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The Penguins played their first game in six days this afternoon and really looked just like that: a team that hadn't played in awhile.
Especially in the first half of the first period, the outlet passes weren't crisp and there were plenty of defensive zone and neutral zone turnovers. Scott Munroe made some nice saves early on to keep the Pens in the game.
Scott Munroe returned between the pipes against Scott Leighton this afternoon. Carl Sneep played in his first game in over a month, while Alex Grant was a surprise scratch to make room on the blue line. Here's how the lines looked to start the game:
Lerg - Street - Walker
McDonald - O'Reilly - Williams
Gibbons - Craig - Thompson
DeFazio - Sill - Petersen
Strait - Bortuzzo
Picard - Mormina
Sneep - Despres
Former Hershey Bears forward Matthew Ford has really clicked in Adirondack since being traded earlier in the season. He gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead late in the first, tapping home a rebound on a bad angle shot by Oliver Lauridsen.
Ben Street tied the game at one early in the second period while the Penguins were on the power play. Street's 19th of the season was assisted by Joey Mormina and Simon Despres.
Brian Strait broke his stick on an outlet pass and the Phantoms took advantage. Ford got his second of the game and 9th in 13 games with the Phantoms and gave his team a 2-1 lead. The lone assist went to Garret Roe.
Bryan Lerg got a shorthanded breakaway in the final seconds of the second period but was robbed by Leighton, keeping the one goal lead intact for the home team.
In the third period, Brian Gibbons led a 3-on-2 rush and though Petersen's shot missed the mark, he followed the play and flung a puck into Leighton's crease where Paul Thompson netted his 9th goal of the season.
Brandon DeFazio netted his 9th of season too just 20 seconds after Thompson's goal and just like that the Pens took their first lead of the game. They were able to hold the lead thanks to some big saves by Scott Munroe, who stopped 26 of 28 shots that came his way.
The Penguins return home for a Tuesday night match with the St. John's IceCaps before heading up to the northeast for three weekend road games.