The Binghamton Senators fall to defeat in the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2 in overtime with Anton Zlobin‘s pretty shot beats Andrew Hammond as the Senators lose for the eighth time in a row to the Penguins in the Calder Cup playoffs history. W-B/Scranton were the ones waiting for which team was going to blink first as they rattled the Senators players but some bad officiating didn’t help matters either. Shane Prince had a very apparent game winning goal in overtime called off for kicking the puck in which he clearly did not in the replays that were shown. It won’t matter much as the offense was stuck in low gear and Hammond let in a couple of bad goals and now face a must win situation Saturday night.
WBS starts their fourth line with the Sens sticking to their guns and putting out their first line as we are underway in the first period. Good pace to start with very few whistles. Cody Ceci‘s break out pass finds Matt Puempel for the breakaway but he takes a golf shot which misses the net. Binghamton goes on the power play with Adam Payerl in for tripping and Ceci blasts home a slap shot the point and into the back of the net in by Peter Mannino making it a 1-0 contest. That was an NHL shot from Cody as he takes a quick peek first before letting it rip.
Senators have back to back penalty kills with Hammond making a glove save on Chuck Kobasew. Brendan Mikkelson‘s booming follow-up slapper hits the crossbar as Wilkes-Barre has stolen the momentum from the Senators. Mannino comes up big on Puempel and Prince while Stephane Da Costa rings one off the iron as Sens get some of that lost momentum back before the period ends. Quick period as it took only 30 minutes in real-time to complete.
Into the second period as Mark Borowiecki tees up hitting Payerl sending both players to the ice. A scary moment when Zach Sill pushes Puempel into the boards and he fell awkwardly and is motionless on his back. Trainer Jeff Andrews comes to his aid and after a few minutes Matt comes to and goes into the dressing room under his own power. Looks like he got the wind knocked out of him.
Penguins get on the board with Harry Zolnierczyk tapping home a loose puck in the crease from a rebound given up by Hammond on Brian Dumoulin‘s shot from the side of the cage and it’s 1-1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau answers 2:21 after feathering a snap shot through traffic from the blue line and in by Mannino regaining the lead. Mannino had no chance as there was at least four bodies lined up in front screening him as Pageau jumps in celebration.
With Zlobin in the box for boarding, Kobasew feeds Andrew Ebbett for a shorthanded attempt which cashes in as Hammond lets in a shot glove side that he should have had. Bad play on the Senators defense as well and this game is knotted at two a piece. As the period comes to a closure Derek Grant and Alex Grant are called for penalties giving the Pens a five on three advantage. Good thing their power play sucks as Boro, Fredrik Claesson and Pageau along with filtering in David Dziurzynski do a good job killing it which will carry over to the third period.
Binghamton completes the five on three kill as the third period starts and Puempel is back. This is when it gets a little crazy as a couple of goals are waved off in the period. Carter Rowney knocks in a rebound in by Hammond but Andrew immediately complains to the referee and it’s waved off. Replays prove incidental contact as it appears a Penguin hit Hammond’s glove. It sure looked like a good goal from here but the way Andrew reacted, maybe not as he never complains but did this time he did.
Buddy Robinson with a nice check on Barry Goers as Binghamton almost scores with a shot hitting another post and off of Mannino’s back leg before getting cleared out of the crease. Puempel with a horrible off-sides whistled that clearly did not go outside the blue line much to the dismay of the home fans. D. Grant levels Kobasew near center ice and Mannino gloves Cole Schneider‘s slap shot from top of the circle as the period comes to a close and we are heading to overtime.
In the overtime period this is where the blown call occurred. Pageau’s cross ice pass from the corner gets Prince’s skate and in the net off of Mannino’s skate for the game winner but is waved off with referee T.J. Luxmore showing a kicking motion. A long conference ensues while under video review between the two ref’s and the call stands, no goal. I didn’t see it that way but it is what it is.
Zlobin instead gets the game winner on Hammond while skating right and shooting left in crossing the slot east to west that Hammond should have had, but it was a great wrist shot beating Hammond down low, short side. 3-2 would be the final as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes the first game.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Costly defensive turnovers hurt the Senators as they played tight and really didn’t get it going like they are capable of doing. Credit is due to the Penguins as their smothering defense was solid and got some good goaltending when needed.
- I’ve watched that blown call on Prince at least a dozen times in slow motion replay and there was no kicking motion at all from Prince as the puck hits his skate which gets directed into the goal.
- Wideman back from injury for the surprise start pairing up with Ceci.
- This is the Pens eighth consecutive win in the post season over the Senators in franchise history dating back to 2005 winning the last four after being down 0-2, and last season’s three game sweep. Pens have the Sens number but Binghamton needs to play with more assertiveness in tomorrow’s match.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Zlobin (1g)
- #2 Patrick Mullen (2a)
- #3 Ceci (1g)
Playoffs. Game II.
Saturday night host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Cover photo & inserts courtesy of Alicia Strauch.