was tagged for a very soft tripping call out of a face-off that put the Penguins on the penalty kill. Jayson Megna, playing in his 400th professional game, would score a power play goal for Hershey on a double deflection on an Aaron Ness shot from the point that made it 3-3.

That forced overtime, where Adam Johnson hit the post. Sam Miletic and Zach Trotman ran into each other. No one would score but it was end to end action.

Riley Barber and Nathan Walker would score in the shootout. Sam Miletic and Jimmy Hayes would not. Penguins lose 4-3.

Tristan Jarry opposed Vitek Vanecek.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Anthony Angello slid to fourth line center, Jimmy Hayes went back in for Linus Ölund on the fourth line and Macoy Erkamps went in for Tim Erixon on defense. John Muse backed up Tristan Jarry. The Penguins reassigned Cam Brown and Kevin Spinozzi on Tuesday. Thomas DiPauli is still week to week and Jeff Taylor is upgraded to day to day. I saw picture of him on the Pens social media of him practicing in a red no contact sweater.

First Period: Jarry was called into duty quickly, stopping Mike Sgarbossa in the games opening sequences.

Vitek Vanecek responded with a nice stop on a deflection by Jimmy Hayes.

Hershey would get on the board first with a goal by Nathan Walker from the top of the slot.

That goal snapped the Penguins to attention because they took the period over from there. They scored on their only power play of the period with this goal by Kevin Czuczman that tied the game at one.

Jarrett Burton may have deflected the puck in front there. They Penguins won a puck battle and kept the puck in.

I counted just two shots on goal on Jarry after Walker’s goal. The Penguins had a stranglehold on possession an outshot the Bears 14-4 heading into the…

Second Period: Period remained a closely contested affair. Pens had two power plays but didn’t capitalize. Hershey had some better looks in the period but Tristan Jarry turned them all away.

Jimmy Hayes had a breakaway in the first period but couldn’t score. He found himself on another in the second and would have been chased down had he tried to advance closer towards the goal so he did this instead:

If you can’t beat them with speed, use an old school windmill type slap shot goal and blow away the opposing goaltender to give your team a lead on the road against an opponent that hasn’t lost in regulation in over a month. Superb goal.

Third Period: Gave it to you in the lede.

Overtime: I Periscope these when I am not at the games. Here is the entire overtime and shootout for you if you want to sit through 10 plus minutes of camera shake. One day I’ll get a professional setup and just put an iPad on a table and position it towards the TV and walk away. Today wasn’t the day.

The Good: As mentioned in the open, the Penguins stood toe to toe with a division rival in a tightly contested affair.

The Bad: I don’t think anything was figured out here. It’s going to be a very interesting finish.

Turning Point: Adam Johnson’s miss on the penalty shot in the third period would have given Wilkes-Barre a two goal lead with 9:57 to play. Instead, the referees get Haggerty for an awful tripping call and Hershey ties it on the ensuing power play.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Hartford beats Toronto 3-2. Everyone else was off.

Standings: Charlotte 71 — Bridgeport 62 — Providence 59 — Lehigh Valley 57 — Hershey 57 — Penguins 54 — Springfield 52 — Hartford 48

Wheeling Update: Cam Brown and Kevin Spinozzi with an immediate impact in their returns, scoring in a 5-2 win over Reading.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are off Friday; check out the Week 19 AHL Power Rankings Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Not So Grand — Pens LOSE 4-1

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The AHL scoreboard tonight was favorable for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to cut into the deficit they face right now as a non-playoff team.

In a tight contest in Grand Rapids, the Penguins fail to show up for a third period which started 1-1 and lose 4-1 to the Griffins.

Anthony Peters took the loss. While some of the goals he allowed were some real head scratchers, his job is to stop the puck, not score it. The Penguins cannot expect to beat the Central Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins by scoring just one goal.

The Penguins go 1-2 on the Midwestern road trip and head into a Wednesday contest in Hershey with huge implications. The Bears are on an 11 game point streak. More on them in a bit.

Peters opposed Patrik Rybar.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Linus Ölund replaced Cam Brown at 4C, Anthony Angello replaced Jimmy Hayes at 4RW. Tim Erixon replaced Macoy Erkamps on the Chris Summers pairing. The Pittsburgh Penguins reassigned Tristan Jarry to Wilkes-Barre Saturday afternoon.

First Period: Griffins have a lot of offense in their lineup yet are somehow last in the AHL in power play overall. But, their power play at home clicks at just about 20%. Got all that? Good, cause they scored the only goal of the period on said power play. Filip Zadina

Anthony Peters had to stop a Chris Terry penalty shot earlier in the period. The Penguins could not score on a late power play.

Period featured a lot of pace and some feistiness. Shots were 13-12 Griffins.

Second Period: Wilkes-Barre needed to kill a penalty at the beginning of the period and got out of it fine, with Peters making some nice stops to get through it.

Then, the Penguins tied the game on a deflected pass by Ethan Prow that made it to Sam Miletic’s stick and the Penguins rookie backhanded the puck in.

The Penguins and Griffins played a careful second half of the period and the score stayed 1-1 heading into the…

Third Period: The Griffins would score in the first minute of the period when Anthony Peters makes an initial stop on a shot and thinks the puck went right when it went left, right to the stick of Colin Campbell who scored to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead and one that they would not relinquish.

Libor Sulak would score around half way when a shot from the point is stopped again by Peters but no one was in front to clear away Sulak who scored to make it 3-1.

Griffins would add to the lead when Matt Puempel would score on a one time at the top of the near face-off ring on a two man Griffins advantage that made it 4-1 Grand Rapids.

(no goal GIF here, sorry)

Wilkes-Barre had a couple of chances late, but those chances never came to pass.

The Good: Wilkes-Barre played the Central Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins tight for 40 minutes of play.

The Bad: Both teams had a chance to win in the third period, and the Penguins never got out of the starting block and were down 3-1 before they knew what hit them, then Puempel’s power play goal on the two man advantage added insult to injury. The killer instinct just was no where to be found on anyone in a white sweater and it cost them on a night where the out of town scoreboard was kind to the Penguins.

Turning Point: Colin Campbell’s goal :45 into the third period would give the Griffins a lead they would not relinquish, and it held up as the game winning sequence and buried Wilkes-Barre in the process.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Hershey’s point streak grows to eleven, beating Charlotte 3-2 in a shootout. The Bears got a late goal from Riley Barber to preserve their eleven game point streak. Providence sees their twelve game point streak end in Bridgeport, losing 4-2. Lehigh Valley lays an egg at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack and lose 2-1. Wolf Pack win for the first time nine games. Springfield’s free fall continues, losing 4-2 in Toronto.

Standings: Charlotte 71 — Bridgeport 60 — Providence 57 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Hershey 53 — Penguins 53 — Springfield 52 — Hartford 46

Wheeling Update: Nailers went to Worcester and won 5-1. Michael Phillips had two goals and an assist. Jordan Ruby stopped 33 of 34 shots. John Muse is probably heading back early next week.

Sunday: Wilkes-Barre will fly home. Hartford and Lehigh Valley rematch in Allentown, so to Charlotte and Hershey, Providence hosts Syracuse; Bridgeport hosts Utica. Springfield is the other team idle.

Maybe I will jump on here and put out a blog post recapping the Sunday action. Stay tuned.

Video Highlights:

Let’s Go Pens!

Good Sam Club — Pens WIN 5-2

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A good night to be named Sam tonight as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins take down the Milwaukee Admirals 5-2 Friday night in Wisconsin to keep pace with the playoff race in the Atlantic Division.

A pair of power play goals by Sam Lafferty in the first period and a shorthanded goal by Sam Miletic in the second brace the Penguins and make things easy for starting goaltender John Muse.

Muse opposed Troy Grosenick.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: John Muse went in net for the Pens, not Anthony Peters which flummoxed those in tune to the situation at the time.

J-S Dea returned from his two game suspension and Ben Sexton returned from his injury. Anthony Angello and Linus Ölund sat. On defense, Macoy Erkamps took the place of Tim Erixon on the Chris Summers pairing.

The Penguins made a minor trade with the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday afternoon, acquiring rookie forward Trevor Yates in exchange for future considerations. Yates was assigned to the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

First Period: J-S Dea told broadcaster Nick Hart that he wanted his team have a hot start tonight in Milwaukee. He got it. The Penguins blitzkrieged the Admirals off the hop, getting an early power play goal from Sam Lafferty and a goal from the fourth line by Jimmy Hayes. Shots were, at one point, 10-1 favoring the Penguins who were just getting Grade A chance after Grade A chance. The Penguins added a third goal on yet another power play goal scored by Sam Lafferty. John Muse didn’t have to do much in the period, but did manage to stop all eight shots he faced.

Here are the goals starting with Lafferty’s first.

Then the second, on a sky hook clearing attempt by Ethan Prow to the stick of Joseph Cramarossa who makes a move and puts a shot on Grosenick which is stopped, but Jimmy Hayes is right there for the rebound to make it 2-0.

And finally, Sam Lafferty’s second power play goal of the period makes it 3-0. Power move through the Admirals defensemen to roof a backhander over Grosenick and in.

Second Period: Wilkes-Barre gave up four power plays in the period to the Admirals. They were outshot 12-7, but added to their lead and made it 4-0 with Sam Miletic scoring a shorthanded goal.

Not to be outdone, the Admirals scored a shorthanded goal of their own when Anthony Richard drove down the wing and beat Muse to make it 4-1.

Duncan Siemens laid a big hit on Cam Brown and had to fight Matt Abt. Here that sequence is, followed by the shorthanded goals scored by each side.

Here’s Miletic’s goal. Nice pass by Joseph Blandisi set up the goal.

And then Richard’s goal.

Third Period: Quiet period, really. Joseph Blandisi found daylight between he and Grosenick and snuck in a shot that made it 5-1 Penguins.

Then Laurent Dauphin, acquired in a trade earlier in the day with Arizona, tipped in a Duncan Siemens shot from the point that made it 5-2.

But the Admirals didn’t get any closer. No penalties in the third.

Milwaukee would outshoot the Penguins 35-28.

The Good: Dea wanted a strong start and got one. The Penguins were good in Rockford Wednesday and good against Bridgeport last Saturday, the breaks didn’t fall their way. The Penguins made the breaks go their way, almost willing them, in the first period and went up 3-0 and rode Muse when they needed to and took away a big two points.

The Bad: Letting Milwaukee back in to the contest in the second period is muted a bit when you were already up 3-0 to start the period. If the Penguins brought the same killer instinct in the second period, the game would have never been in doubt.

Turning Point: That second power play goal by Lafferty in the first was a highlight reel goal that took all the air out of the sails from the Admirals. They tried to make a game of it, but were too far behind to push for a threat.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses in Utica 5-2. Big third period by the Comets took down the previously undefeated after leading after two periods Phantoms…Providence continues its hot run and takes down Bridgeport 2-1. Syracuse shuts out Hartford 6-0 and Springfield was throttled in Rochester 7-1. Hershey and Charlotte were off, they play a doubleheader starting Saturday in Hershey.

Standings: Charlotte 70 — Bridgeport 58 — Providence 57 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Penguins 53 — Springfield 52 — Hershey 51 — Hartford 44

Setting Up Your Saturday: Springfield is in Toronto for a 4 p.m. start against the Marlies. Providence and Bridgeport rematch in Connecticut. Pens travel to Grand Rapids. Hershey and Charlotte meet in Chocolatetown and Lehigh Valley drops by Hartford.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were defeated in overtime 4-3 in Manchester. Troy Josephs had a goal and an assist.

Video Highlights:

Gameday setup for Saturday’s contest against the first place in the Central Division Grand Rapids Griffins hits the blog Saturday at 3 with the game action going live at 7.

Let’s Go Pens!

Microcosms in Rockford — Pens LOSE 2-1

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Wilkes-Barre loses another 2-1 contest where all of the offense was made in the first period. It’s really becoming the microcosm of the season.

– Start slow. The Pens haven’t been a playoff team in a while now, lingering around the fifth and sixth place seeds in the the Atlantic Division.

– Get hot, but run into interference. After getting outshot 14-7 in the first period by Rockford, the Pens go on to outshoot the IceHogs 39-13.

– Come up empty. Despite the shot total, they could not solve Anton Forsberg in the Rockford crease.

It’s really a one game summary of the season in whole. The Penguins are now two games removed from a four game win streak and despite this, are now seventh in a division full of hot teams around them namely the Providence Bruins and Hershey Bears.

Anthony Peters opposed the aforementioned Forsberg in net.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: The Penguins signed Tim Erixon to a contract for the rest of the season earlier in the week. Tristan Jarry was recalled to Pittsburgh after it was announced that Matt Murray is day to day with an upper body injury. John Muse was recalled from Wheeling and arrived to the arena late.

That is just the off ice stuff. On ice, Sam Lafferty was back in and bumped out Pat McGrath. He centered Cramarossa and Hayes on fourth line. On defense, Kevin Czuczman returned and was paired with Trotman. Erixon went from top pair to third pair with Summers and bumped out Macoy Erkamps.

J-S Dea served the final game of his two game suspension.

First Period: Goals came quick.

Josh McArdle scored at 1:42 of the first when Peters made an initial save when the puck squirted to the slot for him and he scored to put the IceHogs on the board:

63 seconds later, Jarrett Burton scores to tie the game after he raced in unabated from center ice and wired a shot over Anton Forsberg to tie the game at 1.

The Penguins were getting flattened by the IceHogs and took a bunch of unnecessary penalties. Three of them in fact and a pair that gave the IceHogs a two man advantage for over a minute and Rockford’s 30th out of 31 AHL teams power play connected to reestablish the lead at 2-1.

Luke Johnson connected with Dylan Sikura.

Wilkes-Barre was outshot 14-7.

Second Period: Penguins outshot the IceHogs 19-6 in the middle frame but were unable to solve Anton Forsberg. They managed to kill two penalties in the period as well but Forsberg was dialed in.

Third Period: Penguins fail to cash on two power plays awarded in the period, have to kill a penalty late and with Peters pulled for the extra attacker were never able to get the equalizing goal.

The Good: Quantity of shots was there. Were they good shots? Most of them were, yeah. Effort was there after the second period.

The Bad: Another 2-1 setback.

Turning Point: The two man advantage Rockford had in the first period holds up after Forsberg stayed dialed in after the Jarrett Burton blemish against him.

Three Stars: 3) Luke Johnson (power play goal) 2) Josh McArdle (goal) 1) Anton Forsberg (45 saves on 46 shots)

Around the Division: Hershey stays hot, defeats Springfield 4-2 in Massachusetts…Charlotte loses 5-1 at home to a desperate Cleveland team spilling points everywhere.

Standings: Charlotte 70 — Bridgeport 58 — Providence 55 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Springfield 52 — Hershey 51 — Penguins 51 — Hartford 44

Things are tight. But do you really think the Penguins are a playoff contending team right now?

Wheeling Update: Nailers are off, they play in Manchester, New Hampshire this Friday.

Video Highlights:

Pens travel up to Milwaukee for a Friday meeting against the Admirals at 8 Wilkes-Barre time. Gameday setup is here Friday at 4. Check out the AHL Power Rankings Thursday before.

Let’s Go Pens!

No Offense To You — Pens LOSE 2-1

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These are going to be a big two points lost with the Penguins position in the standings and with how tight things are down the stretch.

A 2-1 setback to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight against a team that was 3-7 coming in their last ten. The Penguins put up seven goals Friday night against Lake Erie but faced a Sound Tigers team that always plays Wilkes-Barre tough.

The Penguins swept the Cleveland Monsters 4-0 and only allowed three goals against in the four games series. The Sound Tigers give the Penguins fits every time they meet up. Styles make fights, I guess.

The Penguins lost J-S Dea to a two game suspension. He missed tonight and will miss Wednesday in Rockford. I don’t want to pin the loss entirely on the fact that Dea was sat down for two games.

And it’s my fault for not having a blog post at the ready in the wake of the Dea news. He left the bench early as there was a scrum late in a blowout Friday. The rulebook calls for an automatic six game suspension. He only got two, so some leniency was given in the eyes of the League.

Hard to argue that point, but that’s the price you pay sometimes when your parent team wins Stanley Cups and is a contender year after year. This game was there for the Penguins to take, but they lacked any offensive punch, registering a paltry four shots on goal through about fifteen minutes in the third and squandered a stellar performance by Tristan Jarry in net and get no points on a night where Lehigh Valley and Springfield both lose and see their four game winning streak snapped at four.

Jarry opposed Jeremy Smith.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Linus Ölund took Dea’s spot at second line center. Patrick McGrath went in on the fourth line with some shuffling at that line. Kevin Czuczman picked up a knock Friday and Tim Erixon went in for him on defense.

All the offense happened in the first period.

Sound Tigers took the lead early when Jeff Kubiak took a juicy rebound off a Ben Holmstrom shot to give Bridgeport a 1-0 lead.

Penguins were getting run around a bit which ended up being foreshadowing to the full sixty minutes. Ethan Prow netted a power play goal that tied the game at one.

Scott Eansor scored with :20 left on a turnaround shot that went through Erixon’s legs and in.

That was it for the goals.

Wilkes-Barre took two penalties to open the second, Tristan Jarry remained dialed in, Penguins couldn’t cash on a power play at the end of the period which bled over to the third period, Sound Tigers kept the heat on Jarry and dominated offensive zone time and Jeremy Smith, not really bothered or tested in the third period was up to the task with Jarry pulled for the extra man in the final ninety seconds of the game.

The Good: Ethan Prow will one day join Teddy Blueger as an eventual mainstay with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Bad: The Penguins wasted one of Tristan Jarry’s better performances of the year and lose to a team who was spilling points all over the place. These are two points that the Penguins are going to wish they had in April.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Providence goes to Charlotte and sweep the Checkers albeit in overtime in both games, winning 1-0…Lehigh Valley loses 2-1 in Hershey to a Bears team that its red hot….Springfield comes up short against Utica 4-3 and Hartford loses 4-1 to Rochester.

Standings: Charlotte 68 — Bridgeport 56 — Providence 55 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Springfield 52 — Penguins 51 — Hershey 47 — Hartford 43

Wheeling Update: Kalamazoo scored three power play goals and beat the Nailers 5-2. John Muse took the loss in goal.

Video Highlights: 

I don’t have the February practice schedule, but I would think that the Penguins are flying out to the Midwest on Monday or Tuesday. IceHogs have won four straight and are going to be a tough matchup for the Penguins. But for anything breaking between now and Wednesday, check out the Gameday setup Wednesday at 4. It’s an 8 o’clock start in Illinois on Wednesday.

Let’s Go Pens!