The Binghamton Senators and Hershey Bears conclude their home and home weekend series today at Giant Center as the two clubs face each other for the final time of the season. The Senators are coming off a 2-1 loss in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night as well the Bears suffering a 4-3 setback in a shootout in Springfield, Mass. as Hershey and Norfolk are tied for the final playoff position while the Sens are looking for the East Division title along with a playoff berth. Should be another tight battle as both clubs are playing their third game in as many days and both teams are traveling so we’ll get to see which team has more in the tank.
(42-24-1-5) 90 pts
Second in East Division
(37-25-5-5) 84 pts
Tied for Third in East Division
There is more in stake for the Bears then the Sens as Hershey is hanging with Norfolk for the final playoff spot in the conference as both teams are tied with 80 points. Binghamton still needs to clinch but their magic number is only one with four games left. Ottawa’s season ends Sunday so Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Cody Ceci (!) and possibly Mike Hoffman (if he clears waivers) will be available for the final three home games for Binghamton. I would also expect Mark Borowiecki and Stephane Da Costa to be ready at some point next week. Not really sure what the status is on Jim O’Brien but he might be done for the season.
Meanwhile, guys like Cole Schneider, Matt Puempel, Shane Prince, Derek Grant and David Dziuryznski have carried the offense and will be relied on again today. New guys Ryan Dzingel and Garrett Thompson have been great in their roles being forced to play while they make their adjustments into the pros.
I would expect Andrew Hammond from here on out as Nathan Lawson appears to be done for the season with that nagging groin injury recurring again in Friday night’s Senator win against Hershey. That’s a shame as Lawson really played outstanding in last season’s playoff’s despite being swept against the Pens. Scott Greenham will back up Hammond and for the playoffs.
Players That Are Hot
Hershey: Forwards Brandon Segal (17g 26a 60gms) and Ryan Stoa (16g 24a 64gms), Defenseman Cameron Schilling (3g 12a 66gms).
Binghamton: Forwards Derek Grant (12g 8a 43gms) and Corey Cowick (12g 12a 68gms), Defenseman Alex Grant (9g 28a 68gms).
Bears are 4-3-1-1 against the Senators with the final game being played tonight. Last meeting featured Senators winning on this past Friday night 5-4 in overtime.
B-Sens Tweet of the Day
Thanks for all the thoughts and support! Hoping to be back on the ice soon!
— Mika Zibanejad (@MikaZibanejad) April 12, 2014
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Cover graphic courtesy of Matt Trayling.