The Binghamton Senators traveled to Wilkes-Barre Scranton Wednesday night and continued their success against the home team with a 3-1 victory. With the win, the B-Sens are now 5-0-0-1 against the Penguins this season.
Robin Lehner played in his 21st game of the season in net for Binghamton and saved 31 of 32 shots, picking up his 14th win of the season.
The B-Sens have had issues as of late with slow starts, but Wednesday they came out with some energy and got rewarded early on a great play.
Binghamton got a 3-on-1 break as Patrick Wiercioch propelled ahead and passed the puck leading scorer Jakob Silfverberg. He found captain Andre Benoit, who dropped it back to Silfverberg and the play was finished by Stephane DaCosta, who beat W-B/S goalie Jeff Zatkoff.
It was a classic tic-tac-toe play on the back end and just like that, Binghamton led 1-0, 6:27 into the contest. Silfverberg and Benoit got the assists. With the assist, Silfverberg upped his team leading total to 16 in that category.
Wilkes-Barre was unsuccessful on the only power-play opportunity of the period. The shots were even at seven at the end of 20 minutes.
The second period was Binghamton’s down period, with just five shots, but they were able to hold the Penguins at bay. Lehner came up with 11 saves in the period, including back-to-back saves on a good chance by Trevor Smith.
Binghamton’s Corey Cowick dropped the gloves with Zach Sill at the 8:36 mark of the period. A couple good shots were landed by both combatants.
Wilkes-Barre had a few chances on the man-up, but they were denied by Lehner. The home team finished the night 0-for-5 on the power-play. Binghamton came into the game ranked second in the league in the penalty kill and they continued their dominance that has now seen them beat back 159 of 177 shorthanded chances.
Steve MacIntyre was tagged with a late roughing penalty that gave Binghamton 1:09 of power-play time to start the third period.
The last 20 minutes of the game has been good to Binghamton this season and Wednesday was no exception.
Eric Gryba forced his way to the net on the opening minute and sent a shot through that Zatkoff got a piece of, but not enough, as it went by him and into the net, giving Binghamton a 2-0 lead. Cowick and Hugh Jessiman were credited with the helpers on the play.
Turns out Binghamton would need that goal, as the Penguins finally solved Lehner when Paul Thompson tipped home a pass shot from Eric Tangradi, closing the gap to 2-1, 4:45 into the period.
Wilkes-Barre had their chances as the period progressed, but Lehner stood tall and also had a bit of luck as he watched a couple shots sail wide and up and over him.
The B-Sens got an insurance goal when Mike Hoffman stole the puck just as Zatkoff was heading to the bench for the extra-attacker. Hoffman let the puck go from center ice and it hit the back of the net with 1:17 to go in the game.
For more info: Binghamton @ W-B/S Penguins game report
Binghamton is now 22-8-1-2 on the season and remain four points behind the Syracuse Crunch in the East Division. The good news, Binghamton now starts a five game homestand against the Adirondack Phantoms Friday night at the arena. The bad news, with the end of the NHL lockout at hand, Binghamton will likely have a very different lineup this weekend.
The team will lose both goaltenders in Ben Bishop and Lehner, along with Silfverberg and another forward or two and a few defensemen, with Mark Borowiecki definitely at the head of the class there.
Binghamton will look to fill the holes with players from their ECHL affiliate in Elmira, but the firepower is definitely leaving Binghamton, at least for the balance of training camp. Let the mass exodus begin.