The Binghamton Senators and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play their second game in four days tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena. With the league’s top offense on the winning end in last Friday’s huge 6-2 victory over the Pens at the Arena, they followed that up with an 8-0 trouncing of Worcester on Saturday to remain in first in the East, while the Penguins have fallen to fourth in losing all three games played over the last weekend. Senators begin a series of five out of their next six games on the road tonight sporting a 14-9-0-0 record away from home with the lone game against Utica on Saturday.
The Pens have been flip-flopping both their net minder’s as their club searches for some rhythm in either Eric Hartzell or Jeff Deslauriers leading the way and also giving them more goal support. The race in the East is tightening up as the surging Hershey Bears have risen from the bottom of the division and are now in the Senators’ mirror just two points behind lead having won 12 straight at home. Amazing, yet not surprising, our division has half the Conference’s top eight teams heading for the post season play as it stands today.
(31-15-1-3) 66 pts
First in East Division
(28-19-2-3) 61 pts
Fourth in East Division
Hammond / Greenham
Injured Reserve: Goalie Nathan Lawson, flu.
Healthy: Forwards Darren Kramer, David Dziurzynski and Wacey Hamilton, Defenseman Tyler Eckford.
W/B-Scranton are 0-3 with Brian Gibbons, Jayson Megna, Adam Payerl and Spencer Machacek either off injured reserve or sent down by Pittsburgh. B-Sens have Mark Stone, Stephane Da Costa and Derek Grant to show for under the same circumstances but are 2-0. That’s either some real good team chemistry that’s in place or a team going through some hard times but either way, Binghamton keeps chugging along as head coach Luke Richardson has done a masterful job interchanging players in the line-up. Speaking of Luke, I like what he had to say recently to The Press & Sun-Bulletin about his overall team’s recent efforts paying off;
We outskated them, we were physical and we frustrated them right off the hop of the first period. That’s a great sign of a team that wants to be in first place, they want to be the best, and they want to stay there.
On the other end, beat reporter Jonathan Bombulie of Penguins Insider after W/B-S 0-3 weekend following a 3-1 loss to Hershey on Sunday;
While the Penguins played better tonight, they still look out of whack in the defensive zone — I don’t know how many times I’ve written about an opposing player getting a step on a Penguins defender and scoring this weekend, but it was more than once — and the transition game is still misfiring. Plus, Binghamton is coming to town Wednesday and that’s no team to get well against.
Players To Watch For
W/B-Scranton: Forwards Tom Kostopoulos (19g 16a 49gms) and Gibbons (11g 18a 26gms), Defenseman Simon Despres (6g 16a 32gms).
Binghamton: Forwards Mike Hoffman (27g 36a 48gms), Da Costa (13g 28a 40gms) and Cole Schneider (17g 23a 46gms).
Sens have even up the series at two a piece with Saturday night’s strong performance beating the Pens 6-2 with four games remaining between the two interstate rivals.
- Current Percentage of Binghamton reaching the playoffs: 99.1%
- Overall position (out of 100%) : 7th in the league
- Won or loss after last game +/-: +1.2 (W over Worcester 8-0).
Sens Tweet of the Day
— Corey Cowick (@ccows) February 15, 2014
Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Ulmer.