It was Friday the 13th at Mohegan Sun Arena, but there was little to be spooked by if you’re a Penguins fan.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got goals from five different players — Tom Sestito, Daniel Sprong, Frank Corrado, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Dominik Simon — and was in control for essentially the final 50 minutes of the game.
Casey DeSmith was outstanding in net, making 33 saves for his second career shutout. It’s hard to believe he doesn’t have more considering he led the league in GAA last season.
Here are some quick takeaways before the teams do battle again tomorrow:
— Sometimes, it helps when the goaltender in the other net gets rattled. That happened on Friday, as Lehigh Valley’s Alex Lyon looked shellshocked in the second period. The two goals he allowed were from bad angles, and even when he made saves, he looked completely unsure of whether or not he even had the puck. He was pulled in favor of Dustin Tokarski, who I would expect we see tomorrow night.
— The Penguins power-play units were better, but did give up another scoring chance again Friday. The last man-advantage of the night was probably the most encouraging, with Simon executing a perfect tip drill in front of the net. And there was Sprong firing a one-timed bullet earlier in the game, of course. The penalty kill was also fairly solid, but DeSmith came up huge.
— Thomas Di Pauli had the play of the night by beating out an icing to set up Sestito’s goal. His speed is a weapon the Penguins need to find ways to utilize.
— Sestito also played well, burying his scoring chance and also drawing a penalty later in the game. If the Pens can continue to get so many contributions up and down the lineup, they will be fun to watch.
— Lastly, a nod to defenseman Dylan Zink for picking up an assist in his first game of the year and looking good on the man-up.
Overall, a great way to rebound from last weekend. The penalty count is still not ideal, but you have to figure that starts to drop sooner rather than later.
I won’t be in Allentown tomorrow, but I’ll be watching on AHL Live and you can follow me for updates. See you then!