Binghamton falls 2-1 to Manchester in series opener

The Binghamton Senators got off to a slow start, failing to record a shot against the Manchester Monarchs for the first six minutes of the game. Binghamton bounced back after Manchester got themselves into early penalty trouble, but despite the fact that Binghamton's AHL-best powerplay went on a 10-1 shooting run, they couldn't get anything past Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. The first ended with no goals for either side, and Binghamton outshot Manchester 12-9 in the period.

Just 25 seconds into the second period, Manchester forward Richard Clune took a roughing penalty to give Bingo another powerplay chance, but Bingo still couldn't put the puck past Zatkoff and Ryan Potulny took a penalty shortly after to set up some four-on-four hockey. After Clune's penalty expired but with Potulny still in the box, Manchester forward Corey Elkins put a puck past Barry Brust to give Manchester the 1-0 lead. Both teams would get another chance on the powerplay, and record 14 shots in the middle period.

Two minutes into the third, Binghamton got their sixth and final powerplay of the game, as Justin Azevedo went off for tripping. Once again, though, the B-Sens failed to produce a goal, and looked terrible on this powerplay, even giving the Monarchs two good shorthanded scoring chances. In the final minutes, Colin Greening was sent to the penalty box twice, the first an interference call and the second was a hooking call, and Monarchs defensemen David Kolomatis scored on the latter to give Manchester a 2-0 lead. Binghamton's lone goal came with just 38 seconds left and with the extra attacker, with Potulny scoring to compensate somewhat for his penalty earlier. That was as close as Bingo would get, though, and the Monarchs took the first game of the series.

B-Sens Hero: Barry Brust
Brust stopped 27 of 29 shots against, good for a .931 save percentage in 59 minutes on the ice. Although the first goal was suspect, Brust kept Binghamton in the game, including some great saves on the powerplay and shorthanded.

B-Sens Zero: Ryan Keller
Binghamton's captain and leading goal scorer recorded zero shots on the Manchester goal. In a game where the offense needed a spark, the captain is the guy that needs to step up, and he failed to do that tonight. His teammates will definitely be looking to him for leadership in game two.

B-Sens Killer: Jeff Zatkoff
Made 34 saves, and didn't allow a goal for 59 and half minutes. B-Sens head coach Kurt Kleinendorst said after the game that Binghamton made things too easy for Zatkoff, which might mean some more traffic in front of the net for next game, but full credit gos to Zatkoff for holding the high-powered B-Sens off the scoreboard for much of the game.

B-Sens Zero: Powerplay
The Senators couldn't have asked for more opportunities from the referees, with six powerplays on the game. But despite having the league's best powerplay in the regular season, boosted by some kids just recently out of the NHL, the B-Sens couldn't get anything past Zatkoff. Special teams are huge in the playoffs, and Bingo is going to have to improve their powerplay if they're going to win this series.

Reinforcements: Brayden Schenn
Things won't get any easier next game for Binghamton, as the Los Angeles Kings re-assigned Brayden Schenn to the AHL. He's expected to suit up for the Monarchs next game.

Game Highlights:

Game two is tomorrow night at seven, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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