Just one game this weekend, traveling to Binghamton who are now known as the Devils and are an affiliate of, well, the Devils. They were previously the affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. Tom Kostopoulos and Troy Josephs are still on the injured list, with TK moving from day-to-day to week-to-week. Christian Thomas also returns from his foray into international play with an appearance in the Kajala Cup playing for Canada while Andrey Pedan serves the 1st game of his 3 game suspension for a high hit on Providence’s Jakub Zboril.
Friday Night (11/17/2017)
Binghamton Devils (Away) – 4-3 Win
Scratches of the aforementioned Pedan, McGrath, Sestito, Garret Wilson, and Spinozzi alongside the two injured. In the first period, the Baby Penguins opened the scoring within 12 seconds of puck drop through Haggerty (whose line with Aston-Reese and Dea was once again flying), before giving up a powerplay goal to tie the game. They then struck again with 18 seconds left through the 4th line and DiPauli jamming in a wrap-around attempt from Blueger. WBS gave up the only goal in the second period to professional old man Bracken Kearns on the powerplay with just a touch over 2 minutes left in the period in an otherwise uneventful 2nd period. It took until 10 minutes in the 3rd period for the tie to be broken, with Adam Johnson ripping home a one timer filling in for the scratched Sestito on the 4th line left wing with Blueger. Wilkes-Barre then added an insurance marker 12 minutes in through Christian Thomas scoring on his return on a partial breakway set up by Colin Smith after Simon forced a turnover in the neutral zone. That insurance goal became vitally important as the Penguins got themselves into penalty trouble at the end of the third, taking three stick fouls in the last 7 and a half minutes, conceding a powerplay goal to make the game 4-3 with 4 and a half minutes left. Some outstanding goaltending from DeSmith helped to keep the Penguins in the game and have them leave with 2 points.
1) Wilkes–Barre/Scranton kept their point streak going, hitting 11 games with at least a point with the win again. They also have a ridiculous +12 goal differential in the 3rd period so far this season (18 for, 6 against). Shout out to beat reporter Tyler Picotti for that stat.
2) Penalty trouble is going to eventually haunt the Penguins. They were shorthanded 8 times against Binghamton and their inability to stay out of the box in key situations is not going to help them. Their lack of effective powerplay is also going to hurt them, as they have only scored twice on 24 opportunities on the powerplay in the month of November, a dismal 8% conversion rate.
3) While the NHL Penguins seem to be trending up now, the Baby Penguins are their bizarro world counterparts for a lot of their struggles. While the NHL Penguins had a long period of only getting offense from their powerplay, the Baby Penguins are even strength demons with a struggling powerplay. WBS also gets massive contributions in scoring from their bottom 6, while their top 6 has struggled to provide offense, contrary to the NHL Penguins depth scoring troubles (which thankfully seem to have gone away).