Shorthanded Penguins can't climb out of early hole in loss to Providence

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Nov. 6—An important section of the Penguins' defense is missing. And the results are showing this week.

With multiple regulars on the blue line called up to Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dropped back-to-back games for the first time on the young season, falling 6-2 to Providence on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Two nights after a 4-0 road loss to Lehigh Valley, the Penguins had a sluggish start against the Bruins, getting outshot 16-4 in the first period and falling behind 4-0 just five minutes into the second.

COVID-19 cases have hit parent club Pittsburgh hard in recent weeks. Four defensemen on the big club were still in protocols and unavailable to play at the start of the week before one of them, Kris Letang, was able to return on Thursday.

But that still means that three important blueliners who started the season in the AHL — Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Juuso Riikola and now Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Taylor Fedun — are up in Pittsburgh.

As it was, the Penguins were overwhelmed early against the Bruins, who opened the scoring just 1:07 into the contest on an Oskar Steen goal. Steven Fogarty made it 2-0 midway through the frame on the power play.

The Penguins' penalty woes continued early in the second as the Bruins capitalized twice more on the man-advantage, getting goals from Zach Senyshyn and Chris Wagner to go up 4-0.

That made for an early exit for rookie goalie Filip Lindberg, who saw his unbeaten streak to begin his pro career come to an end. Lindberg had opened the season 4-0 with some impressive stats — a 1.71 goals against average and a .942 save percentage.

Louis Domingue took over the rest of the way in net and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was able to stabilize for a time.

Nathan Legare got the Penguins on the board with 4:46 left in the second period, and Kyle Olson pulled them within 4-2 early in the third with his first goal of the season.

Providence would pull away from there as Eduards Tralmarks made it 5-2 and Steen scored into an empty net.

Jordy Bellerive, Filip Hallander, Jonathan Gruden and Sam Poulin all picked up an assist on the night in the loss. Lindberg finished with 16 saves on 20 shots while Domingue stopped 15 of 16 shots.

The Bruins went 3-for-5 on the power play while the Penguins couldn't convert on any of their five chances with the extra man.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be right back on the ice Saturday to try and stop the skid, traveling to face Hartford at 7 p.m.