Goaltender Malcolm Subban won his first game of the season in seven attempts with a 38 save effort to lead the Providence Bruins to a 4-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators on Veterans Night at The Floyd on Friday. His counterpart on the opposite end of the ice, was shaky at times as Chris Driedger (2-1-1-0, 1.73 GAA, 0.931 SV%) had an off-night in suffering his first loss this season in regulation.
The Bruins (4-5-2-1) scored three goals in a span of 3:46 in the second period that broke a tie for a 4-1 advantage that eventually sent the Senators (3-6-0-1) to their fifth loss in the last six games. During that time the offense has been dry with just 11 goals to show for and 19 overall in ten games, the worst in the league.
It took only 3:12 in the first for Providence to take a 1-0 lead as forward Wayne Simpson scored on a shot from a sharp angle that trickled through Driedger’s five hole for his second of the season. That would be one he would want back but that would be only the beginning for the third year pro.
The sometimes under-rated Casey Bailey would tie it in the second as he scored his team leading fourth goal. Subban’s kick save on defenseman Chris Rumble’s one-timer from the point went directly to Bailey, as he was planted near the top of the circle and buried the puck by a late diving Subban.
Then things got ugly once again with three unanswered goals by Providence which broke any momentum Binghamton had sustained up to that point. First a shorthanded tally on a two-on-one rush as Tyler Randell along with Jordan Szwarz drove Senator defenseman Michael Kostka back as Szwarz’s shot again trickled through Driedger underneath his pads for a 2-1 lead.
That goal was just the beginning as the next one was a fluke result when Mark Naclerio bounced the puck off of Driedger’s shoulder from behind the cage for a two goal lead. Just 50 seconds later, ex-Sens’ defenseman Alex Grant took a slapshot from inside the blueline that had eyes for the back of the net as the puck got caught in the twine for his third of the season.
Binghamton would cut the lead by two when Max McCormick hooked up from a perfectly timed pass from Curtis Lazar as the puck was redirected past Subban in the latter stages of the final period. Driedger was eventually pulled, then followed by a timeout with 1:51 left, but it was a little to late as both Lazar and Phil Varone missed the net from up close. Shots ended up in favor of Binghamton 40-28.
POST GAME NOTES
- Sens changed their jersey’s after the first period. From a patriotic themed white with red and blue trim to their black road set. Providence wore their white uniforms and apparently caused some confusion with both teams wearing white.
- Defenseman Guy Lepine, fresh off his three game suspension last weekend, had a first period fight with Randell after his high hit near the face of Mark Naclerio by the wall. The two would spin around some with both grabbing and clutching at at each other’s jerseys with minimal damage landed.
- Some excitement in the final 20 minutes when McCormick barreled into Subban as he lost control of his forward movement that drew the ire of the Bruins’ goaltender, as he quickly got up and started wailing after McCormick. Chris Breen would step in to stick up for Subban in a lengthy fight near the corner boards. Subban was also seen in an attempt to goad Driedger into perhaps a confrontation, but thought different of it with a three goal lead at the time.
- Lazar you could argue was hot and cold all night. There were moments where he simply couldn’t get a grip on the puck with a shot that rung off the post from up close, to missing the net completely. Several turnovers as well, but played hard in the final two minutes. Not something you want to see from a former first rounder as he looks frustrated, perhaps from trying to hard.
- First meeting between the two clubs in six years as with the win, the Bruins pull to an even 8-8-1 lifetime record with Binghamton.
- BSens play their next six out of eight at home including five in a row that began tonight. Time to make up some ground in the division before it’s too late.
The home field advantage rolls on with a game on tap Saturday with the Springfield Thunderbirds.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20