The talented Lehigh Valley Phantoms earned a 2-1 comeback victory over the Binghamton Senators at The Floyd on Friday in downtown Binghamton. The two teams played a tighter game then what the results were from Wednesday’s nine goal outburst (7-2) as the Phantoms took the mini home-on-home series. The Sens battled all night as they peppered rookie goaltender Alex Lyon with 42 shots, but with only a goal to show for as they lost their second game in three days.
Senators’ netminder Chris Driedger, in his first game back since he was sent down by Ottawa, was equally strong with some outstanding saves with the team shorthanded on several occasions, including a five on three disadvantage for a full two minutes in the opening twenty minutes.
Jason Akeson scored a power play goal at 15:51 in the second period to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. His initial shot was blocked by Lehigh Valley’s forward Corban Knight as the puck bounced right back to Akeson as he got a second scoring opportunity and this time he made good on it. His blistering slapper from high in the slot sailed by Lyon’s glove and into the cage for his fifth of the season.
But two goals in the third by the high scoring Phantoms were the difference in tonight’s contest as Binghamton tried all they could but weren’t able to solve Lyon the rest of the way.
Jordan Weal picked up a nice feed from along the wall by Danick Martel and skated by defenseman Andreas Englund towards the net and cradled the puck from his forehand to backhand and in at 4:51 that twisted Driedger and ate him up to make it a 1-1 game.
Then the back breaker. With a little more than five minutes remaining Phantoms’ rookie forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored unassisted from a sharp angle near the goal line that found the slightest of openings, as the puck slipped by Driedger’s leg pad and into the back of the net for Lehigh Valley’s first and only lead of the night.
Binghamton would attempt to mount a comeback of their own but fell short with players having difficulty trying to control the puck with time winding down.
POST GAME NOTES
- Lehigh Valley is a real good team and deep in depth as they have the 2nd best record in the AHL at 29-11-2-0 and are behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Atlantic Division. Meanwhile, the Senators fell to 18-21-2-1 for 6th place in the North Division. And the Penguins are in town tomorrow night.
- Senators 1/6 on the power play as the Phantoms were 0/5. You can thank Driedger’s performance for that.
- Calling Nick Paul. Paging Nick Paul. Anyone seen Nick Paul lately? ‘Cause I sure haven’t.
- Jack Rodewald rung one off the crossbar as it appeared he had plenty of net to shoot upon but couldn’t control the bouncing puck in time.
- Akeson-Varone-Rodewald, Bailey-Paul-Blunden, McCormick-Flanagan-Krushelnyski, Perron-Nehring-Gagne. Englund/Kostka, Harpur/Seiloff, Rumble/Carlisle. Lepine a healthy scratch.
BSens play host to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday before the All-Star break.