Penguins Handle Phantoms In SO

November 4, 2017

It almost wasn’t fair that a game with as much back-and-forth action as Friday’s was decided in a shootout.

But that’s what happened to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center, and Christian Thomas put the official bow on a wild contest.

Thomas scored in the third round of the shootout and also had a goal in the second period, helping the Penguins escape with a 6-5 victory to stand alone in first place in the Atlantic


Ryan Haggerty scored twice for the second game in a row, and Gage Quinney and Jean-Sebastien Dea also found the net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Turning point

The two teams combined for seven goals in a crazy second period, ultimately leaving Lehigh Valley up, 4-3, with time ticking away before the intermission.

Then, for the second game in a row, Haggerty provided a spark. He capitalized off a steal from Dea and roped a shot off the crossbar and behind Phantoms goaltender Dustin Tokarski with only 11 second remaining.

The forward later scored in the third period by redirecting a shot in front of the Lehigh Valley net off Tokarski and in. Without these two plays, the game likely never would have made it to


Three stars

• Haggerty took third honors for his third and fourth goals of the season.

• Former Penguin Chris Conner had a great offensive game with one goal and three assists, including a beautiful touch pass on the Phantoms’ first goal. He checked in at No. 2.

• Garrett Wilson didn’t score for the Penguins, but he wreaked havoc in front of the net and set up Dea’s goal with a great spin pass. He received top honors.

Stat to know

The Phantoms’ first goal ended Casey DeSmith’s even-strength shutout streak at 130:54 to begin this season. The goaltender made 35 saves and three stops in the shootout to get the win.

The takeaway

With the win, the Penguins have now shown they can win in both offensive slugfests and defensive showdowns. That bodes well in a division as tightly contested as the Atlantic.

Pens notes

• Captain Tom Kostopoulos did not play in Friday’s game and is day-to-day, according to the radio broadcast. He is two starts away from reaching the 700-game plateau in the AHL. Haggerty slotted into the lineup in Kostopoulos’ place.

• Kevin Spinozzi made his third start of the season on the blue line and Ethan Prow his fourth.

Up next

The Penguins will take the ice for their second straight home game against Hershey on Sunday at 3:05 p.m at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game will be broadcast on 980 AM.


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Game summary

Penguins 0 4 1 0 1 — 6 Lehigh Valley 1 3 1 0 0 — 5

First period: Scoring - 1, LV, Goulbourne (Conner, Myers), 13:52. Penalties - WBS, Pedan, hooking 4:44; LV, Brennan, slashing 5:07; WBS, Summers, high-sticking (double minor) 15:31.

Second period: Scoring - 2, WBS, Quinney (Spring, Wilson), 1:43; 3, WBS, Thomas (Simon, Wilson), 7:14 (PP); 4, WBS, Dea (Wilson), 9:30 (SH); 5, LV, Martel (Lindblom, Conner), 10:15; 6, LV, Brennan (Knight), 15:03; 7, LV, Vorobyev (Conner, Lindblom), 16:31; 8, WBS, Haggerty (Dea), 19:49.

Third period: Scoring - 9, WBS, Haggerty (Pedan, Bengtsson), 7:03; 10, LV, Conner (Bardeau, Brennan), 11:26. Penalties - WBS, Pedan, cross-checking 2:28; LV, Carey, interference 3:49; WBS, Aston-Reese, high-sticking 15:40.

OT: Scoring - None. Penalties - LV, Vecchione, hooking 1:17; LV, Tokarski, delay of game 4:44.

Shootout: LV - Knight no, Lindblom no, Conner no. WBS - Dea no, Sprong no, Thomas goal.

Shots on goal: LV 15 10 11 4 - 40; WBS 9 12 9 3 - 33.

Goaltenders: LV, Tokarski (28 saves on 3 shots, 2 of 3 in shootout); WBS, DeSmith (35 saves on 40 shots, 3 of 3 in shootout).

Power-play opportunities: LV 1 for 6; WBS 1 for 6.

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tpiccotti@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2089;

@CVPiccotti on Twitter