The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins can end the Binghamton Senators season tonight with a win and advance to the next round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs but I have a feeling the Senators are going to come out guns a blazing as they look to even up the series and send it back to Binghamton for Game 5 on Monday. All three contests have ended up in overtime as at that point of the game it’s up for grabs and who gets the lucky bounce in capitalizing on anyone’s mistakes. Sens could have very easily won Game 3 in overtime just before the Pens won it as had it not been for Peter Mannino getting a great leg save on Wacey Hamilton down low. However, Binghamton has to get a jump start and get a few quick goals in the first period that would set the tempo early for them to have a chance in winning Game 4 outside of overtime.
Let’s turn back the clock briefly to the spring of 2011 with the Senators playing the Manchester Monarchs in the best of seven back then in the first round. Binghamton split the opening two games on the road, then returned home for three as it was a 2-3-2 set up that year. They lost the first two at home but salvaged the series in the final home game in overtime with Kaspars Daugavins scoring the overtime winner. Series shifts back to Manchester for the final two games being down 3-2. It took two overtimes in Game 6 before Geoff Kinrade scored setting up a Game 7.
Ryan Potulny had a career night scoring the winner in another overtime thriller and had four assists in helping the Sens advance to the next round. In total, five out of seven games were settled in the extra period. Heck there was even a penalty shot in one of the overtimes with Robin Lehner stopping Mark Mancari as I’ll always remember listening to Grady Whittenburg’s call on the radio with anxiety taking place. Point is the Sens won the last three games in completing the comeback, and now we are faced with the same scenario with the club needing to win the last two to take this short five game series.
Three things in order for them to accomplish this though is first they need to get their butts in gear and play their high tempo game that they are accustomed to that brought them this far and not get lured into the slow grinding style of the Penguins. Second Andrew Hammond played a solid Game 3 in stopping 30 shots but he needs to be consistent as in right now. Last all three games have ended in overtime so far and I would expect the Sens sleeping offense to awake bucking the trend and avoiding another overtime result as the Penguins are 7-1 in the extra frame against the Senators lifetime in the post season.
Win two games and we are heading to Round II. Look what the Los Angeles Kings accomplished in their series with the Sharks after being down 3-0. Win two games and let’s get this rolling. There is oodles of talent on this club on both offense and defense to not be taken seriously as they didn’t take the division title by mistake in being the toughest division in the league. Beat the Penguins at their own game with solid fore checking and getting some timely goals and let’s take it to them and move on. Win two games with only one of those held tonight in their barn as home ice would be at our advantage on Monday if they do.
It won’t be easy but anything is possible in the playoffs.
W-B/Scranton 2, B-Sens 1 ~Best of Five
Game 1: W-B/Scranton 3-2 OT
Game 2: Binghamton 4-3 OT
Game 3: W-B/Scranton 3-2 OT
Game 4: Friday at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
x-Game 5: Monday at Binghamton, 7:05
#BSens TWEET of the DAY
Everyone loves a comeback
— Corey Cowick (@ccows) May 1, 2014
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Cover graphic art by Matt Trayling.