This is where Curtis Lazar should have been to begin his pro career in the first place, crafting his way through the minors leading to the NHL instead of the reverse. However, Lazar is still young, as well as mature enough, to still get his offensive game in gear before he gets the call back up at some point.
It's a start as Lazar earned his first ever AHL point on a sweet goal in the latter stages of the third period to tie up the Albany Devils, and also scored the BSens' only goal in the shootout, but his team fell short by a score of 3-2 at the always empty Times Union Center in Albany, NY on Friday.
Binghamton (1-0-1) however did earn an important road point and was competitive against the undefeated Devils (3-0-0) with goaltender Chris Driedger stopping 24 shots. The Sens will have a quick turnaround as they will take on Rochester at home on Saturday.
The Senators got out in front first as a pair of rookies earned their first AHL points when forward Vincent Dunn shoveled a short pass from the offensive faceoff to defenseman Andreas Englund at the blueline. Englund then feathered a shot towards the net that caught forward Ryan Rupert in front past Albany goalie Ken Appleby, who finished with 26 saves.
The Devils would tie it less than three minutes later as forward Ben Sexton swatted the puck in mid-air by Driedger’s shoulder for his first of the season in a goal-mouth scramble. Driedger would soon argue to referee Olivier Gouin that Sexton's bat was over the alotted shoulder rule to no avail.
Then Seth Helgeson would give Albany a 2-1 lead with a hard, quick one-timer from the blueline that sailed by Driedger under the crossbar, as his shot had appeared to have handcuffed him.
The game would remain that score with an uneventful second period with shots 10-8 Binghamton, and overall 18-17 in favor of Albany.
In the third Binghamton pressed hard and outplayed the Devils, only to have Albany’s young goaltender come up big on several occurrences as he stopped Chad Nehring and Nick Paul on some decent chances.
But Lazar was able to solve Appleby with a beauty of a shot, as the puck went high through traffic, near the corner circle for his first goal for Binghamton, as the two teams were then tied at two apiece with overtime looming.
BSens would get their opportunities on the three-on-three OT action, but couldn’t get one by Appleby. In the ShootOut, Lazar beat Appleby stick side for the team’s lone tally and the early advantage, but Driedger failed on Blake Pietila’s corner shot in the fifth round, although he played well on the one-on-one action.
POST GAME NOTES
- Max McCormick’s shot that rung off the near post in the OT was challenged by HC Kurt Kleinendorst, but after a review the no-goal call stood. Which indeed was the right call after viewing replays.
- I thought Nick Paul stood out. Was aggresive around the net and played somewhat physical. Seems to play with more confidence.
- Zack Stortini was challenged in a first period fight from Albany forward Ben Thomson, but the result was mostly a bear hugged affair with Storts wrestling Thomson down to the ice.
- Ex-Sens Carter Camper was shaken up a bit on a malachi crunch at center ice in the first period, as Paul and Lazar both sandwiched Camper down to the ice. He didn’t return after trying to give it a go early in the middle frame.
- Four penalties called combined with each team at two, as the BSens powerplay was non-existent. Terrible actually.
- Sens will likely go with Matt O’Connor in net on Saturday as he will make his season debut. Amerks have been off to a rough start so far, let’s see what he can do.
- Lines were; Paul-Lazar-Blunden, Perron-Flanagan-Bailey, McCormick-Nehring-Robinson, Dunn-Rupert-Stortini / Sieloff-Kostka, Claesson-Harpur, Englund-Carlisle. 12 forwards and no spare(s). (!!)
- DMan Guy Lepine was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Forward Gabriel Gagne and defenseman Chris Rumble were both sent to Wichita earlier on this week, as they were healthy scratches in last Saturday’s season opener as well.
The BSens host the Rochester Americans on Saturday to complete the weekend.