WOLF PACK TAKES BITE OUT OF PENGUINS, 4-1
HARTFORD, CT - Mark Letestu tallied for the fifth straight game, but that was all the offense the Penguins could muster, as the Hartford Wolf Pack posted a 4-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night at the XL Center.
The Penguins enter the all-star break with a 27-16-1-2 record, while Hartford’s mark stands at 23-18-2-3.
“I liked a lot of the things we did, but I also think we were stuck in third,” said head coach Dany Bylsma. “Even though we were playing well and in the right spots, we weren’t at the level we can get to.”
Letestu opened the scoring with a power play tally 3:39 into the game, but the Pens looked just a step behind the play for most of the night, as the Wolf Pack won for the fourth time in the past six games.
“I think our legs were good, I thought we skated well tonight. But a lot of times we found we were chasing the puck,” said Letestu. “Unfortunately on some plays the puck was jumping over sticks.”
That seemed to be the story for most of the first half of the game, which saw the Penguins get several scoring chances which went by the wayside.
“I really do believe we might have had a better result if they scored first. Because it might have got us energized for the game a little quicker than just the last 10 minutes,” said Bylsma. “We got the goal, we had some three on ones…from the bench you feel like oh man, those are chances. It could be 3-0 right now.
“Look back to those execution points in the first period and before the 10 minute mark of the second, those are the key points of the game.”
David Urquhart tied the score with a shot from the enter point that appeared to deflect off a Penguins defender and squeezed just inside the left post at 9:30 of the second period.
The Wolf Pack got power play goals from Artem Anisimov and Mike Ouellete six minutes apart in the early stages of the third period to take the lead, and then held on as the Penguins peppered goaltender Miika Wiikman with 14 shots over the last 20 mintues.
“We started to get some chances in the third when they were on the defensive side of the puck a little more,” Bylsma said. “It’s just that that’s the way you need to play the first.”
Greg Moore finished off the scoring with an empty net goal. Adam Berkhoel made 31 saves in the loss.