Coming off an embarrassing 7-1 loss last week to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Binghamton Senators were back home for a pair of games this weekend. To kick off the weekend, they took on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night. Goaltender Scott Greenham was given the start for Binghamton on the front side of the back-to-back games.
After an early Shane Prince opportunity would find the goalpost, the Penguins would open the scoring just past the three minute mark of the first period. Buddy Robinson would just miss the net on a quality scoring chance from in close and the Penguins would take it back the other way. After a battle along the boards, defenseman Fredrik Claesson would fail to get the puck out. The Penguins would capitalize with a shot from the slot and bury the rebound to go up 1-0.
After Derek Grant drew a penalty late in the first, the Sens went to the powerplay hoping to even the score before the intermission. Right off the ensuing faceoff, the Penguins' Jayson Megna would burn captain Aaron Johnson to the outside and take off on a shorthanded breakaway. He would make a quick deke and score on the backhand to beat Greenham for the 2-0 lead.
The Sens would fail to generate anything much of any offensive zone time on the rest of the powerplay and they would go into the first intermission down 2-0.
Outside of a lengthy scrap between Binghamton's Max McCormick and the Penguins' Adam Payerl, the second period didn't amount to much.
Midway through the third period, the Penguins would extend their lead to three. Just as a Binghamton penalty was expiring, the Penguins would put a hard shot on net from the slot. Greenham was unable to hold onto the rebound and Rowney would fire it home for the 3-0 lead.
Through the first 14 minutes of the third period, the BSens had only managed to get one shot on goal, a bold strategy, let's see if it pays off.
Following a Penguins icing call, the Sens would finally crack the Penguins' Matt Murray's shutout bid. The Sens would work it around the zone and Max McCormick would tip home a Claesson blast from the point to cut the lead to 3-1.
Unfortunately a late strong push with the goalie out would not be able to get the Sens back in it, despite a few quality opportunities. McCormick would end the game an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Binghamton Senators 1 - W/B Scranton Penguins 3
Saturday: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Binghamton Senators
After being embarrassed 7-1 in their last meeting against Bridgeport, the BSens looked to show a bit more life in this one. After getting lit up for seven goals last time, Peter Mannino got the call in net looking for revenge for last week's game. Bridgeport's team also featured former Ottawa Senator and Binghamton Senator, Matt Carkner.
Bridgeport would get on the board first with just under five minutes to go in the opening period. Claesson made an absolutely brutal blind backhand pass up the middle that was picked off and promptly deposited into the Binghamton net for the 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, Michael Sdao and Brett Gallant dropped the gloves for a wild lengthy tilt. Sdao would earn the KO punch, but would be cut up in the scrap.
The BSens would get their fair share of chances in the opening frame outshooting Bridgeport 14-5, but would trail 1-0 at the break.
Early in the second period, the Sens took a too many men on the ice penalty and would go on the penalty kill. They came close to killing it off, but with just two seconds to go in the penalty a Bridgeport point shot would find its way past Mannino who was screened by defenseman Guillaume Lepine.
In the third, the Sens would finally get on the board. Max McCormick would get to a loose rebound and find the back of the net for the second night in a row. The goal brought him to an even ten goals on the season and would cut the Bridgeport lead to one.
Unfortunately, Bridgeport would restore their two-goal lead. Mike Halmo would spin off a check in the corner and cut out front. He fired a quick wristshot on net and for the second time, Mannino was screened by one of his own defensemen. Mannino was visibly frustrated with Chris Wideman after the goal.
Later, New York Islanders' first round pick Griffin Reinhart would pick up the puck at center ice, drive in, and put a backhand roof job short-side on Mannino. Reinhart's goal would make it a 4-1 game. Bridgeport would hold off the Sens and finish the game with the 4-1 victory.
Binghamton Senators 1 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4
Binghamton Senators Record: 28-31-8
Bits and Bites from Bingo
- The Binghamton Senators have only scored one goal in each of their last three games. Not surprisingly, one goal per game hasn't been good enough to win.
- With Andrew Hammond returning to the Ottawa Senators from injury, Chris Driedger has been sent back down. Instead of sending him back down to ECHL Evansville, they chose to send him to Binghamton. It'll be interesting to see who gets the starts in next week's games.
- A pair of good games this weekend from Max McCormick, scoring the only goals for Binghamton. He's on a little bit of a hot streak, picking up points in four of his last five games. He could potentially be a good fit for a bottom line role in Ottawa in the future.
- The defensive problems continue to be a big issue for the BSens. Some blind passes, slow skating, and screening of their own goaltender were the main reasons for the goals against this weekend.
The Week Ahead:
Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Syracuse Crunch
Friday, April 3 at 7:00pm. Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, April 4 at 5:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Albany Devils
Junior Playoff Prospect Update:
Tobias Lindberg: Kicked off the playoffs with a bang, scoring a hat trick in the first period of the opening game of Oshawa's series with Peterborough. He later added an assist in the game. Lindberg was drafted with the fourth round pick that the Sens received from Tampa Bay alongside Cory Conacher for Ben Bishop. This trade might work out after all!?
Ben Harpur: Scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in the first game of Barrie's series with Belleville. He followed that up with another goal and assist on Monday night.
Robert Baillargeon: The Sens 5th round pick from 2012 is playing for Boston University featuring Jack Eichel and goaltender Matt O'Connor. He has been held pointless in the past two games, but his team will be headed to the NCAA Frozen Four on April 9th.
Nick Paul: He is off to an incredible pace to start the playoffs. He has scored two goals and three assists through the first two games of North Bay's series with Kingston.
Francis Perron: Ottawa's 7th round pick this past year has a pair of goals and assists through two games for Rouyn-Noranda in the QMJHL. Perron was named first star in game two of the series.