Not sure what happened to the hard grinding team fans saw in the first 2 home games as the last 3 @home have been dreadful (outscored 19-9).— Grady Whittenburg (@BSensRadio) November 12, 2015
Not many positives to take from this one as Binghamton was outscored, outpaced and outplayed losing to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by a 6-3 margin on Veterans Day. Chris Driedger (4-3-0, 2.73 GAA, 0.909 SV%) took the loss as he made 25 saves and let in some questionable goals with the defense yet again playing sloppy in front of him. The Senators (4-8-0) continue to ride the slippery slope of not playing enough desperate hockey and lacking aggressiveness, as the club looked lost at times.
The two teams scored four goals in a 1:41 frame of ice time that sent the ole barn into a frenzied state of mind as Cole Schneider scored his sixth of the season tipping in a slapper from Fredrik Claesson on the point for the first goal. 38 seconds later, Colin Greening made a nice individual effort sweeping into the zone along the boards as his wraparound attempt works beating LV goaltender Anthony Stolarz giving the Sens the lead.
As the crowd settled in for a quick two goal jump, here comes the Phantoms as they answer with two of their own. Taylor Leier found veteran Tim Brent with a drop pass in the slot and he let one rip past Driedger as Brent had all day in choosing what area of the net he wanted with the Senators mulling around. Then defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere let go a slap shot from inside the blue line that beat a scrambling Driedger for a power play tally to tie the game up at two apiece.
Sens defense reared it's ugly head when Michael Kostka lunged for a loose puck in the neutral zone and lost, as the puck took a funny bounce the Phantoms way setting up a three on one with Guillaume Lepine being the lone guy back. The result would be the Phantoms would take the lead for good putting them up 3-2 with Tyrell Goulbourne's wrister whizzing by Driedger's far side and into the back of the net.
As the second period is under way, Lehigh Valley increases their lead to two when Chris Conner takes advantage with some hard work while Claesson and Ben Harpur are fighting for possession behind the net and lo and behold there's Sens' killer Nick Cousins alone in front for the easy goal.
Binghamton's Max McCormick's unbelievable wrist shot beats Stolarz glove side with a few inches to spare closing the gap to one. Then the game's ultimate back breaker would soon follow.
Patrick Mullen and Goulbourne go for a loose puck in the corner and Mullen loses only to have Evan Rankin pounce to it and passes to a streaking Kevin Goumas out in front, as his one timer makes it a 5-3 game with 1.5 seconds left in the period. Ouch.
In the third that last second goal was it, as the Phantoms would add an empty netter with Petr Straka getting the freebie.
- Daniel Alfredsson in attendance as the Senior Adviser of Hockey Operations scouting the game from within one of the sky boxes, which he looks to be seated with B-Sens' GM Randy Lee, as some fans line up for an autograph during warm-ups.
- Richardson pulled Driedger as Lehigh Valley gained puck control just before he joined the bench resulting in a empty netter. Luke hasn't had any luck in pulling the trigger for the extra man so far.
- Cousins completely undressing Dreidger on his doorstep all alone as he accepts the pass and lifts the puck rather harmlessly over his leg pad for an easy goal. Wow, what a series of break downs positionally and with no one making an effort, instead just afraid of making a mistake it appears.
- Which reminds me, Tobias Lindberg at times, has no clue defensively.
- Mullen has to play harder and with more passion. Letting a rookie (Goulbourne) tie him up for the loose puck and giving up on the play ultimately led to the game's most important goal. I just don't understand why he was re-signed.
- Whatever power play the team possessives, it was non-existent again tonight. It's been a season long battle so far but, get this, the Phantoms entered the game dead last in the league with a 72.9% (!) on the PK. There was absolutely zero structure in place as the Sens ended up 0/2. Shots favored Binghamton 33-31.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.