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Penguins Crunched in Syracuse 5-2

Saturday, December 3, 2011
Alex Grant has three assists and a fight in his last two games. You miss that guy in the background yet?
The story of tonight's 5-2 loss has to be the slow starts to each period by the Penguins. They gave up an early goal in each period with one 4:57 into the first period, 2:54 into the second period, and 2:12 into the final frame. You simply cannot put yourself in a whole early in each stanza and expect to have any momentum or any sort of edge in play when your constantly battling to get back into the game.

Ryan Schnell was in for Matt Rust tonight. That was the only lineup change. Zach Sill missed his fourth straight game with an upper body injury. Brad Thiessen vs. Iiro Tarkki in net tonight. 

Full recap after the jump.

Another slow start for the Penguins as Brad Thiessen allowed a goal on the second shot he faced tonight for the second straight game. With Ben Street in the box for cross checking, Dan Sexton fed a cross ice pass to Brandon MacMillan for his first goal of the season just under five minutes in. The Crunch would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Shots were tied at 11 apiece but the Crunch led on the scoreboard.

A Jason Williams turnover early in the second period proved costly as Kyle Palmieri found Patrick Maroon who would make it a 2-0 lead for the Crunch just 2:10 into the middle frame.  Brad Thiessen was shaky early on in both of the first two periods but made a nice save on a breakaway attempt by Nicolas Deschamps right after the goal to keep the Pens in the game early.

Geoff Walker would get the Pens on the board to cut the lead in half right after Patrick Maroon's kneeing penalty expired. Eric Tangradi and Alex Grant got the assists. The Penguins looked to be back on track after killing off Ryan Craig's holding the stick but Kyle Palmieri scored a goal off a face-off with 20.4 left in the period to give the Crunch a big two goal lead heading into the final period.

Another slow start in the third period, as Troy Bodie tipped in a Mat Clark shot just 2:54 into the final frame. That gave the Crunch a 4-1 lead and control of the game. Bodie would also get into a fight with Alex Grant at the 5:08 mark.

Brian Gibbons would take a feed from Jason Williams and beat Tarkki to the five-hole to cut it to a 4-2 deficit with seven minutes left. Petersen got the second assist. It seemed the Penguins had life and with seven minutes the Pens had plenty of time to mount a comeback.

But Peter Holland had other ideas and just 1:35 after Gibbons' goal, Holland beat Thiessen glove side and his unassisted goal put the nail in the coffin tonight. Crunch win 5-2 and after a big win last night, the Penguins drop another game to the Crunch.

Penguins out shoot the Crunch 35-29 tonight. Thiessen has given up nine goals in his last two starts against the Crunch. Iiro Tarkki has made 76 saves in his last two starts against the Penguins.

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