Derek Grant scores in OT, leads Binghamton to win over Manchester

Ryan Potulny, seen here in regular season action with the Ottawa Senators, is leading the Binghamton Senators in playoff scoring with two goals and an assist in two games.

After falling in the first game of their first-round series against the Manchester Monarchs, it was expected that the Binghamton Senators would try and get a quick start in game two to make their presence felt. They didn't. Bingo was outshot 23-15 through the first two periods, and the Monarchs took a 2-0 lead before the second period was ten minutes old.

Not much was going right for the B-Sens. They were given a very early powerplay opportunity when Ray Kaunisto was assessed a goaltender interference penalty just 1:40 into the game, but once again Binghamton wasn't able to get anything done with the man advantage. Andre Benoit took a delay-of-game penalty early in the second period, and Tyler Toffoli (he of Ottawa 67s fame) scored on the powerplay to give Manchester a 1-0 lead. Justin Avezedo put a fluky shot past Barry Brust later in the second, and it was 2-0 in favour of the Monarchs after two periods.

The third period, though, was a different story. Down two goals, and 20 minutes away from returning home winless, Binghamton came out like gangbusters in the third period to get back in to the game. Ryan Potulny scored Binghamton's first goal just over one minute into the third, and four minutes later, Ryan Keller (in response to being labelled a zero in game one, I presume) scored the tying goal. Binghamton's offense, for the first time in the series, was taking control. Kaspars Daugavins, making up for an ill-timed penalty earlier in the game, scored Binghamton's first powerplay goal of the post-season to put Bingo ahead by one. Before the game was done, though, Manchester defensemen Patrick Muzzin tied the game and sent the two teams to overtime.

Manchester carried the play for the first couple minutes of the extra period, firing two early shots at Brust. But the B-Sens goaltender fought them off, and a good rush culminated in rookie Derek Grant scoring the biggest game of his pro career so far.

B-Sens Hero: Ryan Potulny
Although Potulny took another undisciplined penalty in game two, he more than made up for it. His goal early in the third got Bingo back into the game, and he assisted on the third one, and fired a team-high four shots on Manchester's Jeff Zatkoff.

B-Sens Killer: Justin Azevedo
Azevedo factored in on every goal Manchester scored, putting up one goal and two assists. He also had an assist in game one, giving him four points and seven shots in just two games so far. If Binghamton's defense can't find a way to shut him down, it's could be a long series.

B-Sens Hero: Ryan Keller                                                      
The captain got it done in game two. He finished +2, fired two shots on the Manchester net, and tied the game in the third. You've got to give credit where it's due: When the going got tough, Keller got going.

B-Sens Hero: Kurt Kleinendorst
Huge honors to head coach Kleinendorst for keeping his team in the game. Whatever he said to his team in the second intermission obviously worked, because the team that came out for the third was ready to fight for the victory.

With the win, Binghamton earns the split in Manchester, and heads to Binghamton with the unofficial home ice advantage.

Game highlights:

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