|Lerg got back on track with two goals tonight but it wasn't enough.|
The team was frustrated, as evidenced by four fights tonight. The most impressive was Zach Sill's in the third period, where he took care of business. The other three weren't as one sided for the Pens.
Recap after the jump.
Well, where to start. The first period was one of the worst showings I have seen from the Penguins in quite some time. Credit to Syracuse for coming out and getting right to their game, but the Penguins gave it to them too easily. The Crunch jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first period that the Pens would not be able to overcome.
The Penguins out shot the Crunch all game and held a 20-6 shot advantage in a better played 2nd period but it was still not quite the Penguins hockey we have watched during the team's nine game win streak prior to this slump.
Trailing 5-0, Alexandre Picard got the Pens on the board 4:39 into the 2nd period on a nice shot from the point. Less than a minute later the Crunch would make it 6-1. But the Penguins didn't quit, and were able to get two goals from Bryan Lerg with a goal from Zach Sill between them to make it a 6-4 game after two periods. At least it was respectable and the team had a chance to make a game of it.
Unfortunately the teams traded goals in the third, with the Penguins goal coming with 1:14 to play, and the Penguins effort was too little, too late. A 7-5 loss.
The Pens are now winless in their last four games (0-2-0-2). Four regulars to the lineup sat tonight as healthy scratches because head coach John Hynes was unhappy with their performance of late - Geoff Walker, Paul Thompson, Brian Gibbons and Carl Sneep - and I'm sure others will be sitting on Friday when the Penguins are back in action.
Today's game marks the end of the first quarter of the season and there has certainly been ups and downs for the team and players individually. Highland Park Hockey will start with updates on each player monthly, starting with November Grades.
Happy Turkey Day to everyone! Our next post should be Friday's pregame report unless any big news happens tomorrow.