Not the way to start a three in three weekend by any means, especially with all coming up on the road, as the Providence Bruins (8-6-3-3) coasted to a 6-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators (5-12-1-1) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday. The loss was the fifth in a row suffered for the Senators and eighth out of their last ten.
Netminder Chris Driedger had an off night as he saw action for the first time in two weeks and gave up some soft goals he would have normally stopped. NHL veteran forward Peter Mueller scored a pair along with two assists and Danton Heinen also scored two goals and an assist to lead the Bruins’ attack.
Heinen scored the game’s first one with a shot that went top shelf from the right circle for a power play goal in the first period. Then just 21 seconds into the second, Mueller’s wrister trickled in off of Driedger’s glove for a two goal cushion as Binghamton almost countered back soon after with rookie Francis Perron’s shot that rang off the post.
Phil Varone finally got the Sens on the board as beat Bruins starter Zane McIntyre with a power play tally to cut the deficit in half. Mike Blunden set him up with a nifty backhand pass to Varone as he went forehand to backhand in front for his fourth goal of the season.
But the Bruins regained their two goal lead on a two on one break as Heinen’s wrist shot again beat Driedger up high form the circle, an identical shot as his first goal as Driedger showed signs of a bit rusty at that point.
Providence would break out for three more goals as forward Wayne Simpson found a small opening short side of the net as Driedger let the puck sneak by. Then in the third Mueller scored his second of the night off the crossbar and left post for a commanding 5-1 Bruins lead.
Sean Kuraly sprung loose on a breakaway for another shorthanded marker as the Senators’ defense was non-existent. With 41.7 seconds left in the game Sens defenseman Chris Rumble scored his first goal in the AHL with a deflection in front to make it a final score of 6-2.
POST GAME NOTES
- Binghamton was 1/6 on the power play while their counterpart was 2/4 and scored two shorthanded goals.
- Ugly game. Not enough substance or urgency. Driedger not as sharp as he has been didn’t help. It was Matt O’Connor in net for two games and Andrew Hammond for another two as the last game Driedger played in was 6-3 win on Nov 19th vs Hartford.
- Jason Akeson made his Senator debut as he was reunited with Varone and Casey Bailey on the top line. There wasn’t much out of him but it’s only his first game back. Buddy Robinson and Andreas Englund were recalled early today.
- Mike Kostka double up on some shifts that included him on the PP as well as the PK. He didn’t look good with some costly turnovers and jsut looked like he’s lost a step or two. Perhaps he’s wearing down as he is counted on to carry the load too much thus far.
- First game in Providence since the 2010-’11 season as the Bruins swept the mini two game series. The Bruins beat the Sens in Binghamton 4-2 on Nov 11th.
The three game weekend continues on the road with a Saturday night meeting in Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.