Toronto scored four unanswered goals in the third period in what was a closer contest than what the final outcome would indicate, as the Senators lost for the third straight time at the hands of the Marlies by a score of 6-3 on a Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown Binghamton.
The BSens were missing two important pieces in their offense as Max McCormick and Casey Bailey remain in Ottawa, but however held a one goal lead entering the third period only to have things go south from there on. With the loss, Binghamton (23-28-2-1) fell seven points out of a final playoff spot in the North Division.
Toronto (29-22-3-1) scored the lone goal in the first twenty minutes as forward Andreas Johnsson reached his 15th of the season on a wrist shot from the slot for a power play marker that beat Sens’ netminder Chris Driedger, who finished the evening with 36 saves.
In the second, the red hot Captain Mike Blunden tied the game with his one-timer on the power play that went past Marlies’ goalie Antoine Bibeau from a cross-ice feed by rookie forward Francis Perron along the wall.
Binghamton would score again on the man advantage when defenseman Ben Harpur let go a soft wrist shot that was initially blocked by Bibeau, as the rebound was there for the taking when Jack Rodewald emerged from the back of the net and slapped the puck through Bibeau for his team leading 16th of the season at 12:33 in the period.
The Marlies would answer back to tie it just 77 seconds later when forward Kerby Rychel sniped a one-timer in front down on one knee as Driedger never saw the puck go by him. Back came the Senators once again as Nick Paul would get on the score-sheet with his wrister through traffic for his ninth of the season with 36.8 seconds left in the middle frame.
Unfortunately, the feel good atmosphere that rolled throughout the seats of the home crowd was short-lived as Toronto scored the next four goals with the first just over five minutes into the second period.
Rookie defenseman Andrew Nielsen beat Driedger in front to tie the game, and then followed by another defenseman in Andrew Campbell, as his slapper from the point went high over Driedger’s left shoulder that ended up being the game winner. Toronto then scored two empty netters with under a minute left with the final tally coming from Johnsson with less than a second remaining on the scoreboard, as the Marlies would win 6-3.
POST GAME NOTES
- Blunden scored for the fifth straight game and sixth overall during that span. I said it before on twitter and will say it here, that he should have been the call-up with his recent play instead of Bailey as much as I like him.
- Shots ended up 42-30 Marlies. Whatever happened to the onslaught of shots taken by the BSens from earlier this season?
- Driedger not one of his better performances, but with so many ECHL players in the line-up, can’t put all the blame on him.
- Kyle Flanagan is probably one of the most under-rated player on this team. He’s such a smooth skater, with amazing stick work. Truly a player the Binghamton should resign during the off-season. Same can be said of Jason Akeson.
- Phil Varone had two breakaways denied and at one point a three-on-one rush as he elected to shoot when he should have passed off to Blunden near the slot.
- With the absence of two forwards, Greger Hanson and Mike Cazzola were signed to PTO’s as Hanson made an impact in his first shift when he clobbered third year pro Brett Findley to the end boards and was soon involved in a brief scuffle with rookie Travis Dermott.
- Andrew Hammond will miss some time after suffering (quite possibly a season ending) injury in last Monday’s loss in Toronto as Matt O’Connor was called up from Wichita and served as back-up. With the three-in-three weekend currently on, he should be in net at some point.
- Perron moved to the top line and looked good, whereas previous times he has not when line-ups were juggled during games.
- Perron-Varone-Blunden, Krushelnyski-Paul-Akeson, Hanson-Flanagan-Rodewald, Cazzola-Rupert-Hagel. Englund/Harpur, Rumble/Sieloff, Lepine/Carlisle. Gagne, Nehring and Kostka all out injured, Doornbosch a healthy.
BSens will look to rebound after tonight’s loss with another home game on Saturday with the Utica Comets.