On Wednesday, the Binghamton Senators went on the road to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Penguins have absolutely dominated the season series with a 4-1 record so far and the Sens hoped to turn that around on Wednesday.
The Penguins opened the scoring early in the first period. Uher picked up the puck at his own goal line, skated the length of the ice on the left wing, and sniped one over goaltender Scott Greenham's shoulder from a very bad angle. A couple minutes later, Uher would add his second of the game off a shot on the rush from the right side. It didn't take long for the Sens to be down 2-0. The Sens did get their fair share of chances in the first, but were unable to beat Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff.
The Penguins would add another goal in the second period off the stick of Conor Sheary on the powerplay. The Pens entered the zone, worked it down low, and threw it over to the slot for Sheary who ripped it home for the 3-0 lead.
It wasn't until late in the third period when the Sens would finally get on the board in a very unlikely fashion. An extended Penguins cycle would pull defenceman Aaron Johnson up to the point. Johnson deflected a Penguins cross-ice pass that went over to Buddy Robinson. Johnson took off and Robinson hit him with a breakaway pass. He made no mistake and rifled it over Zatkoff's right shoulder for his second of the season.
Not long after the Sens cut it to 3-1, with the Sens pressing for a goal, the Penguins broke out two-on-one against Fredrik Claesson. The cross-crease pass would get through and Farnham would fire it home over a sprawling Greenham.
The Sens would fall yet again to the Penguins by a score of 4-1. They did have some quality chances in this game, but Zatkoff kept the door shut and the Sens off the board for most of the game.
Binghamton Senators 1 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 4
Binghamton Senators Record: 18-23-6
Friday: Binghamton Senators at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Before getting on the road to Ottawa to play at the Canadian Tire Centre, the Sens went to Pennsylvania to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In a rarely used strategy, forward Alex Guptill was a healthy scratch in exchange for dressing a seventh defenceman (Daniel New) to play up front.
The Sens opened the scoring just after the two minute mark of the first. Guillaume Lepine walked in from the point and wristed one through a screen and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The goal was not only his first of the season, but also his first AHL goal.
The Sens gave up some high quality opportunities, but goaltender Peter Mannino would play a solid first period. Towards the end of the first, Puempel would slam home a rebound for the 2-0 lead.
Shortly after the goal, Buddy Robinson would be sent to the showers early after receiving a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct. Just before the buzzer, the Phantoms would finally get on the board with a powerplay marker off a juicy rebound into the slot from Nick Cousins.
Before the end of the second frame, Shane Prince would be the beneficiary of a nice pass out of the corner from Matt Puempel to restore the two-goal Senator lead. Fredrik Claesson would try to add some insurance for the Sens, but his seeing-eye shot from the point would find the iron to keep the score at 3-1.
Midway through the third, the Phantoms would cut the lead to one as Manning beat a screened Mannino. Fortunately, that would be as close as they would get and the Sens would hold on for the 3-2 win.
Binghamton Senators 3 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
Binghamton Senators Record: 19-23-6
Sunday: Toronto Marlies at Binghamton Senators
In what has become a fun annual affair, the Binghamton Senators hosted the Toronto Marlies at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. The game offered a rare opportunity to Sens fans in Ottawa to see firsthand what their farm system looked like down in Binghamton. Following a game in Ottawa on Saturday, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was sent down to join his AHL mates with the Binghamton squad.
The Sens came out strong, scoring 24 seconds into the first period off the stick of Colin Greening after being fed from Derek Grant behind the net. Not long after, the Marlies would bat one out of the air to even the game at one. Later, former Maple Leaf tough guy Frazer Mclaren dropped the mitts for a tilt with defenceman Lepine.
In the second period, Lepine would take a checking to the head penalty and the speedy penalty killing tandem of Robinson and Pageau would be reunited. Robinson would take a turnover and feed Pageau for a shorthanded breakaway but he was unable to beat the Marlies goaltender Bibeau. It seemed as though Pageau may have pushed the puck a bit too far in front of him and was unable to make the most of his shot.
Neither team would be able to find the back of the net in the second and we would head into the third period tied at one apiece. To kick off the third, Carter Camper would show some great patience walking out from the corner and into the slot for a powerplay marker to give the Sens the lead.
Following a poor hooking penalty to Guptill, the penalty killing tandem of Robinson and Pageau would go to work again. This time, the puck was poked off Robinson's stick and back to Chris Wideman who hit Pageau with a pass who made no mistake for the shorthanded tally and a 3-1 Sens lead.
Six seconds later, the Marlies would reply with a powerplay goal to cut the Sens lead to one. A minute later, the Marlies' Carrick would go hard to the net and knock over Greenham to earn himself two minutes in the box.
On the powerplay, Pageau worked it down to Wideman on the left point who rifled it down low and across the ice to Puempel who one-touched it to Cole Schneider who had an empty net to bury it into. Pageau would later add a long-distance shorthanded empty net goal for his second of the game to seal the 5-2 win for the Binghamton Senators.
Binghamton Senators 5 - Toronto Marlies 2
Binghamton Senators Record:20-23-6
Bits and Bites from Bingo:
- It was bizarre to see Jean-Gabriel Pageau back in the Binghamton lineup on Sunday not in his usual #44 jersey, but instead in Patrick Mullen's #14. Apparently when they had the DIFD jerseys made, they didn't anticipate Pageau being sent back down, so they had to make a quick adjustment.
- There was a nice crowd of just under 9,000 fans for Sunday's game in Ottawa.
- Both Binghamton goalies, Mannino and Greenham, are not signed to NHL contracts which makes them ineligible for a call-up to Ottawa due to the Lehner injury. This leaves Chris Driedger as the only other option. Driedger has lost his last seven starts, giving up 32 goals over that span. With that said, the ECHL Evansville Icemen have only won 12 of 50 games this season and have scored only 122 goals.
- Hard-hitting energy player David Dziurzynski will miss the rest of the season due to shoulder surgery.
The Week Ahead:
Monday, February 16 at 1:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Toronto Marlies (5-4 Toronto Win, recap in next week's update)
Wednesday, February 18 at 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Friday, February 20 at 7:00pm. Hershey Bears at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, February 21 at 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Syracuse Crunch
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Nick Paul: Two goals and two assists through three games this week for the North Bay Battalion.
Francis Perron: A very quiet week for Perron, only one goal through three games which ended his incredible streak of five streak games of registering multi-point games.
Vincent Dunn: The big forward picked up a goal and an assist this week. He is third in the QMJHL with 138 penalty minutes, only 19 minutes back of first place. Of course, that doesn't include his 5-game suspension from a few weeks ago. In other words, Dunn knows where the penalty box is.
Ben Harpur: He recorded a goal and an assist this week for a strong Barrie Colts squad. They are second in the OHL Eastern Conference with a month left to go.