Sens forward Kyle Flanagan continues to work for a contract (still on a PTO) in scoring his fifth of the season and Buddy Robinson added an empty netter as the BSens (18-28-3-0) snapped their five game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Syracuse Crunch (19-21-9-1). Chris Driedger (12-12-1-0, 3.11GAA, 0.899 SV%) stopped all 21 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season in what turned out to be a goaltending duel with Crunch netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy with overtime looming.
A sparse, but lively crowd of 7,262 was on hand at the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa on DIFD night for the annual event on a late Saturday afternoon affair between two rivals in the East Division for the first time ever. In the past, it was always the Hamilton Bulldogs the team to beat, before switching it up with the Toronto Marlies last season.
The contest also witnessed a Senator goal become nullified that should have counted, as the officiating continues to rear its ugly head this season with some questionable calls.
After Binghamton had the jump in the opening 20 minutes, they couldn't bury one until at the midway point in the second period, as defenseman Fredrik Claesson ripped home a slapper from high in the slot past Vasilevskiy for a 1-0 lead. However, moments before that, Sens defenseman Mike Sdao laid a ferocious hit to Syracuse rookie Cameron Darcy on the wall, crumpling him to the ice with the ref standing right there doing nothing.
After the goal, and that's a big word, AFTER, Mike Angelidis jumped Sdao as he grabbed his jersey over his head and sent him down to the ice with him on top swinging away. Players gathered around with some pushing and shoving that led to the officiating crew having a lengthy discussion near the penalty boxes. It was then decided a no goal call and penalties were handed out instead, as it appeared one of the linesman was telling how badly the hit was missed with a non call. Sdao ended up with a five minute major for elbowing, and Angelidis only two minutes for roughing. Unbelievable.
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights, again, with nothing going the Senators way, until Flanagan nailed down his fifth of the season on a slapper from inside the blueline that caught the mesh with Zack Stortini up front for the screen. The power play tally came with 3:25 left in the third, as Vasilevskiy was totally blinded.
The one thing the Sens did not need was an extra dose of drama with time running down in search for their first win in 14 days.
With Vasilevskiy pulled for the extra attacker, Max McCormick got whistled for slashing setting up a six on four with 45.9 seconds left. With the Crunch with all kinds of pressure, Cole Schneider was able to grab a loose puck and managed to hook up Buddy Robinson up the middle for a shorthanded breakaway and the empty netter was good with 22.9 ticks left, giving Robinson ten on the season.
Binghamton celebrated their 2-0 win with a stick salute at center ice for those that showed up, giving them something to cheer about that has been a rarity as of late for the organization, a win.
POST GAME NOTES
- The game featured one fight with Danny Hobbs, fresh from recall, taking on Charlie Dodero in the middle frame that was brief with both falling to the ice, as Dodero received an extra two for roughing. Other then that, Senators with their normal 20 minutes of calls.
- Driedger was fantastic, including making several key saves on Mike Blunden up close, and a sweet glove save on Andrew Yogan from the circle. Just need him to be more consistent the rest of the way.
- Eric O'Dell had a rough go at it missing the open net several times with the puck jumping over his stick, including ringing one off the crossbar. He has not scored in his last six games, having only an assist to show for during that span. The offense needs him as one of the primary scorers this team has.
- Team played their third game in four nights, all on the road. Syracuse was well rested having arrived in Ottawa on Thursday after their game in St. John's on Wednesday.
- Syracuse has struggled as well as both teams entered the game with a combined record of 0-10-2, as Syracuse is now winless in their last eight.
- This was Vasilevskiy's second loss in six days at CTC. This past Monday, he was in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. He was sent down after the game, that cleared his way to be tonight's starter for the Crunch.
Senators are off until next weekend where they will endure another three-in-three on the schedule, beginning with a pair of home games against John Scott's IceCaps on Friday and Saturday.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20