On Friday, the B-Sens kicked off yet another stretch of three games in three days. Zack Smith was also in town with the Binghamton Senators on a short rehab stint to test out his wrist in game action. With Andrew Hammond still working miracles up in Ottawa, the B-Sens turned to Scott Greenham in goal against the Norfolk Admirals on Friday.
The Sens would go down early as a tipped shot would find its way past Greenham to make it a 1-0 game at the three minute mark. A shot off a two-on-one rush would put the Admirals up by a pair with four minutes to go in the first period. In the final minute of the period, the Sens would get a powerplay marker from Shane Prince off an excellent feed from Cole Schneider.
The Admirals would restore the two-goal lead in the second period when a slapshot off the rush would blow by Greenham. Fortunately, the Sens would respond later in the period. Max McCormick would fire a long wrister on net that LaBarbera couldn't handle cleanly. Zack Smith was driving hard to the net and was able to finish off the juicy rebound to get the Sens back to within one.
Just before the second would expire, the Sens would even it up. Cole Schneider entered the zone, toe dragged around a defender and fired a shot on net. Labarbera would struggle with it again and it would sneak through and trickle across the goal line to even the game at three.
After a missed opportunity earlier in the period, Shane Prince would make up for it. Derek Grant fed a blind pass out to Prince in the low slot who one-timed it past the Norfolk goaltender to give the Sens the lead. Greenham would shut the door in the third period, coming up with some big saves throughout, especially late with the Norfolk goalie pulled to help the Sens hold on for the 4-3 win.
Binghamton Senators 4 - Norfolk Admirals 3
Saturday: Binghamton Senators at W-B/Scranton Penguins
For their second game in as many nights, the B-Sens went on the road to face the Penguins. After a win last night, the B-Sens turned to Peter Mannino in net. Saturday's game also featured Zack Smith in his second game of his conditioning stint. Meanwhile, the Sens were without both Ryan Dzingel and Darren Kramer who were out with injuries suffered on Friday.
Wanting to stretch their winning streak to three games, the Sens would strike first off the stick of defenseman Mike Sdao. The very next shift, Troy Rutkowski went to the box for a double-minor penalty for high sticking and penalty killer extraordinaire Buddy Robinson would do what he does best. Buddy would use his speed to his advantage and score a shorthanded goal to put the Sens up by a pair. Unfortunately, the Penguins would later score on the back half of the four-minute penalty.
The Sens were fortunate to get into the first intermission up 2-1 as they were outworked and outshot 15-4 in the first period.
The Penguins would open up the second period with a grinder goal on Mannino to square the game at two. Mannino kept the Sens in it with some solid saves, but Zatkoff was standing tall in the other net as well. Before the second period ended, the Penguins would rip one home to give them the 3-2 lead.
Early in the third, Max McCormick would slap one past Zatkoff to tie the game. Later in the period, the Schneider to Prince connection would pay off again and Prince would make it 4-3 for the Sens. Mannino would keep the Penguins at bay while facing a last ditch 6 on 4 powerplay to lock down the 4-3 Sens win. The Sens gave the Penguins too many chances in this one, but were happy to hold on to the win despite giving up six powerplay opportunities.
Binghamton Senators 4 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 3
Sunday: Binghamton Senators at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
To end their weekend of three games in three days, the Sens went to Bridgeport to take on the New York Islanders AHL affiliate and it wasn't pretty. Peter Mannino was given the start for the second game in a row. With a pile of injuries, call-ups, and now losing Zack Smith back to Ottawa, this game was set up to be a disaster. The BSens were forced to dress eight defencemen in order to ice a team.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the first with a lacrosse-stype goal from behind the net. Kael Mouillerat picked it up on his backhand and tucked it over the shoulder of Mannino who had no chance on it.
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Two minutes later, the Tigers would strike again off another backhand (but much less stylish) to make it 2-0. Two minutes after that, Buddy Robinson would finish off a two-on-one rush with Guptill for his 11th of the season. A floating wrist shot from the point would regain the two goal lead for the Tigers in the second half of the period.
The Sens would get some chances, but nothing of substance. They seemed to just be a step behind the Sound Tigers all night. In the second period, another backhand goal and floating wrister from the point would make it a 5-1 game heading into the second intermission.
The Sound Tigers would finish off the touchdown and extra point (6th and 7th goals) in the third period off of two loose pucks in the crease. A sloppy effort from the short-staffed Sens handed them the 7-1 loss on Sunday.
Binghamton Senators 1 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers 7
Binghamton Senators Record: 28-29-8
Bits and Bites from Bingo:
- Zack Smith performed well in his two-game stint back down in Binghamton. He picked up a goal and an assist over the two game span and looked good out there.
- With the 13 goals allowed this past weekend, the BSens have allowed the most goals in the AHL with 222 in 65 games. They have also scored the third-most goals over the course of the season with 206.
- After giving up seven goals against on Sunday, the Sens have now given up 5 or more goals in 20 or 65 games this year. That's definitely not a recipe for success.
- Both Cole Schneider and Shane Prince are now tied for ninth in the league with 23 goals each. Similarly, both players have picked up eight points in their last five games.
- With his shorthanded goal this weekend, Buddy Robinson tied Jean-Gabriel Pageau (and others) for the league-lead in shorthanded goals with three.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, March 27 at 7:00pm. W-B/Scranton Penguins at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, March 28 at 7:00pm. Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Binghamton Senators
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Vincent Dunn: After missing 11 games due to five suspensions this year and a handful of recent games due to "illness", Dunn was just released from the Rimouski Oceanic. He recorded 19 goals, 13 assists, and 153 penalty minutes over 46 games this season. It's unclear as to the exact reason why Dunn was released before the playoffs have started, but it obviously doesn't seem like a good thing.
Tobias Lindberg: He picked up three points in three games this past week, and now has points in 10 of his past 11 games. Lindberg finished his first OHL season with 32 goals and 46 assists in 67 games. His Oshawa Generals finished the regular season atop the Eastern Conference and will take on the Peterborough Petes in the first round.
Nick Paul: He finished off the regular season with a two-goal performance in a 6-3 win on Friday. He and the North Bay Battalion will take on the Kingston Frontenacs in the first round of the OHL playoffs. Paul finished his third season with the Battalion with 37 goals and 29 assists in 58 games.
Francis Perron: Like Paul, Perron also finished off his regular season with a two-goal game, lighting the lamp twice in a 7-3 win for his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He finished his season with 29 goals and 47 assists in 64 games.