Too Little Too Late For Penguins In Game Two, Series Tied 1-1

Sunday, May 25, 2014
The IceCaps bounce back and do the celebrating after Game Two. Photo credit: @dwancherry.

In a reversal from last night, it's the St. John's IceCaps who hold off the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight in Game Two by a score of 2-1, evening the series at one game apiece before the two teams meet Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre for Game Three.

Everything that went well for the Penguins in Game One - a regularly established fore-check, limited turnovers in the defensive half of the ice and key face-off wins - didn't go their way in Game Two.

Add in five hit posts by the Pens and an 0-for-6 showing on the power play and it's not too hard to see why the Penguins are headed home tied 1-1 in the series. In their five postseason losses in 2014, the Penguins man advantage has gone a combined 0-for-19.

Anton Zlobin scored an extra attacker goal with 1:04 left on an assist from Conor Sheary - who extended his points scoring streak to an impressive eight games - to draw the Penguins within a goal. But as the headline reads, it was too little too late for the Pens and they head back to Wilkes-Barre for three straight home games tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The IceCaps came out in the first period and looked like a team that had their backs to wall, at least in the first few minutes.

The Penguins continued to take penalties like they did in Game One last night, but luckily for the Pens, they were able to kill off both of their first period penalties.

The IceCaps took a 1-0 lead on a bit of a broken play 13:54 into the first frame. Brendan Mikkelson left his post at the right defenseman position to enter the neutral zone to attempt to break up a pass but fell and gave the IceCaps a 3-on-1 rush the other way. Kyle MacKinnon appeared to be offsides, but the play stood and he skated down the wing and beat Peter Mannino.

The Penguins had a chance on a late power play, but Mikkelson rang one of the crossbar. It was a trend that continued in the middle frame as the Penguins hit two more posts in the 2nd period.

Mikkelson rushed a clearing attempt about six minutes into the 2nd period and the IceCaps made him pay. Will O'Neill kept the puck in at the WBS defensive blue line and Eric O'Dell's shot from the perimeter was tipped past Mannino by Carl Klingberg to give the IceCaps a 2-0 lead.

The Pens nearly got within one on the ensuing face-off after Spencer Machacek forced a turnover and broke in on Hutchinson. Machacek's shot hit the crossbar and went into the safety netting.

WBS had another chance midway through the hockey game in the form of a Harry Zolnierczyk breakaway, but his backhand to forehand move was stopped by Hutchinson. The breakaway came right after Mannino made a sliding stop on a 3-on-1 to keep it at a 2-0 deficit for the Penguins heading into the third period.

Credit St. John's for taking a page out of the Penguins book in the third period, playing tight defensively and blocking a ton of shots. The ones that did get through were gobbled up by Hutchinson, who went on to stop 34 of the 35 shots he faced and earned the game's first star honors.

Last note: I didn't see much of Philip Samuelsson in the third period after he took a questionable elbow from behind by Patrice Cormier. Barry Goers took his spot on the top pair with Simon Despres and Samuelsson took a few shifts with Scott Harrington on the third pairing late in the final period.


Peter Mannino got the start in net for the 12th straight game. Matt Murray was his backup, as usual.

Reports are that Chuck Kobasew missed tonight's game with a lower body injury. Josh Archibald took his spot on the top line for the Penguins.

No changes were made on defense.

Injured List: Reid McNeill (upper body), Nick Drazenovic (upper body), Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Andrew Ebbett (upper body) and Jeff Deslauriers (lower body - out for season).

Scratches: Eric Hartzell, Harrison Ruopp, Nick D'Agostino, Bobby Farnham, Pierre-Luc Leblond, Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson


Zolnierczyk - Gibbons - Archibald
Sheary - Megna - Zlobin
Machacek - Sill - Kostopoulos
Uher - Carman - Payerl

Samuelsson - Despres
Dumoulin - Mikkelson
Harrington - Goers

Mannino - Murray


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