WILKES-BARRE, PA — Coming off of a 4-3 loss to the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms rolled up the Pennsylvania Turnpike looking to avenge a humbling 7-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in this same building just a week and a half ago.
Tristan Jarry had other ideas.
Jarry made 27 saves, and four different Penguins added goals as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rolled to a somewhat easy 5-1 victory on Tuesday night.
It became apparent early on that the Phantoms might be in for a long night. Less than two minutes into the game, a T.J. Brennan turnover led directly to a Dominik Simon chance on a backhander down low. Anthony Stolarz made the save, but the rebound found Penguins’ Defenseman David Warsofsky in the slot, but he put the puck into the safety netting.
Minutes later. Samuel Morin buried the Penguins’ Garrett Wilson into the side boards with a questionable hit from behind, and it led directly to a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power play goal. Derrick Pouliot floated a point shot through a Tom Kostopoulos screen to make it 1-0 at 5:37.
Only managing seven shots in the period, and not being able to sustain any offense, The Penguins went up 2-0with just under three minutes left in the period. Jean-Sebastien Dea fired a pass that found Simon all alone in the slot, and he found the back of the net for his eighth of the season.
Lehigh Valley started the period on an abbreviated power play, but a stout Wilkes-Barre penalty kill held them from getting any shots in the 92 seconds. Not only did they not get any shots, a defensive miscue by the Phantoms’ Travis Sanheim led to Oskar Sundqvist making it 3-0 in favor of the AHL’s best team at 57 seconds.
Sundqvist didn’t actually record a shot on the breakaway as he missed the puck, but the puck went between Stolarz’ legs anyway.
Just after the end of the power play, a Phantoms goal was waived off when Colin McDonald knocked the puck off the top of the net, off Jarry and in. Because the puck was knocked off the net, it was ruled to have been touched with a high-stick and taken off the board.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel cut the lead to two at 9:10 when his wraparound attempt beat Jarry to the far post, deflected off the skate of Penguins’ blueliner Stuart Percy and in. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, that’s as close as they would get.
Dea would score a highlight reel goal 7:33 later when his half-wall rocket eluded Stolarz, went off the back bar and out. No one celebrated because the only one that saw it was the referee along the goal line. If you blinked, you missed it. After a short review, the goal was confirmed.
The Penguins were content to ride out the lead in the third but added one more goal for good measure at 4:20. A Sundqvist pass from the left half-wall slipped through the crease, but it deflected off Stolarz pad and went between his legs. After that, the Penguins coasted and evened the season series at 2-2.
Notes: Taylor Leier and Scott Laughton continued to be scratched with injuries, while Defenseman Reece Willcox was the healthy scratch. With a second period tripping penalty, Tom Kostopoulos passed Darcy Verot for second on the all-time Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty minutes list.
3) WBS-Tristan Jarry (27 Saves)
2) WBS-Dominik Simon (Goal, Assist)
1) WBS-Oskar Sundqvist (2 Goals)
Up Next: Lehigh Valley returns home to start a back to back weekend set with the Hartford WolfPack Friday at 7:05.
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