HARTFORD, CONN. – It was just one play, but it served as a representation of how the afternoon went for the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins Sunday at the XL Center.
Down 1-0 early in the second, the Penguins' Bobby Farnham jumped on a rebound that hit off the pad of Whale goalie Jason Missiaen. But Missiaen deftly slid to his right, diving to cover the puck and preserve the lead as Farnham slapped his stick against the boards in frustration.
It was that kind of day for the Penguins, who generated plenty of chances but simply couldn't convert in a 2-0 loss to the Whale, their fifth defeat in sixth games.
Kyle Jean scored both Connecticut goals, while Missiaen made 35 saves for his first AHL shutout in his rookie season.
The loss concluded a three-game weekend for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, one that looked like it had the potential to turn around following a 3-0 win against Worcester on Saturday night.
We had some opportunities to be able to be right in the game and we had opportunities to score, Penguins head coach John Hynes said. We had some really good pushes in the second and third periods but the puck didn't go in the net.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15-16-2-1) outshot Connecticut 35-18, including 11-3 in the third, but couldn't get anything past Missiaen's massive six-foot-eight, 220 pound frame.
There are a lot of big goaltenders [in the league], Penguins forward Trevor Smith said. We were getting pucks to the net but we just couldn't capitalize.
Jean's power-play goal gave Connecticut (15-17-3) a 1-0 lead at 12:24 in the opening period. The Whale cycled the puck just inside the blueline, where Jean took a pass from Logan Pyett and skated towards the left circle before snapping a shot through traffic and past Thiessen.
I don't think we came ready to play and they capitalized on that with the early power-play goal, Smith said.
Connecticut took a 2-0 lead following a communication breakdown in the Penguins' zone. Thiessen went to play a puck behind his goal, but lost control and had to hurry to the front of the net, where he couldn't corral it as Jean swooped in and pushed the puck into the net at 9:29 in the second.
: Scoring — 1. CT, Kyle Jean 6 (Pyett, Parlett), 12:24. Penalties — WBS, Dylan Reese (high-sticking), 11:41.
Second Period: Scoring — 2. CT Jean 7 (Wiebe, Haley), 9:29. Penalties — CT, Blake Parlett (holding), 1:42; CT, Logan Pyett (interference), 13:52.
Third Period: Scoring — None. Penalties — WBS, Brian Gibbons (hooking), 1:32; CT, Ryan Bourque, (tripping), 14:52.
Shots on goal: Pens – 11-13-11-35; Connecticut – 9-6-3-18. Power-Play Opportunities: Pens – 0 of 3; Connecticut – 1 of 2. Goaltenders: Pens – Brad Thiessen 4-7-1 (16 saves – 18 shots); Connecticut – Jason Missiaen 3-3 (35-35).