The Penguins are up 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals as the Binghamton Senators are in a crucial must win situation tonight as with another loss they will be down two games to zilch heading to Wilkes-Barre. The Pens have taken the last eight straight games against the Sens in the post season play and look to break that record but first they must play better than they did in last night’s 3-2 loss in overtime.
The Pens will most likely go with the same line up as they did on Friday night as the Sens might go with Corey Cowick in place of Ryan Dzingel, but anything can happen as this line up is not set in concrete. I also would like to see Jean-Gabriel Pageau teamed up with Mark Stone someway as the two had great chemistry in an earlier victory over WBS with Pageau scoring a hat trick and Stone setting him up on all three goals. Stephane Da Costa seems a bit rusty and maybe that black cage attached to his helmet is making him uncomfortable as he’s not been the same the last two games he’s played in.
Officials were just plain terrible all night as I’m not putting the blame on them for the Senators loss, but it’s got to get better tonight. The crucial off sides call on Matt Puempel was clearly on-sides as he was coming into the Pens zone on the power play. Carter Rowney beat Andrew Hammond cleanly before the goal was waved off for incidental contact on the goalie early in the third period. Didn’t see it, should have counted and the Sens would’ve lost anyways. Lastly, Shane Prince and the phantom kick that also should have counted in overtime as the puck was tossed in front of the net and went off Prince’s shin. That’s karma for ya!
Speaking of Puempel, he didn’t play in the overtime period as the rookie had a rough night. Getting hit into the boards by Zach Sill wasn’t enough as he landing awkwardly off balance and appeared to be out cold laying on his back. Either he got the wind knocked out of him or he did lose consciousness. Matt played in the third but seemed a little off. No word on his status and if he’s good to go tonight.
Hammond, Hammond, Hammond. I don’t know what to think anymore, what to say, other than he’s going to let in a soft goal here and there and accept it. Frustrating to watch as he has potential, but gets lackadaisical at times and this is not the time to be going through that. I dunno, I guess we’ll see what he brings tonight in a must win situation.
Cover photo courtesy of Alicia Strauch. Graphic art by Matt Trayling.