The Binghamton Senators took their 2-0 series lead home looking to take a stranglehold on their Atlantic Division Final series against the Portland Pirates, but a last-minute goal for Portland gave them a 3-2 win, and cut the B-Sens series lead to 2-1.
Game three started off with some in-house sound issues, so the crowd of 4,637 had the honor of singing the National Anthem. That energy into the first period, and both teams played some physical hockey for the first 20 minutes. For the ninth time in the post season and third time in the series, Binghamton failed to draw first blood as Portland defensemen Brian O'Hanley scored the first goal of the game, hacking the puck into the goal before Robin Lehner could freeze it. Binghamton's powerplay had two chances go tie it in the first, but couldn't convert on either of them. Portland ended the first with a telling 13-8 lead in shots.
As they've done so often in these playoffs, though, Binghamton fought back from the one-goal deficit to take the lead. Ryan Keller scored his fifth playoff goal, off a pass from Ryan Potulny (adding to his Calder Cup Playoff lead in points) on a 2-on-1 to tie the game. The Senators were awarded three more powerplays in the second, but struggled until Kaspars Daugavins scored on their fifth and final man-up opportunity of the night, tipping Erik Condra's shot past David Leggio to give Binghamton a 2-1 lead. Binghamton fired 15 shots on the net, but was still behind 25-23 in shots to Portland after two periods.
Portland fought their way back in the third period, though. Derek Whitmore put a wrister high and past Lehner to tie the game, and the with just 13 seconds remaining in the game, Tim Conboy put the Pirates up 3-2 and set the B-Sens behind. Coach Kurt Kleinendorst used his timeout to rally the troops, but despite some good last-second opportunities with the goalie pulled--including one great chance for Potulny--Binghamton lost their first game of the series.
The second round continues in Binghamton for game four, which is Monday night at 7:05 p.m.