Two teams headed in opposite directions as the playoff bound Albany(41-17-8-2) sink the basement dwelling Binghamton 2-1 in overtime at The Floyd. The BSens (27-34-6-1) have now lost their last four games to kick off the final month of hockey with eight remaining in the month of April, as the Senators suffer through another lost season. And no, that's not an April Fools joke.
With both teams missing some of their top level players to their respective parent clubs, not much offense was on display in tonight's match, as that has been a recurring theme nowadays for Binghamton. They have scored just four goals during this losing streak and yielded 15, a really bad combination to have.
Sens goaltender Chris Driedger (16-13-4-0, 2.95GAA, 0.905SV%) was great with a valiant effort, as he stopped 31 shots, but his mishandling of the puck behind his cage led to a costly turnover, and ultimately the game winner, just 22 seconds into the overtime period.
Both teams traded first period goals as Albany defenseman Brandon Burlon backhanded a knuckler to the goal mouth from his blueline where forward Brian O’Neill was standing, as he cradled the bouncing puck and tapped it by Driedger on his backhand that gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.
Max McCormick would tie it a 1:47 later as he pushed the puck over Devils netminder Scott Wedgewood's leg pad and into the back of the net it dribbled in for his 12th of the season on a Sens powerplay. Jason Akeson earned the primary assist, as his slapper from the point was stopped by Wedgewood, but McCormick was there ready for the rebound.
The hits were hard and numerous throughout the contest, which provided some excitement to what was an otherwise snoozefest. However, there was a fight that featured two heavyweights that know each other fairly well over the years, as Zack Stortini and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond dropped the gloves in the middle frame. After some hugging and holding that had taken place, Leblond dropped Stortini with a shot to his nose which drew blood, sending the Captain to the ice.
In the overtime session, Driedger provided his own demise as his clearing attempt from behind the net was picked off by Albany forward Paul Thompson near the corner. Thompson then found Marc-Andre Gragnani in the slot, who fed to Jim O'Brien, as the trio were left all alone around a hapless Driedger. O'Brien got credit for the game winner, his 18th of the season just 22 seconds into overtime.
POST GAME NOTES
- In the overtime Chris Carlisle, Phil Varone and Akeson were on the ice and no where near the net, as they were headed up ice anticipating a breakout play with Driedger passing the puck along the wall. Good fore-checking that paid off for the Devils including JOB.
- Sens defenseman Mark Fraser made his return after missing some time with a lower body injury, and made his presence be known with his usual hard nose hits, especially with two in the second period. After he bounced Raman Hrabarenka to the end boards, Fraser then checked rookie Kevin Rooney down to the ice that broke his stick.
-Marc-Andre Gragnani near the crease. That is what you get with the big guy, great hustle and determination on the PK, but not the most gifted player with the puck.
- With defenseman Ben Harpur on recall, Sens added
- One of the BSens parity anymore is an occasional offensive odd man rush. There hasn't been many, as I counted only one tonight, Akeson and Varone with Jason recorded a single shot on goal. That's it. Dave Dziurzynski came close to another, before it fizzled out with him losing possession of the puck. Sad state this organization is currently in.
The Sens take on the Utica Comets on Saturday, followed with a trip to Albany for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Devils.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20