Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

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!

Have a Nice Dea — Pens WIN 7-2

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When Teddy Blueger finally earned his long overdue recall to the Pittsburgh Penguins this week, that left a huge offensive hole in the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins lineup. Blueger was and is a utility type player that can take face-offs kill penalties and put up points in most situations.

Enter J-S Dea, who is slowly creeping up the all time list in the categories of mention in Penguins history. Dea acted as the de facto top centerman tonight and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins win 7-2 Friday night at home in a runaway against the Cleveland Monsters.

Four straight wins for the Penguins. Despite this, the Penguins will remain in sixth place as just about everyone else in the Atlantic Division is as hot or hotter than the Pens.

Tristan Jarry opposed Matiss Kivlenieks.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Cam Brown replaced Blueger up front, Matt Abt returned and replaced Kevin Spinozzi. Wilkes-Barre released Dan Fick back to the Wheeling Nailers.

First Period: The Penguins came out of the All-Star break on a tear in their first period back. They overwhelmed the Monsters and took a 3-0 lead to the break. Offense, defense and goaltending was firing on all cylinders.

Joseph Blandisi continued his hot start with the Penguins with this goal that made it 1-0. It was followed by an Ethan Prow power play goal in the slot that made it 2-0. Before the Monsters knew what hit them, J-S Dea cleaned top a centering pass from Adam Johnson after a nice defensive play by Matt Abt at center ice which made it 3-0.

Here they all are, starting with Blandisi…

Shots were 17-9 heading into the…

Second Period: Penguins were caught flat footed and whatever Monsters head coach John Madden said to his group in the room worked because Cleveland responded in kind and started to run over the Penguins.

But Tristan Jarry, who didn’t get a star tonight, was on his game.

Dan DeSalvo broke through finally for the Monsters on a power play that made it 3-1.

Here is your turning point. The Penguins, who hadn’t done jack in a period where the Monsters were just at the boiling point, headed to a penalty kill when Adam Johnson was nabbed for a trip at 15:28. Wilkes-Barre got out of the penalty kill clean and added a Ryan Haggerty goal before the horn to carry a three goal lead to the third period.

don’t entirely know if that goal was legal or not. It looked like Haggerty’s stick deflected the puck slightly above the crossbar but there was no review and no pushback from Madden and the Cleveland bench.

Third Period: Penguins volleyed the momentum here until they put Cleveland away for good. J-S Dea added a second goal on a power play, then off the face-off Dillon Simpson scored on a wraparound that made it 5-2, but then Anthony Angello and Sam Miletic scored to ice the game away.

Here is Dea’s goal.

Cleveland didn’t GIF the Simpson goal. AHL teams GIFing goals has to be a necessity at this level anymore.

Anthony Angello with a dart through the five hole of Kivlenieks that made it 6-2.

I like when Angello plays angry.

Finally Sam Miletic finished off a 2 on 1 with Cam Brown that made it 7-2. Brown’s shot was saved by Kivlenieks but Miletic was there for the rebound and backhanded it in.

Game devolved from there with J-S Dea getting a penalty for leaving the bench during an altercation. He didn’t get in a fight, so it remains to be seen on whether he is suspended by the AHL. It’s Rule 70 of the AHL Rulebook if you want to check it out.

The Good: That first period was OK if you like perfect. Wilkes-Barre ran over Cleveland and while the Monsters tried to get close, the Penguins had an answer every time.

The Bad: The second period was hard to watch at times. Cleveland has struggled of recent. A better organized offensive team cashes on the opportunities Cleveland had in the second and maybe this turns into more of a game.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: No help, really. Providence beats Charlotte in a tight one in North Carolina 2-1 in overtime….Lehigh Valley beat Bridgeport in a wild one in Connecticut 7-5….Springfield beats Hartford 5-2. Hershey was off.

Standings: Charlotte 67 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Bridgeport 54 — Providence 53 — Springfield 52 — Penguins 51 — Hershey 45 — Hartford 43

Setting up Saturday: Providence and Charlotte rematch. Lehigh Valley travels to Hershey. Springfield hosts Utica. The Comets were shutout in Syracuse Friday and are fourth in the North and are battling. Bridgeport comes to Wilkes-Barre.

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 3-2 in overtime at home against Indy.

Video Highlights:

Bridgeport is in Saturday. Gameday setup hits the blog at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

You’re My Blue — Pens WIN 5-4 (OT)

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Teddy Blueger had a ho-hum regulation. No points and really uncharacteristic of the Penguins center and All-Star snub Penguins leading scorer.

But then overtime began and Blueger made his presence felt.

Blueger’s overtime game winner gives the Penguins a hard earned win on the Southern Tier of New York as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Binghamton Senators 5-4 in overtime.

It’s a game that the Penguins should have won easily, but Binghamton kept getting off the mat.

Normally when weaker teams play teams that never say die they curl up and wither away. You’ll often read me state that there are great, good and bad teams at this level. The Penguins aren’t a bad team, the Penguins aren’t a great team (this year) but they are a good team and in a division loaded with teams that are way too inconsistent (besides Charlotte) it’s performances like these that the Penguins are going to need in their push toward playoffs.

Tristan Jarry opposed Cory Schneider.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: No changes personnel wise. Sam Miletic and Anthony Angello swapped spots up top, that’s all.

The Penguins released Will O’Neill Friday. It was a mutual release. O’Neill became a defensive liability and it didn’t help that he took up a veteran spot. There were better options. I think he’s probably done at this level but I could be wrong. We’ll see.

First Period: Starts where one team didn’t play the night before can be a bit of a trick, but any ill will concerns of a poor start by the Penguins were snuffed out in the first minute when Joseph Blandisi did this:

Binghamton turnover and Blandisi was off to the races, had Angello as a trailer and probably looked him off and wired a shot past Schneider for the early goal just :46 in.

Penguins killed two penalties in the period. In one, Linus Ölund had a blind, spin-o-rama drop pass set up for Anthony Angello who skated in unabated and…

…Cory Schneider made the save.

Penguins would get a late crack on the power play and All-Star Ethan Prow would waste no time in doubling the Penguins lead.

That is points in eight straight games for Ethan Prow and the six power play goals by him puts him in a tie with Teddy Blueger for tops on the team.

Second Period: Frankly, the Penguins were lucky to get out of this period with the lead. After going up 4-1, Binghamton storms back to score two and pull within one. Wilkes-Barre was outshot 15-11 in the period and were getting steamrolled. Apropos of nothing, Binghamton just kept getting off the mat and coming. The Penguins added two goals in the period but it was like Binghamton was unfazed here and scored three.

Here they are, starting off with Ryan Haggerty with a seeing eye shot that Schneider was screened on that made it 3-0 Wilkes-Barre.

Tariq Hammond with the unintentional screen of his goaltender there.

Ryan Schmelzer scored a power play goal on nice tic tac toe passing setup to bring the Devils on the board.

Adam Johnson would score a few minutes later on a pin balling puck that Cory Schneider was unable to smother entirely and it was 4-1 Penguins.

J-S Dea with an assist on the goal here, he quietly has 18 points in 18 games.

But Binghamton kept swinging, and got two more goals before the horn. Another power play goal, this time by John Quenneville, sweeping in a rebound of a Nick Lappin shot that made it 4-2.

Then Blake Pietila scored a goal similar to the Haggerty goal to open the period when his shot was not stopped by Tristan Jarry with Kevin Czuczman getting tangled up with Quenneville down low and setting a partial screen on his net minder that brought the Devils to within one.

Third Period: Blake Pietila added his second of the game on a goal that you could see coming like a bad car crash. Pietila waited out Jarry for an hour before he scored to bring the Devils even at four a piece.

Penguins had to sweat out a penalty and were successful on the kill and it was off to…

Overtime: I Periscoped it. It’s not long.

Teddy Blueger scored :41 in. Ballgame.

 

The Good: Three game win streak for the Penguins and 8-0-0-0 all time against the Binghamton Devils. Binghamton didn’t go away all night and the Penguins built up enough of a lead to get them to OT and the Blueger heroics.

The Bad: Two more power play goals agains gave Binghamton life and if it wasn’t for a player of such high caliber of Blueger on OT who knows how this one would shake out.

Three Stars:

Around the Division: Hershey beats Laval 4-2…Bridgeport beats Lehigh Valley 4-1 to stop the bleeding for the Sound Tigers…Charlotte gets back in the win column with a 5-2 win in Hartford and Providence beats Springfield 3-2.

Standings: Charlotte 66 — Bridgeport 54 — Lehigh Valley 53 — Providence 51 — Springfield 50 — Penguins 49 — Hershey 45 — Hartford 43

Wheeling Update: Nailers and Royals went to a shootout and the Royals won 6-5 the box is here.

Video Highlights: Are here.

Pens are off until next Friday as the AHL in whole hits the All-Star break. Skills Competition is Sunday with the game on Monday. If anything interesting happens there I may drop in here with a blog piece. Otherwise but for big time news, check out the Power Rankings on Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Feeling Blue(ger) — Pens WIN 5-2

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I don’t want to say that we have reached the swan song of Teddy Blueger, but we are getting close.

A pair of goals and an assist for the Penguins centerman and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins obliterate the stone cold Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2 Wednesday morning in Connecticut.

There isn’t any room for Teddy Blueger at his natural center position right now in Pittsburgh. The one thing that is a strength of both the NHL team and AHL team is down the middle. All Blueger can do is take the assignments as they come. If he continues to light it up down here in Wilkes-Barre, Jim Rutherford and Company may have no choice but to call him up and make room for him.

Remains to be seen. Enjoy him while you still can, is what I am saying.

Tristan Jarry opposed Christopher Gibson.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi made his Penguins debut and went top line with Teddy Blueger and Anthony Angello. Cam Brown took warmups but was the scratch. Ryan Scarfo dropped to the third line, Ryan Haggerty moved up to that line also and Joseph Cramarossa was back in with Ölund and Hayes. Macoy Erkamps was back in for Tim Erixon who was the veteran removed to allow Cramarossa to get in today.

First Period: Penguins got out to a quick start with Joseph Blandisi getting a goal in his first game as a Penguin.

He initially put a shot on, which was blocked and stayed in the slot and collected his rebound and scored.

Tristan Jarry had to stop a Jeff Kubiak penalty shot when Kubiak was hooked shorthanded when the Penguins were on a power play.

Later, Teddy Blueger steals a puck in the neutral zone, skates in and scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

Decent first period for the Penguins who outshot the Sound Tigers 8-3.

Second Period: Tons of goals and momentum swings.

Ryan Haggerty made it 3-0 after he wheeled around the face-off dot and unleashed a shot that made it 3-0.

That ended Chris Gibson’s day, enter Jeremy Smith.

Wilkes-Barre then scores :11 apart when Ethan Prow puts a shot on goal that Teddy Blueger pounces on, he wheels around Gibson and scores to make it 4-0 on a power play. Then, off of the ensuing face-off Ryan Scarfo intercepts a pass up the ice on the far wall and finds a cutting Ryan Haggerty in front to make it 5-0 before the Sound Tigers knew what hit them.

Here are the goals:

The Penguins at this point had more goals (5) then the Sound Tigers had shots (4)

Bridgeport Head Coach Brent Thompson used his time out and out of that on the very next shift, Chris Casto scored to break up the Tristan Jarry would-be shutout bid.

(Taylor didn’t GIF any goals this morning)

Tanner Fritz connected on a Sound Tigers power play that made it 5-2. Momentum was sliding on the Sound Tigers side, quickly.

Turning point of the game was when the Penguins killed a Zach Trotman penalty at the games halfway point. If the Sound Tigers scored here to cut the goal to two, it would have completely changed the complexion of the game.

Third Period: In hindsight, that power play that the Sound Tigers had at the midway point seemed like their final push because they took two penalties late in the second and the third period was ultimately benign. Ryan Haggerty was denied a few chances at his hat trick and Tristan Jarry had a few key late saves to preserve the win.

The Good: These morning starts are tricky, but the Penguins jumped out to a 5-0 start and withstood a small pushback from Bridgeport. Having Chris Summers and Zach Trotman on the blue line back is really important.

The Bad: Kind of hard to nitpick on this, but the Sound Tigers were getting flattened, called time out, and were a few breaks and bounces from turning this into a much closer game. Wilkes-Barre is going to need to start stringing a full 60 minute effort together if they want success more often than not.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Springfield beat Hartford 7-4 in a game which was bonkers. Ex-Penguins Paul Thompson had four goals. Ex-Penguin Harry Zolnierczyk scored his 100th AHL goal…Lehigh Valley beat Hershey in a shootout, 2-1.

Standings: Charlotte 64 — Bridgeport 52 — Lehigh Valley 51 — Springfield 50 — Providence 47 — Penguins 47 — Hershey 43 — Hartford 42

Penguins are off Friday, Providence hosts Charlotte, Lehigh Valley hosts Hartford and Springfield is in Syracuse.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Doesn’t look like there are any video highlights for this one, sorry.

Week 16 AHL Power Rankings are out Thursday morning, check them out then.

Let’s Go Pens!

Prow Through the Stolarz — Pens WIN 2-1 (OT)

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Gritty win for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, who defeat the understaffed Lehigh Valley Phantoms in overtime, 2-1.

Anthony Stolarz stopped 44 of 46 shots on his conditioning stint from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins shot 70% of their shots at Stolarz directly into the Phantoms logo on Stolarz’s chest. I don’t think that he had many high risk saves that he had to make today. Penguins shooters made it pretty easy for him though the first forty minutes, putting 32 shots on Stolarz.

But it was the Phantoms scoring first, Mike Huntebrinker scored his first of the season with this goal in the opening stages of the third period.

That’s Kevin Czuczman there in front going for the half block. Huntebrinker put it past him and then off the post, Jarry and then in.

The Penguins had two power play opportunities but couldn’t muster anything close to a dangerous look that Stolarz would have had a chance to turn away.

One second after power play expired, Adam Johnson scored his fourth goal in three games that tied the game at one and the Penguins had life again.

Diving block by the Phantoms defender may have taken something off of the shot that changed up on Stolarz.

The teams skated even the rest of the way in the third period and went off to overtime.

After a herky jerky start to overtime whee it looked like a shootout was inevitable, Ethan Prow ended it.

Teddy Blueger drove the net, put a shot on that Stolarz denied but didn’t cover, and Ethan Prow was there to sweep it home. Ball game.

Kind of writing the game story backwards from here. Nothing really happened offensively in the first two periods. The Phantoms has 17 shots through two periods and the Penguins had 17 shots in the second period alone. It was a dominating performance from the Penguins offensively, but all offerings laid at the feet at Anthony Stolarz were easily turned away.

Two rivals on the ice in a game that had importance for both, the Phantoms and Penguins have been reeling of late, so you would think that they would be ornery for a 1 p.m. Monday start. No. They played good, legal hockey for much of the game. Referees Terry Koharski and Ryan Jenken had long leashes today and only called what needed to be.

Tristan Jarry got the start for the Penguins. Here is how they lined up.

Joseph Blandisi was sent down by Pittsburgh on Sunday and is expected to arrive tonight and practice with the team Tuesday before they get on a bus and head to Bridgeport for a 10:30 a.m. start on Wednesday.

Zach Trotman and Chris Summers were both back from their injuries and had big impacts on the ice today, erasing any high chances that any Phantoms players tried to produce. As a result, Joseph Cramarossa had to sit as the extra veteran. Other lineup notes were Ryan Scarfo up with Teddy Blueger and Anthony Angello top line. Cam Brown to third line. Jimmy Hayes up from, Ryan Haggerty down to, fourth line. Patrick McGrath went in for Cramarossa. Macoy Erkamps and Danny Fick (who skated as the extra in warmups) yielded to Summers ands Trotman.

The Good: I like the amount of shots that the Penguins put up today. They ran into a goaltender who was very, very good today in Stolarz, who deserved a better result today.

The Bad: Flipping that, at what point do the shooters try a different angle or release point when Stolarz is getting hit in the chest time after time after time? That may be be nitpicking, though.

Around the Division: Hershey beat the suddenly reeling Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-1. Providence beat Hartford 5-2 and the Bruins collect 5 of 6 points this weekend. Springfield hosted Laval Monday night and lost in overtime 4-3.

Standings: Charlotte 64 — Bridgeport 52 — Lehigh Valley 49 — Springfield 48 — Providence 47 — Penguins 45 — Hershey 42 — Hartford 42

Wheeling Update: The Nailers are off this week.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are practicing Tuesday, will then get on a bus and then head to Bridgeport for a 10:30 morning start against the Sound Tigers. I will have the Gameday setup with your morning coffee bright and early at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Special Teams Slop — Pens LOSE 5-3

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Spare me the Anthony Peters gripes. The Penguins net minder took the net Saturday afternoon against the Hershey Bears and was dealt a 5-3 setback.

Now I am one of Peters biggest critics here, but listen to this logic.

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are severely understaffed right now due to injuries. Patrick McGrath took the warmup today and was the only healthy scratch that the Penguins had.

That is a lot of regular contributors out of the lineup for Wilkes-Barre. It’s a patchwork lineup right now which is top heavy. You have your Blueger’s and Dea’s and Johnson’s, but inconsistency after that.

Anthony Peters can let in 100 goals. If the team ahead of him fails to move their feet to generate any offense and go down 2-0 in the first period like they did Saturday, with the lineup as it currently sits, it’s hard to dig out of against a Hershey Bears team that just has the Penguins number and is playing some excellent hockey of recent.

Peters opposed Ilya Samsonov, who by his own right is a big reason Hershey is playing so well recently. Hershey has now won four in a row.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Sam Lafferty, Matt Abt and Jeff Taylor all were out. We knew that Taylor and Abt left the game with injuries Friday against Rochester, Sam Lafferty was hit hard by Scott Wilson last night in the second period.

The Penguins signed defensemen and Nailers captain Danny Fick to a PTO earlier in the day Saturday. He was paired with Tim Erixon. Kevin Spinozzi went with Ethan Prow and Ryan Scarfo was used as the replacement for Sam Lafferty, but it was J-S Dea in Lafferty’s spot at the second line center.

Tom got an update from Pens head coach Clark Donatelli after the game:

Not mentioned by Tom, but Will O’Neill somehow is day to day as well.

First Period: Jarrett Burton was stopped on a early two on one by Samsonov. It was the only Grade A chance that the Penguins had all period in the six shots they mustered at the Hershey net minder.

Mike Sgarbossa opened the scoring on the power play with this play.

It was the tenth straight game that the Bears score first in.

I thought the entry should have been whistled down for offsides. Since I was not at the game today because of the snow, I had the ability to go back on AHL TV and go frame by frame. You tell me if you think the play should have been whistled down for offsides.

Hershey beat out and icing call and Shane Gersich scored to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.

Icing beat out, no one on the puck, no one marking Gersich. Yuck.

Peters had a big stop in the final minute. But the Penguins were badly outshot 11-6 in the first period. I heard Hart say on radio that the shots were at one point 6-6. The Penguins went the final nine minutes without a shot on goal.

Second Period: Anthony Peters was tremendous in the period. He stopped Nathan Walker right out of the opening face-off and stopped all 12 shots that he faced, including three Hershey power plays.

Adam Johnson scored a goal off of a J-S Dea shot when the Penguins were gift wrapped a two man advantage for a full two minutes.

Penguins hit a few posts in the period. Ethan Prow was freed from the penalty box and hit one. But the story of the period was Peters’ solid play in the second frame with his team down two goals.

Third Period: Hershey added another power play goal when Jayson Megna went pretty much unmarked in the slot with Nathan Walker screening and Hershey took a 3-1 lead.

Teddy Blueger got one back on a Penguins power play that got the Penguins to within one.

But then Joseph Cramarossa had a big hit on Shane Gersich and fought Connor Hobbs…

…but on the ensuing power play Riley Barber connected on the Bears third power play of the game to give Hershey a 4-2 lead.

Penguins got a later power play to possibly get it back to within one but Sam Miletic threw a pass to the point where there was no one but a Bears player. That Bears player was Jayson Megna who did this.

Just burned Tim Erixon and made Anthony Peters look silly.

J-S Dea set up Adam Johnson for his second of the game that cut it to two…

…but with Peters pulled the Penguins would get no closer.

The Good: The Penguins scored three power play goals.

The Bad: The Hershey Bears scored three. One is okay, two is a problem, three is unacceptable. It’s rare that you see a penalty free game. That last thing that you want to see is your penalty kill cost you games.

Oh, Hershey hasn’t won four games in Wilkes-Barre during the regular season since 2012-13 until today.

Three Stars: 3) Adam Johnson (two goals) 2) Mike Sgarbossa (goal, two assists) 1) Jayson Megna (two goals, assist)

Around the Division: Charlotte gets a point because that’s what they do, losing 4-3 in overtime to Toronto….Bridgeport takes down Providence 4-3 in a shootout…Lehigh Valley beats Rochester 3-2 in a shootout….Springfield shuts out Hartford 3-0.

Standings: Charlotte 64 — Bridgeport 52 — Lehigh Valley 48 — Springfield 47 — Providence 45 — Penguins 43 — Hartford 42 – Hershey 38

Wheeling Update: 

Box here.

Video Highlights: I doubt that the Pens will run a package as I suspect the employees will want to make it home safe. If I see one, I will put it here.

Pens are off Sunday and will play Lehigh Valley at 1 p.m. Monday. Gameday setup for that will hit the blog at 9 a.m. I am taking the day off from the big boy job and will be at the Arena.

Let’s Go Pens!

Red Olofssons — Pens LOSE 5-4

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Two sides to this one, three if you factor in the injuries.

One hand, the Penguins played up to a Rochester team that has been at the top of the North Division for months now and lost a close game.

Other hand, Rochester played down to an opponent that lost two defensemen in a game that they badly outshot the home team, 38-23 and only won by one goal.

The Penguins lost defensemen Matt Abt and Jeff Taylor to injuries in the game and played with four defensemen in the third period where the score was 3-3.

Penguins lose 5-4. A pair of goals by Anthony Angello and two goals a piece by Zach Redmond and Victor Olofsson for Rochester.

Tristan Jarry opposed Scott Wedgewood.

Lines were…

…not correct. Zach Trotman did NOT play in the game. Jeff Taylor skated with Tim Erixon on the third defensive pairing. Sam Miletic did play, and he replaced Ryan Scarfo.

First Period: Anthony Angello got the Penguins out front first with this nice pass from Ethan Prow from the point for a 1-0 Penguin lead.

But then Macoy Erkamps fell down, turned the puck over and Zach Redmond sniped in a goal to tie the game at one.

Three people knew the gaol was scored. Jarry, Redmond and the referee who pointed goal. Pretty goal by Redmond.

Jimmy Hayes of all people finished this perfect 2-on-1 with Joseph Cramarossa to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Someone get me a medic!

Dalton Smith ran over Jeff Taylor. Taylor ended up going to the room, then returned, but ultimately didn’t come out for the third.

Second Period: Danny O’Regan scored on a play where all the Penguins on the ice went for a line change leaving zero players on the ice for O’Regan to get an easy pass for a breakaway goal that made it 2-2. I mean just look at this:

I kind off feel sorry for the five guys that jumped on for those coming off, they all got minuses on the play.

Zach Redmond scored his second of the game, this time coming on the top ranked Rochester road power play, and the Penguins trailed 3-2.

Adam Johnson scored a tough breakaway goal when the sides were four on four to make it 3-3.

Penguins needed that goal, as they were getting flattened with their offensive chances.

Third Period: Ethan Prow is unable to corral a bouncing puck that ends up on Victor Olofsson’s stick eventually and the Penguins go down 4-3. Olofsson would beat Jarry high glove again about six minutes later to make it 5-3. Here they are.

Penguins get a late goal with 62 seconds left from Anthony Angello that made it 5-4, but the Penguins frantically tried to tie the game but ran out of time.

The Good: Penguins kept it close on the scoreboard and battled the Americans all night.

The Bad: Losing the two defensemen in Abt and Taylor in the second half of the game ultimately cost the Penguins chances. Rochester outshot Wilkes-Barre 14-6. If the first place Americans didn’t win this game with the Penguins only using four defensemen, that would have been bad.

Indirect Bad: If Zach Trotman can’t go tomorrow, Will O’Neill time, baby!

Wait. Hold up.

Referees Beaudry Halkidis and Andrew Wilk were great tonight. The two teams were chippy tonight, but Wilk / Halkidis kept things under control and didn’t get in the way. The players I think respected that and were more interested in trying to win the game then they were in tearing each others heads off.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley loses 6-5 in overtime at home against Hartford. Providence takes down Springfield 2-1 in a shootout. Everyone else was off.

Standings: Charlotte 63 — Bridgeport 50 — Lehigh Valley 46 — Springfield 45 — Providence 44 — Penguins 43 — Hartford 42 — Hershey 38

Wheeling Update: Nailers got shellacked in Glens Falls by the Adirondack Thunder.

Box here.

Video Highlights:

Penguins and Bears are playing at 3:05 Saturday. In case you haven’t heard, there is a major snowstorm set to impact the area Saturday into Sunday. The game was moved up four hours because of the snowstorm. It’s January and these things happen, but that doesn’t mean I have to drive in it. I am most likely not going to the game Saturday and will likely watch on AHLTV. I don’t have an issue driving in snow. I can drive in snow and have a vehicle capable of driving in snow. It’s the other humanoids in their front wheel drive sedans that don’t know how to drive in the snow and block the road that worry me. It isn’t worth it for me to face an hour plus commute home after the game.

The Penguins seem destined to play, Hershey’s game Sunday in Bridgeport has been postponed to Monday and the Bears are planning on staying in Wilkes-Barre after the game before going up to Bridgeport after the storm passes. I’d like for the teams to just agree to postpone and play at a later date. It’s Hershey. We play them all the time. Wilkes-Barre probably has snow dates built in and it’s not like Hershey is a team like Rochester tonight who is only in once.

Anyway, Gameday setup is here Saturday at 11 a.m. If you do decide to drive out, please be careful.

Let’s Go Pens!