Chirps from Center Ice

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

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

   button_adk200       @       WBS

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

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

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

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

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

Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lines were…

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

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

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

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

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

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

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

Another angle…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Penguins think they score with :56 left here….

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

That, of course, set off the Penguins bench.

Penguins weren’t ever able to get the equalizer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Go Pens!

Atlantic Division Semifinal Game 1: Providence Bruins

@     15PRO

Atlantic Division Semifinal — Game 1

AHL Game: A1

Who: Providence Bruins

Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center

When: 7:05 p.m.

Series: Tied 0-0 (Best of Five)

Media Kit

Season Series: Nov. 6: WBS 5 @ PRO 4 (SO) — Nov. 12: PRO 1 @ WBS 3 — Dec. 30: PRO 5 @ WBS 2 — Feb. 19: WBS 2 @ PRO 3 — Mar 11.: PRO 2 @ WBS 3 — Apr. 9: WBS 2 @ PRO 1

Top four scorers for the Penguins vs. the Bruins: 1. Tom Kostopoulos (6 GP 1-4-5, E) — 2. Oskar Sundqvist (4 GP 3-1-4, +1) — 3. Josh Archibald (5 GP, 2-1-3, +2) — 4. Dominik Simon (5 GP, 2-1-3, -2)

Top four scorers for the Bruins vs. the Penguins: 1. Danton Heinen (6 GP, 3-3-6, +1) — 2. Alex Grant (6 GP, 0-5-5, +1) — 3. Peter Cehlarik (3 GP, 2-2-4, -2) — Jordan Szwarz (6 GP, 2-2-4, E)

What to watch for: The first period. The team with the better first period will probably dictate how the game is played tonight.

Referee(s): Keith Kaval / Peter MacDougall

Linesmen: Ryan Daisy / Kevin Briganti

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @AHLBruins

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /providencebruins

Instagram: wbspenguins / ahlbruins

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie / @TomVenesky // @MarkDivver

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS and Nick Hart @_NickHart // For PRO: None

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For PRO: None

Television: AHL Live

When is Game 2?: Sunday afternoon in Providence at 3:05.

Penguins / P-Bruins Series Preview

These two, again?

It seems that in recent times, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins have a collision course set for the middle of April and always meet up in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Who could forget the seven game classic against the Bruins a few years back when the Penguins were down 0-3 in the series and stormed back to win in seven? Who could forget last years sweep of the Bruins by the underrated Penguins who many, including myself, picked to lose the series against Providence?

This year is different. Instead of coasting into the playoffs as a three seed, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins come into the Calder Cup Playoffs as a favorite to win it all if not the clear favorite. The Penguins pretty much led the AHL from start to finish as the league’s overall top team.

But none of that matters now, as what you did in the regular season doesn’t matter in a short playoff series because all that matters is the team that you are battling for the right to advance to the Atlantic Division Finals where either the Lehigh Valley Phantoms or Hershey Bears await.

So let’s take a look at how these two match up…

Schedule

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

Forwards

Last year Providence had four players that had 55 points or more. This year, they have Jordan Szwarz who paced the Bruins with 54 points. Rookies Jake DeBrusk (49) and Danton Heinen (44) join Wayne Simpson (49) at the top of the leaderboard for points scored for the Bruins. The Penguins were led by ageless captain Tom Kostopoulos who put up 54 points at age 38. Oskar Sundqvist, Dominik Simon and Kevin Porter clock in with 46 points each. With both teams at the top of the AHL in defense which I will get to in the next category, offense isn’t too heavily relied upon to win games because the defense is more than capable of stealing games against opponents with far inferior defensive units.

Advantage: Slight edge to the Penguins, only because they ranked higher than the Bruins in scoring at 3.25 goals / game than Providence, who comes in at 3.01.

Defensemen

Both teams finished at the top of the AHL in defense, with the Penguins coming in first at 2.24 goals per game and the Bruins coming in second at 2.47. Each team has an offensive defenseman in David Warsofsky for the Penguins with 47 points, second on the team and Alex Grant for the Bruins with 49 points, good for third on the Bruins in scoring.

So you essentially have two teams identical in the way that they play defensively with one offensive horse.

Even if you peel more of the onion skin off, you find Derrick Pouliot’s 23 points second to Warsofsky’s and the currently recalled Tommy Cross’ 35 and Matt Grzelcyk’s 32 points as the next on the list in the offensive category for the Bruins and Penguins defense.

Both teams scored 16 goals on the other in the six game regular season series. I took away the goal for the shootout win the Penguins had on the Bruins back on November 6.

Advantage: Push. If you hard pressed me to give you a team, it’s the Penguins, only because using the “what have you done for me now, lately” question, the Bruins finished the season so poorly.

Goaltenders

Casey DeSmith led the AHL in goals against with 2.01. His backup is the untested rookie in Sean Maguire. Seems like last year we had the same thing to say about the then at the time untested rookie in Casey DeSmith. Tristan Jarry is on NHL recall for the injured Matt Murray.

Guess who finished second behind DeSmith in goals against? Providence’s Zane McIntyre. Both goalies have near identical statistical accolades. Both won 21 games. DeSmith lost 5 games, McIntyre lost 6. DeSmith lost three in overtime to McIntyre’s two. McIntyre has a better save percentage at .930 to DeSmith’s .926. McIntyre actually led the AHL in that category.

Advantage: It is a push.

Intangibles

Coaching and special teams always go here. The Penguins are coached by Clark Donatelli, who should have won AHL Coach of the Year for piloting his team through the toughest division in the AHL and winning it easily. Kevin Dean did OK in his first year behind the bench for the Bruins but Providence was in second place right as the season started to dwindle and nosedived out of the runner up spot to nearly missing playoffs altogether to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The clear winner here is the Wilkes-Barre’s Head Coach.

Special teams is almost identical. Both teams lead the AHL in penalty killing with the Penguins killing penalties 86.9% of the time with the Bruins right there in second at 86.4%. Take it a step further and on the road, the team with the best PK is the Bruins at 88.7% followed by, yes you guessed right, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins at 86.5%. The Bruins power play was 11th best in the AHL with a 19.1% success rate and the Penguins came in at a respectable, middle of the road 15th, or 17.9%. Match these two teams up head to head and you have another push.

The biggest intangible is how the NHL parent does in the playoffs. If Pittsburgh gets knocked out, Jarry, Jake Guentzel, Carter Rowney, Tom Sestito, Josh Archibald and Cameron Gaunce all become eligible for AHL playoffs. The Bruins could get Tommy Cross, Matt Grzelcyk and Noel Acciari back if Boston goes out to Ottawa or at any time during this short five game series.

Will Zach Aston-Reese back back for the Penguins after getting slashed in the second to last game for the Penguins? His presence would tip the scales for the Penguins in the offensive category.

Social Media Coverage

For the Penguins…

Twitter: @WBSPenguins
Radio: @MikeOBrienWBS / @_NickHart
Beat: @CVSethLakso and @TomVenesky
Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins
Instagram: wbspenguins

For the Bruins…

Twitter: @AHLBruins
Radio: Providence fired both their broadcasters a week before the end of the regular season.
Beat: @MarkDivver
Facebook: /providencebruins
Instagram: ahlbruins

Prediction

Looking at both teams on a scale from across the room, that scale is dead even, but as you get closer to the scale you can clearly see that it tips on one side. That side belongs to the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. Penguins in four. While yes, both these teams are dead even in nearly every single statistical category known to man, it’s the Penguins who have more ounces on that proverbial scale that tip it in their favor. Providence steals one game, but are again sent packing by the one single team who has had their number in postseasons past.

Gameday setup for Game 1 hits the blog Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.

2017 Calder Cup Preview

In keeping with what I did last year, I am rolling one preview into this blog piece, and that is giving you a snapshot of each team in the playoffs, how they match up, a key player to watch for both teams and offer a prediction. The prediction for Penguins / Providence series will be broken down into it’s own blog piece tomorrow at noon.

So here goes nothing, starting in the Western Conference….

Western Conference

     San Jose Barracuda (P1) vs. Stockton Heat (P4)     

How the Barracuda got here: Really were the class of the Western Conference all season, piloted by Head Coach Roy Sommer. They outpaced defending Conference Champion Ontario and San Diego, who is a very strong side.

How the Heat got here: Someone had to finish fourth in a division which is really three headed. Bakersfield’s 4-6 run at the end of the season was met with the Heat’s 11 game unbeaten in regulation streak. Stockton made it close, but they edged the Condors.

How they match up: Season was pretty split between the two. 12 games, 7-5 if you are a Barracuda fan, 5-5-2 if you are a Heat fan.

Key player for the Barracuda: Troy Grosenick, on a team that plays on 68 games, won 30 of them. That is impressive.

Key player for the Heat: Linden Vey was second on the Heat with 55 points, one off Mark Jankowski. Vey comes with playoff experience needed during these times.

Prediction: San Jose in five. This is the one matchup that the Barracuda didn’t want. Stockton steals one or both in overtime, but are ultimately beaten by the better, more consistent team here in this conversation.

     San Diego Gulls (P2) vs. Ontario Reign (P3)     

How the Gulls got here: Played out of the two seed from right after New Years and held on solidly to the position.

How the Reign got here: Played out of the three seed from right after New Years and held on solidly to the position.

How they match up: Both teams went 6-4-1-1 against the other. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Key player for the Gulls: Corey Tropp’s 54 points in 62 games paces the Gulls.

Key player for the Reign: Jack Campbell is an all-star goaltender who has won 31 games in net for the Reign and their iron horse. No other net minder has appeared in more games (52)

Prediction: San Diego in four. Gulls come at you from all sides attack will be too much for Ontario to overcome in a short five game series.

     Chicago Wolves (C1) vs. Charlotte Checkers (C4)     

How the Wolves got here: Rewarded for being the Central’s most consistent team. Despite the deficit of two or three games in hand on Grand Rapids at the time, the Wolves remained at the top of the Central for pretty much the entire season.

How the Checkers got here: Outlasted the Cleveland Monters and Iowa Wild in the regular season’s final weeks. Checkers won out on regulation or overtime wins and beat out the Monsters, who they were in a tie with in points and points percentage.

How they match up: Wolves went 6-1-0-1 against the Checkers this season.

Key player for the Wolves: It’s two. Kenny Agostino won the scoring race (83 points) and Wade Megan had the most goals (33) this dynamic duo terrorized an overall strong Central Division on a night in and night out basis.

Key player for the Checkers: Charlotte’s Tom McCollum joined the team late and took the reigns and went 12-2-4 with a 2.17 GAA and a .917 SV%.

Prediction: This one ends with a sweep, Chicago in three.

 Grand Rapids Griffins (C2) vs. Milwke. Admirals (C3) 

How the Griffins got here: 4-5-0-1 in their final ten games, it’s what ultimately cost the Griffins a shot at the Central Division title.

How the Admirals got here: Equally as dire, Milwaukee went 4-5-1-0 in their last ten but were out of the championship picture about a month or so ago.

How they match up: Griffins went 7-5 against the Admirals, with one overtime victory. Call it pretty even.

Key player for the Griffins: Martin Frk finished fourth on the team in scoring overall but led the team in goals with 27.

Key player for the Admirals: Adam Payerl was a castaway with Wilkes-Barre a few seasons ago, but was consistent piece with the Milwaukee Admirals all season, appearing in every game. He doesn’t lead in any category, but he always seemed to find the scoresheet at the right time whenever I caught a glimpse at what was going on out West with the Admirals.

Predication: Probably the most evenly matched series in the Western Conference, Admirals in five.

Eastern Conference

     Syracuse Crunch (N1) vs. St. John’s IceCaps (N4)     

How the Crunch got here: Despite being pillaged on an almost daily basis by call-ups to parent Tampa Bay, the Syracuse Crunch stayed the course throughout the entire 2016-17 season and led the division for huge chunks of it. They rightfully took home the division championship on the last day of the season.

How the St. John’s IceCaps got here: With this being the last season of professional hockey in Newfoundland, the IceCaps played inspired hockey down the stretch and got in as the four seed, beating out the Utica Comets.

How they match up: 4-1-2-1 went the Crunch against the IceCaps this season.

Key player for the Crunch: Cory Conacher and Matt Taormina paced Syracuse with 60 points each.

Key player for the IceCaps: Offense ran through Chris Terry all season, Terry put up 68 points.

Prediction: Scare for Syracuse, but they outlast the IceCaps in five games.

     Toronto Marlies (N2) vs Albany Devils (N3)     

How the Marlies got here: Played reinvigorated hockey in the final third of the season after most left them for dead and wrote them off.

How the Devils got here: Were never able to overcome Syracuse for the top spot in the division and lost personnel at the end of the season to recall to New Jersey and fell to the three seed.

How they match up: Devils went 5-3 against the Marlies this season with an overtime and shootout win sprinkled in.

Key player for the Marlies: Garret Sparks played 31 games in goal for Toronto and went 21-9 with a 2.16 GAA and a .922 SV%.

Key player for the Devils: Brian Gibbons and Carter Camper each came from successful teams in the past and are consistent Devils players.

Prediction: Like Grand Rapids and Milwaukee out west this is probably the most every matched series in the Eastern Conference. Devils advance in five if the Maple Leafs remain alive in the NHL playoffs.

  W-B / Scr. Penguins (A1) vs. Providence Bruins (A4)  

How the Penguins got here: But for a few bumps along the way, the Penguins remained the best overall team in the AHL all season long.

How the Bruins got here: Were a two seed as early as a few weeks ago, but a 0-3-1-0 run to close out the season dropped the Bruins to a four seed in an ever competitive Atlantic Division which saw the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, a team which would have ran away with the North Division Championship this season, miss playoffs.

How they match up: Penguins beat the Bruins four times in the regular season, including once in overtime.

Key player for the Penguins: Tom Kostopoulos. At age 38, time isn’t slowing the grizzled captain down. His 54 points leads the team.

Key player for the Bruins: There was a time when Zane McIntyre just didn’t lose when he went in between the pipes for the P-Bruins.

Prediction: Check back tomorrow for a full series preview of this one.

     Leh. Val. Phantoms (A2) vs. Hershey Bears (A3)     

How the Phantoms got here: Never really a challenger for the Penguins top spot, the Phantoms played consistently as a two seed all season in the AHL’s best division.

How the Bears got here: Left for dead on a number of occasions, the Bears used the final two weeks of the season to propel out of the five seed where they were all the way to a three seed.

How they match up: Phantoms got the better of the Bears, 7-4-1-0 in the 12 game season series, but a lot of those games played when the Bears were a struggling five seed.

Key player for the Phantoms: Alex Lyon is the man in goal now that Anthony Stolarz went down with season ending knee surgery.

Key player for the Bears: Pheonix Copley was a trade deadline acquisition who went 11-5 for Hershey when the Bears biggest deficiency was the man between the pipes.

Predication: This is a tough one to predict on the basis of the hot and cold play that Hershey exhibited all season long. Going out on a limb here and saying Lehigh Valley in five.

If you see it any other way, let me know in the comments.

2016-17 Fourth Quarter Grades

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins ended the 2016-17 campaign on Saturday night with the leagues best record of 51-20-3-2 good for 107 points and the top overall spot in the American Hockey League. They won the Atlantic Division Championship, the Eastern Conference Championship and the Macgregor Kilpatrick trophy for tops overall in the 30 team AHL.

The cadre of players graded here today played a large part in carrying what the recalled batch of players set them up for from grades before to the finish line.

Here’s how it works, everyone who played in the last 20 games for the Penguins gets a mention.

Six or less games gets an incomplete which will be mentioned at the bottom of this post. We start with the forwards as soon as you hop through the jump…

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AHL Power Rankings: Week 27

It’s the final version of the 2016-17 Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings. Another year of doing this thing. It seems to be really popular and something that you guys seem to like so let’s keep it going for next year, shall we?

How I do the final Power Rankings edition is that the team that won the regular season is number one, followed by runner up in the opposite conference, then all the division champions in the top four then the other 12 playoff teams. All 16 teams that qualified are in the top 16 then the rank and file all the way to 30.

I won’t keep you here. Click through the jump if you didn’t link in direct…

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Sauer Krause — Pens WIN 5-4

BRI         vs.         WBS

4                                              5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sean Maguire opposed Eamonn McAdam

Lines were…

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

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

Sean Maguire – Casey DeSmith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrong.

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

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

Patrick McGrath earned the sole assist on that goal.

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

Krause. Again. Shorthanded….

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

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

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

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

Video highlights…

Playoff schedule is set. Here it is…

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

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

Let’s Go Pens!