There’s a reason that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the best team in the league and they demonstrated why as the Penguins scored four first period goals and rode the wave to a 6-2 win over the Senators. They have the number one defense and the second best offense in the AHL as they shut down the BSens in front of a packed house in Binghamton on Saturday.
Goaltender Chris Driedger had an off night but not much support either, as he gave up the four goals on 14 shots and was pulled in favor of Matt O’Connor at the start of the second period. They needed a miracle to pull this one off being in the hole by three goals.
The Pens made it look easy and willed their way throughout the night as the Senators just seemed to give up at one point. Perhaps Driedger shouldn’t be going in back-to-back games after he’s been idle in Ottawa. O’Connor isn’t a much better option at this point with his lack of consistency. So I dunno.
I’m not going to bore you readers with the six goals from the Penguins as it’s hard enough to come up with things to say when the losing overwhelms you. But WB/Scranton just might go all the way this year. They’ve come close before and make the playoffs every single season giving them a chance, something that doesn’t happen when it comes to the Senators. It’s just a fact.
There is just a lack of depth on this team but the coaches have got them at least trying for the most part. Goaltending has been mismanaged once again but that is the norm that I have accepted over the course of the last two years.
At least Nick Paul scored a goal, albeit it was on a broken play with a deflection in front past Pens starter Tristan Jarry. And Chad Nehring got a stick blade from a wrister by Ben Harpur from inside the blueline for his third of the season that gave them life being down 4-2 in the second.
But the dagger of the evening that ruined the big crowd’s thoughts of any sort of comeback when Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot skated the length of the ice, coast to coast, bobbing and weaving his way through Binghamton traffic towards the net, only to dish off to a waiting Danny Kristo near the circle who simply placed the puck past O’Connor untouched, that made it a 5-2 score late in the middle frame.
Other then that, that was the game and the Senators knew it and there would be no miracles tonight.
POST GAME NOTES
- This has been a rough week with the 3 losses in 4 days. (2 to the Phantoms and 1 vs the Pens.) Course, one would expect that with the top 2 teams in the league fighting over each other in the Atlantic Division penthouse.
- Senators lacking in the physical department that has been a glaring problem all season long. Could have used that element tonight to try to throw the opposition off just a little.
- Harpur and Tom Sestito dropped the gloves late in the second period with nothing really thrown in the way of punches except down to the ice. Sestito then gave Harpur a rash of shit in the penalty box with him barking and Harpur ignoring.
- Rookie defenseman Andreas Englund in the doghouse as he was benched after allowing the tying goal in Friday night’s game with Lehigh Valley, as he sat in the 3rd period. He didn’t look all that much better tonight except on a few occasions , but he did play.
- Paul-Varone-Rodewald, Bailey-Nehring-Blunden, Rodewald-Flanagan-Krushelnyski, Perron- -Gagne. Englund/Kostka, Harpur/Seiloff, Rumble/Carlisle Lepine. McCormick a coach’s scratch. (Not sure, don’t ask.)
HIGHLIGHTS (It took all of one take for this to happen.)
After the All-Star break, the Sens will begin the month of February off with two home games next weekend starting on Friday as the Hershey Bears will arrive for a 7:05pm meeting in Binghamton.