Bridgeport Snaps Penguins’ Win Streak

December 17, 2018

The final score looks a lot better than it did the last time the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins played at Webster Bank Arena.

But the end result was just as, if not more, frustrating.

The Penguins outshot the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but Chris Gibson stopped all 33 attempts sent his way and Sebastian Aho’s first period goal was the difference in a 1-0 loss on Sunday. The defeat snapped the Penguins’ win streak at five and dropped them to 14-11-3-1.

Whereas Bridgeport easily skated to an 8-5 win on Nov. 4, Anthony Peters made 24 saves for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in what turned into a goalie duel as the game progressed.

The turning point

It wasn’t so much a play that changed momentum, but one that loomed large given the final score.

Penguins forward Jarrett Burton emerged free for a breakaway and was hauled down at 5:45 of the second period. The official immediately signaled for a penalty shot, the first in regulation for any Penguin this season.

Burton skated in and beat Gibson with his shot, but the puck hit square off the left post and caromed away.

The way Gibson was dialed in all game long, that was Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s best chance to tie the game.

Three stars

• Aho’s goal was only his third, but he has points in five straight games. His winner helped him get third-star honors.

• Peters was pulled after one period in the aforementioned 8-5 game, but he fared much better on Sunday. He was star No. 2 after preventing the Sound Tigers from netting any insurance late in the game.

• Gibson got off to a slow start this season, but the 2018 all-star has allowed three goals or fewer in his last six starts. He was the well-deserving No. 1 star.

Stat to know

The Penguins went scoreless on six power-play opportunities and fell to 26th in the league at 14.3 percent.

Game notes

■ Forward Thomas Di Pauli left the game in the second period after first absorbing a slap shot by teammate Kevin Czuczman and then being crunched in the corner by Bridgeport’s Stephen Gionta.

■ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was assessed a rare penalty in the opening seconds for putting the incorrect starting lineup on the ice. The assumed error was that Tristan Jarry was listed as the starting goaltender instead of Peters on the official lineup sheet.

Up next

These two teams will meet again Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena, with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m.

Penguins 0 0 0 — 0 Bridgeport 1 0 0 — 1

First period: Scoring - 1, Bri, Aho (Sislo, C. Bourque), 5:47. Penalties - WBS, bench minor, incorrect starting lineup (served by Hayes) 0:24; WBS, O’Neill, cross-checking 2:31; Bri, C. BOurque, roughing 13:19; Bri, Wotherspoon, elbowing 17:52.

Second period: Scoring - None. Penalties - Bri, Koivula, high-sticking 8:56; Bri, Rathgeb, cross-checking 12:37; WBS, Erixon, slashing 15:43.

Third period: Scoring - None. Penalties - WBS, Angello, roughing 1:31; Bri, C. Bourque, slashing 1:31; WBS, Czuczman, holding the stick 7:35; Bri, Eansor, interference 10:38; Bri, Bellows, interference 14:50; WBS, Cramarossa, roughing (double minor) 17:48; Bri, Bernier, roughing 17:48.

Shots on goal: WBS 8 11 14 - 33; Bri 7 8 10 - 25.

Goaltenders: WBS, Peters (24 saves on 25 shots); Bri, Gibson (33 saves on 33 shots).

Power-play opportunities: WBS 0 for 6; Bri 0 for 5.

Referees: Peter Tarnaris and Peter Schlittenhardt. Linesmen: Nick Briganti and Brian Pincus.

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