Binghamton Senators (4-7-0) got the monkey off their back and get on the side of winning hockey as Captain Zack Stortini returned to his former home late Sunday afternoon and put on a show scoring two goals in leading the Senators 4-1 over Lehigh Valley (4-8-0). Goaltender Chris Driedger (4-2-0, 2.35 GAA, 0.922 SV%) earned the win stopping 31 shots and even the power play got involved going two for four. The victory put an end to their five game losing streak.
Stortini sets the tone early just five seconds in and drops the gloves with rookie Tyrell Goulbourne and landed some good rights before falling to the ice being KO'ed and helped off the ice. Then the Sens strike with Lehigh Valley down a man as Tobias Lindberg, fresh off his one game benching on Saturday, picks up a loose rebound and sailing home a high wrister from the top of the circle that caught Eric O'Dell streaking by in front and eluding Phantom goalie Jason LaBarbera just 1:59 into the first period for a 1-0 lead.
In the second Tim Brent got the Phantoms on the board with a power play tally started by a quick pass across the crease and under Sens defenseman Fredrik Claesson's stick setting up Brent for the easy tap in as he was parked by the side of the cage untouched. Binghamton would later answer as Stortini puts his club back on the lead scoring his first of the season tucking home a rebound in front off the stick of Colin Greening as his slapper was initially saved by LaBarbera, as Zack came crashing into the net.
The Senators would close out the game scoring twice in the third. Veteran David Dziurzynski got his stick redirecting a Guillaume Lepine slapper from the blue line to put the B-Sens up 3-1 as that was Dizzy's fourth of the season. Then just a minute later Stortini, with some good hustle and determination, was left alone in front on the power play and put home the rebound past LaBarbera for his second of the game. Good effort on that one as Binghamton goes on to win it.
- Lines continue to be mixed as Luke Richardson looks for the right combination to snap this losing streak, and it obviously payed off. Lots of changes as Ryan Dzingel was slotted taking Max McCormick's spot on the first line while he moves down to the second, and Greening and Dziurzynski switch positions on the checking line. Defenseman Chris Carlisle moves to the forward spot on the fourth line for the second consecutive game.
- That is what we all have been waiting for as finally the power play did things right with Zack in front getting the garbage goals that he's been known to do. Good effort from the Captain as he picked up first star honors.
- Lindberg and Nick Paul returned from their one game benching and played well as it's always a good thing to keep on top of the young prospects so they don't fall behind in forming bad habits early on in their careers. As they say 'nip it at the bud.'
- Another good outing from Driedger and going forward he should see the majority of playing time, at least for the time being. We'll see who's in net for Wednesday night's home contest as the way the rotation has gone, it's Matt O'Connor's turn, even though Driedger deserves it.
- Scary moment in the first as Stortini was hurt in his opening fight withand had to be helped off the ice. Guess he felt his age on that one as the much younger rookie waited before delivery the mighty blow, only to shake it off and return later in the period.
-Shots ended up 32-27 Phantoms as Binghamton was 2/4 on the man advantage and killed off 3/4 on the penalty kill. Both teams coming off a 3 in 3 weekend as the Phantoms were losers in all of theirs.
- The win salvaged would could have been a lost weekend in the three games they played while putting an end to their five game losing streak. Up next a date with the same Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Binghamton on Wednesday.