Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Wedgew00d — Pens LOSE 1-0

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Scott Wedgewood had that look in his eye tonight.

So did John Muse.

So in a goaltender duel where both net defenders become the storyline, mistakes become magnified.

In an equal game overall, the Penguins had one mistake that cost them a goal.

In a tight game where neither goalie gave an inch, that’s all that you need sometimes.

Rochester wins 1-0.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Top line remained intact, the returning J-S Dea centered Adam Johnson and Ryan Haggerty. Troy Josephs was a scratch as Linus Ölund, who centered Johnson and Haggerty Wednesday in Hershey, dropped to the fourth line with Joe Cramarossa and Jarrett Burton. On defense, Jeff Taylor and Will O’Neill replaced Tim Erixon and Stefan Elliott.

First Period: The Penguins looked like a team energized to have their old hand back in J-S Dea, who had three shots in the period. Scott Wedgewood was under bombardment from the Penguins but held Wilkes-Barre out of the back of his net, saving all 16 shots sent his way. John Muse was dialed in too, turning away 11 Amerks shots including two in quick succession from Justin Bailey who had a breakaway on a shot that was saved by Wedgewood on the opposite end of the ice. Bailey collected the puck in the high slot, raced down and put a shot then his rebound on at Muse but was turned away.

Second Period: Will O’Neill with a bonehead turnover on a lazy exit attempt and Victor Olofsson scored to give the Americans a 1-0 lead.

Taylor is too kind. She left out the O’Neill turnover seconds before the goal.

Reminder that Stefan Elliott and Tim Erixon were scratched tonight.

Sam Miletic wasn’t seen much in the second period, as Nick Hart noted his absence on radio.

Wedgewood remained dialed in, turning away the Penguins on a power play late in the period.

John Muse had a great stop late in the second, stopping this Americans bid:

Third Period: Pens threw everything they had at Wedgewood, including some shorthanded stops on J-S Dea in quick succession.

Turning point of the game, if you want to look at it from a Penguins offensive perspective, was when Wilkes-Barre had a late power play on a Rochester delay of game.

Snakebit.

Haggerty had his goal that he thought he scored Sunday awarded to Adam Johnson on a scoring correction this week. Absolutely snakebit.

The Penguins, with Muse pulled for the extra attacker, were never able to find the equalizer.

The Good: Save for a boneheaded play by their defender, the Penguins looked equal all night with the class of the North Division.

The Bad: Will O’Neill should not see the ice for Wilkes-Barre unless it is absolutely, positively, necessary. And that includes exhausting better defensive options currently in Wheeling. Wilkes-Barre is going to live to regret the one or two points it gave away tonight because of one play tonight.

Three Stars:

Around the Division: Charlotte loses in Providence tonight 2-1. Lehigh Valley gets an extra attacker goal by Phil Varone to force overtime then an overtime game winning goal by Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored in overtime to give the Phantoms the 3-2 overtime win. Everyone else was off tonight in an uncharacteristically light night in the Atlantic Division.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Springfield 24 — Hartford 23 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 22 — Providence 21 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: I saw Taylor tweet a great recap so here’s Taylor:

Here is the box.

Video Highlights: If I see a tweet by the Americans or Penguins with one, I will run it here.

Pens will bus across the border for a 4:00 p.m. start time against the reigning, defending, undisputed Calder Cup Champion Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon. Check out the Gameday setup here on the blog at noon Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Rochester 11/30

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Who: Rochester Americans

Where: Blue Cross Arena

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game: Wednesday in Hershey, the Penguins won 3-1. Thomas DiPaulis scored two goals in his 100th AHL game. For Rochester, the Americans beat Binghamton 4-3 on the road last Saturday. Ex-Penguins and current Amerks captain Kevin Porter scored for Rochester.

Record: For WBS: 9-8-3-1 (22 pts., 6th place Atlantic Division) // For RCH: 12-5-2-0 (26 pts., 1st place North Division)

Referees: Mike Campbell / Jeremy Tufts

Linesmen: Fraser McIntyre / Brian Oliver

Why You Should Care: Big test for Wilkes-Barre after a feel good win Wednesday in Hershey. The Americans are no joke and the Penguins are hading to a road test against one of the best teams in the AHL. Copying the same format they used in Hershey Wednesday may be enough to carry the Penguins to victory tonight.

Listen: Nick Hart on the call on WILK.

Watch: AHLTV is new and improved and a lot cheaper.

Other Game to Watch: Providence hosts Charlotte in a big game for the Bruins and a possible trap game for the Checkers.

Next Five Games: @ TOR 12/1, vs. CLE 12/7, vs. BRI 12/8, @ HER 12/9, @ SPR 12/12

Two for Thomas in a Hundred — Pens WIN 3-1

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Place any kind of spin on how the Penguins played this past weekend, they needed this one.

Thomas DiPauli, playing in his 100th AHL game, made sure that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins got the advantage early and the Penguins defeat the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night 3-1.

DiPauli scored two goals in the win.

The Penguins didn’t allow a power play goal against, ending the streak of extra man goals allowed at twelve.

Anthony Peters got the start in net and was a large reason that the Penguins won the game. After going up 3-0, the Bears relentlessly fired shot after shot on the Penguins net minder and were scored on :28 into the third period. Peters buttoned things up and nothing else leaked past him.

Much needed two points heading into the weekend for Wilkes-Barre, who head to North Division leading Rochester Friday night and defending Calder Cup Champion Toronto on Saturday.

Peters opposed Ilya Samsonov.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Troy Josephs was inserted in the fourth line, replacing Pat McGrath. Besides the steady pairing of Czuczman and Prow, Head Coach Clark Donatelli shook up his pairings. Tim Erixon paired with Chris Summers, Matt Abt with Stefan Elliott. No Will O’Neill for the Penguins tonight. Up front, Cramarossa was dropped to the fourth line with Josephs.

News: J-S Dea is on waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Taylor explains how the Penguins could reclaim him and assign him to Wilkes-Barre.

First Period: Anthony Peters had to stop a Liam O’Brien penalty shot for, what seemed to me, like the only real threat that Hershey had on the Penguins all period.

Then Thomas DiPauli scored twice. He picked off a blue line pass by the Bears, raced all the way in and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

Then, Teddy Blueger blocked a shot and DiPauli collected the puck and raced in and doubled Wilkes-Barre’s lead.

Wilkes-Barre was running the Bears around a bit at the end of the period, easily picking off exit attempts and getting very good looks at possibly extending the lead to three or more, but Samsonov held the fort.

That’s ten points (6-4) for DiPauli in his last nine games.

Second Period: Ryan Haggerty scored his first goal in 37 games on a power play goal when he parked at the front of the net when a puck essentially deflected off of him on a pass or shot by Adam Johnson when he had his stick tangled with Bears defender Tyler Lewington.

Referees Jordan Deckard and Furman South gave the play a very long look on replay and confirmed their call on the ice of a good goal. They were looking for a kicking motion, but there just was no way possible with the way the puck slowly crept across the line and into the net.

The Penguins clamped down from there and didn’t really get a good look after that power play marker by Haggerty. Hershey came with fire after that, only Anthony Peters wasn’t listening. He denied all 10 Bears shots.

Third Period: :28 into the third, Jayson Megna scored to put the Bears on the board.

Peters had a huge stop on Riley Barber that otherwise would have been a 3-2 game and the entire complexion of the game would have changed.

Penguins had to get a few kills late on but got out of them unscathed. Penguins were more aggressive on the penalty kill I thought. Teddy Blueger had a shorthanded bid which was was denied via poke check by Samsonov. Bears were offside a few times and even took a few penalties, killing their man advantage chance.

Troy Josephs quietly had an effective game, just missing a chance in the third when a Burton shot caromed off the back wall. Josephs collected the puck but shot it wide with a man on him.

The Good: DiPauli and Peters put the team on their backs and took the Penguins to a victory in Hershey…Penalty Kill was flawless and aggressive against a notoriously dangerous Hershey man advantage…Anthony Peters is quietly establishing himself as the number one goaltender while Tristan Jarry is up in the NHL. John Muse hasn’t been given much of a chance yet, but if the team is struggling to get points (which the Penguins have) the coaching staff is going to rise the hot hand. Expect Muse to get the start probably Saturday.

The Bad: Bad puck luck, penalties and running into a hot goaltender in Peters killed the Bears tonight. But they shouldn’t have had the opportunity to even regain their pulse, going down 3-0. The Penguins let the Bears dictate pace in the second half of the game tonight and were lucky it only cost them the Megna goal :28 into the third.

Three Stars: 3) Jayson Megna (goal) 2) Antony Peters (26 saves on 27 shots) 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals)

Around the Division: Springfield beats Bridgeport 5-2 in the only other Atlantic Division action tonight.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Springfield 24 — Hartford 23 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 22 — Providence 19 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Penguins will probably head to Rochester Thursday afternoon for their Friday matchup against the Americans at 7.

Check out my AHL Power Rankings Thursday morning and likely a blurb or something if the Penguins reclaim J-S Dea. Regardless, stop by some time Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Puck Luck? No Luck — Pens LOSE 4-2

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I tweeted this at some point early on in the third period when the Pens were down 3-1.

For context, the running theme for the Sunday home game was a kids get in free deal and you could wear your pajamas.

But then I looked at the shot board. Wilkes-Barre was badly outshooting their opponent, today the Providence Bruins.

34-19 would end up the final tally in shots for the game favoring the Penguins.

4-2 was the scoreline where it counts most for the Providence Bruins, who win Sunday afternoon.

A team that is down, which I will openly admit that the Penguins are, 2-5-3-0 in their last ten, normally are run around the ice and quickly disposed of in games.

The Penguins trailed 3-1 for about half the game Sunday, and had another power play goal scored against them running the streak of power play goals allowed to twelve.

But bad teams pack it in and things go south in a hurry. Fights, penalties, scrums after every whistle. That didn’t happen today.

You’ll often see me say that in the AHL there are great teams, good teams and bad teams. Are the Penguins a great team? Right now, no. Are they a bad team? I wouldn’t argue with you but in a broader scope my argument is that they are a good team with no luck luck right now.

And I don’t know what it is about Zane McIntyre, the Providence Bruins goaltender, but he owns the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, even going back to the playoffs two seasons ago. How he wasn’t named a star of the game Sunday is a travesty.

Anthony Peters opposed the aforementioned Zane McIntyre.

The Pens didn’t put out a lines graphic, so here is what they looked like from my seat:

Lineup Notes: Tim Erixon made his Penguins debut for Chris Summers who was the scratch. Tobias Lindberg was injured in the first period Saturday against Hershey, Head Coach Clark Donatelli told Tyler postgame that it isn’t serious and he should only miss a few days. Patrick McGrath took Lindberg’s spot on the fourth line.

First Period: Providence wasted no time on a power play, their first of the game when Ryan Fitzgerald connected on a tic tac toe play that gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.

You know, I think that may have been the turning point of the game. The Penguins can’t stop the opponent from scoring on the man advantage, so what better way to establish yourself against Wilkes-Barre on the road by dialing up an early power play goal to give your team the lead?

The puck luck theme I lead with was apparent here in this sequence…

Adam Johnson connected on the back end of a Olivier Galipeau double minor for high sticking Jarrett Burton and the Penguins were tied with the Bruins.

Second Period: Two goals within 65 seconds gave the Bruins the cushion they needed to shell up and ride McIntyre to the final whistle.

Will O’Neill pinched, this right after he turned the puck over in his own zone to set up the whole sequence.

Unmarked in the slot. That’s a no-no.

Shots at the end of the second were 21-13 Wilkes-Barre.

Third Period: Penguins don’t score on a power play, then Sam Lafferty is denied by an impossible pad save by McIntyre far post, Joe Cramarossa had a mini breakaway and shot wide.

Puck luck. Puck luck. Puck luck.

Jarrett Burton scored falling down to cut the deficit to one with 4:04 left.

But then Providence hemmed the Penguins deep in their own territory with under 90 seconds to play. The Penguins, with Peters vacated for the extra man, were never able to find the equalizer.

The Good: They stayed in both games to the end this weekend. Bad teams don’t stick around for this let alone twice in less than 24 hours.

The Bad: Special teams, and the inability to grab a game, take control and not let go. How often have the Penguins teams in the past commanded a game and not let something like a goal or two bother them, then get the necessary materials to carry them to a win? You aren’t seeing that with this version, currently, but I believe that it is there and just needs to be spotlighted.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Charlotte sweeps Laval, with a 3-1 decision Sunday…Bridgeport beats Springfield, who have lost two straight, 4-3. Everyone else had a quiet Sunday.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Hartford 23 — Springfield 22 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 20 — Providence 19 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: Nailers with a big home win against Cincinnati Sunday afternoon, Nick Saracino factored into every goal for the Nailers with a goal and two assists, Wheeling wins 3-2.

Video Highlights: 

The Penguins are back in action for some midweek hockey Wednesday night in Hershey. But for anything newsworthy between now and then (the Penguins have a scheduled day off Monday) check out the Gameday setup here on the blog Wednesday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Regression to the Mean — Pens LOSE 3-2

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Remember last year when the Penguins played the Bears and beat them pretty much all the time?

Those were the days.

The Penguins and Bears have played four times this season and Hershey has won three. We are starting to see some regression to the mean here. Or maybe it’s something else.

Johnny Muse deserved better.

Muse, making his much anticipated Penguins debut, stops 31 of 34 shots and loses. Zero run support. The problem early on for the Penguins isn’t defense or goaltending, it’s lack of anything resembling a scoring threat. That, and the fact that special teams is a complete disaster on both ends of the spectrum.

Penguins lose 3-2.

Muse opposed Vitek Vanecek.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Garrett Wilson went back up Saturday afternoon because Patric Hornqvist has a concussion. Sam Miletic played his second straight game after his injury, so he must be healed. I thought he would have sat Saturday and played Sunday. Tobias Lindberg went in for Wilson. Stefan Elliott was back in for Jeff Taylor.

First Period: Maybe it was just me, but that first period tonight was complete junk hockey on both sides of the puck. The Penguins had three power plays but were outshot 10-6. Go figure.

Second Period: Jayson Megna scored again against his old team, following his shot on a rebound spilled by John Muse, probably Muse’s only miscue of the night, and the Bears went ahead 1-0.

Thomas DiPauli scored to bring the Pens even with a nice play. Matt Abvt took the shot, Ryan Haggerty either stopped the shot or dug it out of the pads of Vanecek and wheeled around the net and dished to.an unmarked DiPauli who scored.

When things aren’t going your way, stuff like this happen.

Bears in on a two on one, Shumakov goes for a pass and the puck deflects off of Kevin Czuczman and into the net. 2-1 Bears.

Third Period: Mike Sgarbossa scored to make it 3-1 late.

Another rebound left by Muse. Funny because Vanecek was spilling rebounds all over Wilkes-Barre and the Penguins were not able to capitalize. Muse, who I thought was tremendous in light of chaos around him, spills two and the Bears score on them.

Czuczman scores late with Muse vacated to pull the Pens back to one…

But with a late power play with 10 seconds left, the Penguins never found the equalizer.

The Good: The Penguins had a Hockey Fights Cancer themed jerseys. Anything for the cause because everyone knows someone who has cancer.

The Bad: Jimmy Hayes, Will O’Neill and the Penguins Special Teams. Disasters. All of them. There’s a reason Lehigh Valley dropped Will O’Neill like a bad habit. He doesn’t have it anymore. Tim Erixon, Jeff Taylor or anyone else could do a better job, surely. Here’s the thing with Hayes. A big body that skates around and hits everything but the opposing team or the opposing teams net. There was a sequence tonight where he was in the slot 10 feet from the net and shot the puck wide left. Is this an intermission game or a pro hockey game? Troy Josephs is murdering the ECHL and is buried there while Hayes goes out there and “tries.” The Penguins special teams needs to be blown up and launched into the ocean. I don’t know who is responsible for the units, but getting scored on the power play in now 11 straight games is totally and completely unacceptable. You can’t rely on any unit anymore and it’s a grit your teeth for 2:00 type of situation.

Now watch. The Penguins will go 5/5 on the power play and penalty kill Sunday and beat Providence 6-0. Jimmy Hayes and Will O’Neill will both have hat tricks. What do I know, I just have a blog.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Everyone around the Penguins tonight, lost. Providence beats Lehigh Valley 6-3…Syracuse blanks Springfield 3-0…Hartford beats Bridgeport, ending the Sound Tigers point streak in the process, 3-1….Charlotte beats Laval 4-2.

Standings: Charlotte 31 — Bridgeport 25 — Hartford 23 — Springfield 22 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 20 — Hershey 19 — Providence 17

Wheeling Update: to the Toledo Walleye 4-3.That Troy Josephs is something, I’ll tell ya. He scored and assisted tonight as the Pens lose The Walleye are 9-1 in their last ten.

Highlights: 

Gameday setup for Sunday afternoon’s game against Providence hits the blog Sunday at 11.

Let’s Go Pens!

Thunder Point — Pens LOSE 4-3 (OT)

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Punch. Counterpunch. Punch. Counterpunch.

That’s how this game went for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins tonight in Springfield, a 4-3 overtime loss.

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 1-0 lead and the Pens answered and made it 2-1. Springfield responded and made it 3-2, the Pens score on a weird goal and get a Lafferty puck over glass delay of game penalty and some key glove saves by Anthony Peters to force overtime but lose there on a Jacob McDonald power play goal.

It’s a game that the Penguins could have, should have, won.

Anthony Peters opposed Samuel Montembeault.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Sam Miletic and Garrett Wilson returned from injury. Tristan Jarry was recalled to Pittsburgh Thursday under emergency conditions as Matt Murray is out “long term” with a “lower body injury” so Johnny Muse was recalled later Thursday in the corresponding move by Coal Street.

Line wise, things were all jumbled up with Miletic and Wilson in. Tobias Lindberg and Pat McGrath were the odd men out there. Matt Abt was in for Jeff Taylor on the third defensive pairing.

First Period: Springfield struck on the first power play of the game when Harry Zolnierczyk was left wide open in the slot that made it 1-0 Thunderbirds.

That was the tenth straight game in where the Pens have allowed a power play goal.

Wilkes-Barre had a chance to get back even or better with 1:39 of 5-on-3 power play.

It was an unmitigated disaster.

Anthony Peters had to cover up and make a save on a shot that Springfield had on the penalty kill.

Will O’Neill, known for his power play prowess, had a chance to score in the slot and didn’t take shot. Then, he had something like three shots from farther back that was either easily blocked or defected away.

Second Period: Joseph Cramarossa smacked home a pin balling puck to tie it.

Great response for the Penguins coming out of the break.

Wilkes-Barre would scored to move ahead on the power play when Teddy Blueger sniped this one home that gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

But then Springfield loaded up the shots, 25 total in the period, and reclaimed the lead.

Paul Thompson with a knee drop one timer from the top of the far circle…

Not quite, Taylor, but it was yet another Penguins prospect that would score the go ahead goal to close out the period. Blaine Byron would score on a rebound off of the pads of Anthony Peters that put the Thunderbirds up 3-2 heading into the third.

Third Period: Penguins had a great chance at an early power play as they pinned Springfield deep in their zone and fired shot after shot at Montembeault but came up empty.

Ethan Prow scored a goal on a weird sequence as the shot that he shot redirected off of a Thunderbirds stick and into the net that tied the game at three.

Prow factored into all three Penguins goals tonight. If Pittsburgh needs a defensive recall, Prow is the man for the job in this writers opinion.

Anthony Peters had a couple of glove saves late that preserved the tie and forced overtime, but it was a puck over glass delay of game penalty by Sam Lafferty that put the Pens in a hole.

Overtime: Garrett Wilson dove in a clearing attempt. It’s a home run play that either works out great or it doesn’t.

It didn’t.

Three Stars: 3) Anthony Peters (39 saves on 43 shots) 2) Ethan Prow (goal, two assists) and 1) Jacob McDonald (overtime game winning power play goal)

The Good: Points are points.

The Bad: 1) The extra one is one that the Penguins may wish they had come the Spring…2) The PK is now league worst at 75%.

Around the Division: Hartford beats Bridgeport 3-2 in a shootout….Lehigh Valley thumps Hershey 6-2. Charlotte and Providence were off.

Standings: Charlotte 29 — Bridgeport 25 — Springfield 22 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Hartford 21 — Penguins 20 — Hershey 17 — Providence 15

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Highlights: Coal Street quick on them tonight:

Pens will bus home and get ready for a home game against the Hershey Bears Saturday night. Gameday setup is here on the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Checkmate – Pens LOSE 6-5 (OT)

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I’d be more upset about this one, a 6-5 overtime loss for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to the Charlotte Checkers if it was anyone else in the division.

Charlotte is 12-3. They are a great team, there is no getting past that. The Penguins had them down 4-1 tonight and the Checkers slowly but surely mounted yet another Mohegan Sun Arena comeback and won the game in overtime.

If the opponent is a .500 opponent or a last place team, you put teams like that away for good when you are up 4-1. The Penguins tried to do that tonight to the Checkers but there was too much time on the clock and too many good players on the Charlotte team.

Anthony Peters opposed Alex Nedeljkovic.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Jimmy Hayes returned, replaced Anthony Angello who goes top line, who replaced Tobias Lindberg who goes fourth line and bumps Ryan Horvat out of the lineup. Defense was unchanged.

Garrett Wilson was reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the day but was at morning skate in Ottawa this morning and didn’t make it in time.

First Period: Aleksi Saarela scored on a rebound of a shot by Trevor Carrick that put the Checkers on the board first…

Penguins would get a power play and score on it when Adam Johnson scored from the point that tied the game for the Penguins.

Less than a minute later, Stefan Elliott throws a harmless shot at Nedeljkovic that goes in and it’s all of a sudden 2-1.

Thomas DiPauli would find space while Charlotte’s fourth line was out and he scored to make it 3-1.

That ended Nedeljkovic’s night, enter Callum Booth.

Now here is the thing about this move. It wasn’t an indictment on Nedeljkovic’s play as much as hit was a slap in the mouth to the players that played in front of him by head coach Mike Vellucci. Nedeljkovic is Charlotte’s iron horse. He plays in virtually every game for them and wins. Booth had a 1-1 record coming into tonight and was a virtual unknown.

Second Period: Adam Johnson scored to make it 4-1 early in the period.

Charlotte then got two bang bang goals from Cliff Pu and Martin Necas and it was uh oh time for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

(initial call was for McKeown, but was changed to Pu)

Callum Booth had a save on Jarrett Burton that totally changed the complexion of the game at the time.

Charlotte, pressing and hammering each shift for a goal, get a ten bell, highlight reel save from their backup goalie to preserve the one goal deficit. That ignited Charlotte.

Third Period: Long time readers of the blog will sometime see me use the term, “not playing to win, playing not to lose” from time to time. That was definitely what the Penguins were doing when the third period started.

Checkers get first five shots on goal, finally break through when Dan Renouf unleashes a shot from the point that ties the game for the Checkers.

Charlotte wasn’t done.

Six seconds into a Tobias Lindberg hold, Greg McKegg scored to make it 5-4 Checkers.

The Penguins mustered only three shots on goal to this point, and were losing.

But then Anthony Angello did this…

Another angle…

That basically got the Penguins at least a point, because Charlotte never got enough of a look in regulation to win it outright.

Overtime: Wilkes-Barre never possessed the puck in overtime and Aleksi Saarela scored to win it for the Checkers.

Three Stars: 

The Good: The Penguins had the best team in the league in a 4-1 hole.

The Bad: That hole? The Penguins let the best team out of said hole and they couldn’t hold onto a lead and lost in overtime,

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Belleville and sweeps the weekend, they win 2-1…Hartford thumps a listless Utica club 6-3…Hershey splits the weekend series with Cleveland and lose 5-2…Providence beats Rochester 3-2 in overtime…Springfield clips Lehigh Valley 3-2.

Standings: Charlotte 27 — Bridgeport 24 — Springfield 20 — Lehigh Valley 20 — Penguins 19 — Hartford 17 — Hershey 17 — Providence 14

Wheeling Update: The Nailers win 4-1 in South Carolina, beating the Stingrays 4-1. Kevin Spinozzi figured into every goal, scoring one and assisting on three others.

Highlights:

Pens are off until after Thanksgiving, when they travel up to Springfield Friday. Remember my Power Rankings post will be here on Wednesday. If there are any news or notes in between I will fill them in here.

Let’s Go Pens!