The Binghamton Senators attacked early and often in the first game of round two against the Portland Pirates on Wednesday night, and came out with a 3-2 win. It was, oddly, their first regulation-time win of the 2011 post-season, and gives the B-Sens a 1-0 series lead for the first time since the 2005 AHL playoffs.
Things didn't start so well for Bingo as Portland took a lead just four minutes into the game when forward Maxime Legault scored sneaked a rebound past Robin Lehner. The Pirates outshot the Senators in that first period by a 11-9 margin.
In the second, though, the B-Sens put on a full attack, firing 18 shots at Portland goaltender David Leggio, with two of them getting past him. Ryan Keller tied the game at 6:28, and a little more than a minute later, Bobby Butler converted a one-timer on the powerplay to give Bingo a one-goal lead. Corey Locke, in his first game of the playoffs, set Butler up for that powerplay goal. Butler's now on a four-game goal-scoring streak.
Before the second was over, Portland forward Colin Stuart tied the game with a shot that beat Lehner stick-side.
In the third period, Zack Smith scored his first AHL playoff goal when he tucked his own rebound past Leggio. It was Z. Smith's second point of the night, as he'd also assisted on Keller's goal. Portland fired 10 shots at Lehner in the third, but he stopped them all, and Binghamton hung on to take a 1-0 series lead in the Atlantic Division final.
B-Sens Hero: Robin Lehner
Lehner faced 35 shots, and made 33 saves in his fourth consecutive start--and fourth consecutive win. Many of his saves were good ones, especially in the first period, when he stopped Mark Mancari point-blank on a clear breakaway. Lehner's playoff stats numbers right now feature an impressive 4-0 record with a 2.58 GAA and a .924 save percentage.
B-Sens Hero: Ryan Potulny
Ryan Potulny added to his Calder Cup playoff lead in points with a pair of assists. With the assists (on the first two goals of the game), Potulny also maintains his two-points-per-game scoring pace, which is just... unreal.
B-Sens Hero: Powerplay
The return of Corey Locke means the AHL's best powerplay in the regular season is back to top form. Binghamton went 1-for-3, and needed just 17 seconds to capitalize on a hooking call in the second period.
B-Sens Hero: Kurt Kleinendorst
We can only assume that the B-Sens did all they could to avoid overtime on Wednesday because Kleinendorst told them he wasn't going to stand for more of this extra-time nonsense.