Penguins Tie Game Late, But Fall In OT
Each time the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins should have seized momentum, they didn’t.
It led to another disappointing loss in overtime.
Ethan Prow capped his three-point night with a tying goal in the third period, but Sam Lafferty took a delay of game penalty in the final minute of regulation and set up Jacob MacDonald’s OT winner in a 4-3 decision for the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Anthony Peters was the reason the game even got to overtime, making a couple of huge saves in the final minute. The Penguins dropped to 8-6-3-1.
The Penguins scored twice early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead and, seemingly, control of the game. But, Springfield immediately blitzed them.
The Thunderbirds peppered Peters with 25 shots in the frame, with many coming after the two goals. Paul Thompson scored only 1:06 after Teddy Blueger’s goal, and Blaine Byron finally broke through at 18:36 by easily putting a rebound into the half-open net.
From there, the Penguins had to fight from behind and were lucky to even come away with the lone point.
■ Peters had 39 saves total, including an acrobatic glove stop on Ludwig Bystrom with 2 seconds remaining that kept the game tied. Now the No. 1 goaltender, he was Friday’s No. 3 star.
■ Prow’s goal came off a fluky redirect, but it gave him his third three-point game of the season. He was star No. 2.
■ MacDonald’s power-play goal was his sixth, giving the defenseman 12 points in 13 games. He received top honors.
Stat to know
The Penguins have now allowed a power-play goal in 10 straight games. The overtime tally knocked them down to last in the league on the penalty kill (74.7 percent).
It sounds humorously obvious, but the Penguins need to find a way to hold onto leads. While they only went up one goal on Friday, Springfield was immediately the aggressor afterward. The Penguins had no answer for much of the second period.
Even in the third, when they had the majority of the early chances, they should have been galvanized by a tying goal and instead had to hold on for dear life.
Coming off a bad loss on Saturday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had a chance to really boost its confidence with a key road win. Instead, it fell further behind in the standings.
■ Forward Sam Miletic returned to the lineup for the Penguins for the first time since Oct. 27. He had two shots.
■ Defenseman Stefan Elliott had the night off, with both Jeff Taylor and Matt Abt inserted into the lineup.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns home tonight for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the rival Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena.
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Penguins 0 2 1 0 — 3
Springfield 1 2 0 1 — 4
First period: Scoring - 1, Spr, Zolnierczyk (Hawryluk, Bystrom), 5:19 (PP). Penalties - WBS, Lafferty, slashing 4:25; Spr, Mangene, interference 11:48; Spr, Horvat, interference 12:39; WBS, Taylor, hooking 15:11.
Second period: Scoring - 2, WBS, Cramarossa (Prow, Blueger), 4:21; 3, WBS, Blueger (Prow), 7:54 (PP); 4, Spr, Thompson (Lowry, Bystrom), 9:00; 5, Spr, Byron (Borgstrom, Farnham), 19:00. Penalties - Spr, Borgstrom, tripping 6:25; Spr, Melchiori, slashing 14:11; WBS, O’Neill, holding 14:28.
Third period: Scoring - 6, WBS, Prow (Olund, Abt), 11:26. Penalties - Spr, McCoshen, boarding 2:50; WBS, Lafferty, delay of game 19:33.
Overtime: Scoring - 7, Spr, MacDonald (Borgstrom, Hawryluk), 1:16.
Shots on goal: WBS 6 11 11 1 - 29; Spr 9 25 8 1 - 43.
Goaltenders: WBS, Peters (39 saves on 43 shots); Spr, Montembeault (26 saves on 29 shots).
Power-play opportunities: WBS 1 for 5; Spr 2 for 4.
Referees: Michael Markovic and Ben O’Quinn. Linesmen: Kyle Richetelle and Paul Simeon.