With the recent announcement of the Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim Ducks affiliate) relocating to San Diego, this week's trip down to Norfolk, Virginia would be their last. The Admirals have had Binghamton's number recently, winning three of their four matchups this season. The Sens came into the week riding a four-game losing streak, with the last two losses coming in overtime. With the playoffs a distant dream, the Sens looked to earn some respect in their trip down to Virginia.
Goaltender Scott Greenham got the start for Binghamton, and little did he know how much rubber he was about to face over the next couple days. The Sens opened the scoring in the first period on a three on two rush. Cole Schneider put the puck on net and Patrick Mullen was there to bury the rebound for an easy one to put the Sens up 1-0.
The Admirals would tie it up in the second half of the first. Norfolk defenseman Robak pinched down to the slot, received a pass from down low, got a shot away, and buried his own rebound to even the game at one. The Troy Rutkowski (on recall from ECHL Evansville) and Fredrik Claesson pairing failed to identify the pinching defender until it was too late.
The Senators powerplay would strike in the second to regain the lead. Schneider would streak down the left side and feed Ryan Dzingel who was flying down the middle for a partial break. Dzingel would save his dzangles for another day and simply snap one past LaBarbera.
In the third, the McCormick line would add some insurance for the Sens. Tough guy and AHL penalty minute leader Darren Kramer fed Max McCormick on a three on two rush who wristed one five-hole for the 3-1 lead. Danny Hobbs would add an empty net goal with just under two minutes to go to seal the victory.
In the final minute, former Senators prospect Stefan Noeson dropped the gloves with newly signed Brad Mills and Mills would get some good shots in on him. Greenham had a solid game in net for the Sens, stopping 46 of 47 shots on the night to earn his 11th win of the season. The win finally broke the four-game losing streak for the Sens.
Binghamton Senators 4 - Norfolk Admirals 1
Binghamton Senators Record: 23-26-8
Friday: Binghamton Senators at Norfolk Admirals
After picking up the win on Wednesday, the Sens hoped to keep the momentum going into Friday's rematch with the Admirals. Following an impressive 46-save performance on Wednesday, it was no surprise that the Sens turned to Greenham in net again on Friday.
For the second game in a row, the Sens opened the scoring early. Shane Prince pick-pocketed a Norfolk forward and broke in two-on-one with Carter Camper. He dished it over to Camper who wristed it home for his 11th of the year and the early lead. Later in the first during a delayed penalty call, the Sens worked it up to the point for Chris Wideman who fired home a slapshot for a 2-0 lead.
Following a Senators hooking penalty, the Sens penalty kill would go to work. At the tail end of the kill, the Admirals were able to go cross-crease for a wide open backdoor play to cut the Senators' lead to one.
In the third period on what looked like a harmless play, the Admirals wristed one on net through a maze of players and it found its way to the back of the net. The goal evened the game at two and sent the game to overtime. The Admirals would take it to the Sens in the period, outshooting them by a wide 24-10 margin but Greenham would continue his strong play.
During the three-on-three portion of overtime, Camper camped just inside the blueline waiting for his teammates to join him. He showed great patience, skated into the high slot and wristed home the game winner for the Sens.
For the second game in a row, Greenham faced a ton of shots and still came out on top. He ended up stopping 49 of 51 shots in the win for the Sens.
Binghamton Senators 3 - Norfolk Admirals 2 (OT)
Binghamton Senators Record: 24-26-8
Sunday: Syracuse Crunch at Binghamton Senators
On Sunday afternoon, the Sens were back at home playing host to the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch currently hold the edge, winning four of their six meetings this season. Sunday's game also offered Greenham a well deserved rest while Peter Mannino got his shot in between the pipes.
A hooking penalty to defenseman Guillaume Lepine sent the Crunch to the powerplay. A defensive lapse following a failed clearing opportunity by the Sens penalty killers left the Crunch's Gourde all alone in front who one-timed a centering pass past Mannino. Later in the first, the puck would squeak out to the point from a scramble in front and Wideman would unload a slapshot that found the twine to make it a 1-1 game.
In the second period, the Sens would go on the powerplay. After Prince was robbed down low, the Sens would continue to work it around the zone and up to the point. Aaron Johnson blasted it from the point and past Gudlevskis for the go-ahead goal. On the goal, Derek Grant would get knocked down in a battle in front of the net. He would go down hard and slam his face into a Crunch player's skate, knocking out two teeth. He would leave the game, but would return later.
In the third period, Derek Grant's return would have an immediate impact. While killing a penalty he would get a step on the Crunch defence, but he would be stopped on the breakaway. Schneider was following up closely to clean up the garbage to make it a 3-1 game.
With just over five minutes to go, captain Aaron Johnson would catch a Crunch forward coming across the middle. Unfortunately he caught him in the head. The hit did not look good whatsoever, I would not be surprised if there would be a suspension to follow.
Even with the five-minute major penalty to Johnson, the Sens went on a brief 4-on-3 powerplay. They worked it around the diamond and up to Mullen at the point. Mullen's point shot would be tipped home by Derek Grant to make it a 4-1 game.
With just under two-minutes to go, Mannino fumbled with the puck behind the net and the Crunch would put it into the empty net to make it a 4-2 game. It would be too little too late though, and the Sens would hold on to win.
For the third game in a row, the Sens gave up 40+ shots and still managed to win. Sunday's game was an eventful one for Derek Grant, recording two points and losing two teeth for a first star performance.
Binghamton Senators 4 - Syracuse Crunch 2
Binghamton Senators Record: 25-26-8
Bits and Bites from Bingo
- Coming off a four-game winless streak, the BSens quickly turned that around and now have points in five straight games and are winners in their past three. The Sens are now 10 points out of the last playoff spot with 17 games remaining.
- When the Sens hold their opponent to two or less goals, they have a dominant record of 16-1-1. Unfortunately for the Sens, the timely goaltending of this past week just hasn't been there for most of the season.
- Great week from Carter Camper, picking up two goals and two assists over the three game span including the overtime winner against Norfolk. The 5'9 center has played well alongside Shane Prince and Cole Schneider.
- Former Senators prospect Stefan Noesen was in action against the Sens this past week. Since the trade that brought Bobby Ryan to Ottawa, Noesen has been through a ton of injury troubles and only played 17 games over the past two seasons. In the two games against Binghamton, Noesen got on the board with an assist and also got in a scrap against Brad Mills.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, March 13 at 7:00pm. Hershey Bears at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, March 14 at 7:00pm. Hartford Wolf Pack at Binghamton Senators
Sunday, March 15 at 5:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Adirondack Flames
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Tobias Lindberg: Picked up the first goal of the game in a 3-0 win for his Oshawa Generals over the Plymouth Whalers. Incredibly, the Generals managed to fire 60 shots on net in the game, including a 28-4 first period. Lindberg was named second star in the game.
Vincent Dunn: He got in another scrap on Wednesday against Sherbrooke and earned himself a game misconduct for removing the other player's helmet in the fight. The major penalty gives him the third-most penalty minutes in the league. Not only that, but he was also handed a two-game suspension for his acts. The suspension is his fifth (!) of the season. While he's not in the box or suspended, he has 19 goals and 13 assists through 46 games this season.
Francis Perron: Big weekend from him, picking up a goal and four assists in three games. His three assist night on Saturday earned him first star honours in a 5-1 win over the Victoriaville Tigers.
Nick Paul: He picked up a goal and two assists through three games this week. His two-point night on Saturday earned him the first star selection in a win over the Sudbury Wolves.