BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltenders haven’t had much luck on the road against the Binghamton Senators this season.
Coming into Friday’s contest with the East Division title on the line, Penguins netminders allowed 15 goals in three games against the Senators in Binghamton, including a pair of losses at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Friday was almost more of the same, though a Penguins surge late in the third period that came up just short, resulting in a 5-4 loss. With the win, Binghamton claims the East Division title while the Penguins battle for playoff seeding tonight in Utica.
Peter Mannino, who came into the contest riding a streak of 13 starts allowing two goals or less, gave up an uncharacteristic five goals in the first half of the game as the Penguins fell into a deep hole. Mannino joins Eric Hartzell and Jeff Deslauriers as the other Penguin goaltenders who have fallen victim to the Binghamton attack at home.
In four games, the Penguins have allowed 20 goals to the Senators in Binghamton compared to six goals allowed at home.
“It’s not the building,” Penguins coach John Hynes said of the smaller Binghamton ice surface. “It comes down to how they play. They score in bunches.”
Poor play by the Penguins in their own end allowed the Senators to take a 2-0 lead in the first period, and they poured it on from there.
The Penguins’ chance for a division title diminished pretty quickly in the second period as the Senators scored three times in the first seven minutes. Jean-Gabriel Pageau got things going just 18 seconds in with a power play tally, followed by David Dziurzynski four minutes later and then Pageau for the hat trick at 6:26 and a 5-0 lead.
“When the game was on the line we did certain things we shouldn’t have done, and that’s what cost us the game,” Hynes said. “We strayed from what we wanted to do as a team.”
Not long after the Senators scoring spree the Penguins did manage to get on the board. Twenty seconds after Binghamton made it 5-0, Adam Payerl shoveled in a loose puck from the corner of the crease for the Penguins’ first goal.
Later in the period Bobby Farnham went end-to-end while on the penalty kill, ripped a shot that went over the net and bounced back in front where he slammed it home to make it 5-2.
The goal was the Penguins’ 15th shorthanded tally of the season – second most in the AHL, but that meant little to the Penguins who still had one period to mount a comeback.
The Penguins came out firing in the third period, outshooting the Senators 13-3 in the first eight minutes, but they couldn’t get anything past goaltender Andrew Hammond.
After the Penguins spent almost five minutes on the penalty kill at the midway point, Andrew Ebbett did manage to make it 5-3 when he deflected a hard pass over Hammond with seven minutes remaining.
With a power play opportunity late in the period, the Penguins generated several big scoring chances but Hammond stopped them all, highlighted by a pad save on a Chris Conner.
With less than three minutes left, Chuck Kobasew made it 5-4 when he gained the puck at the blueline and, with one hand on his stick, shoved the puck past Hammond.
While outshooting the Senators 26-7 in the period and generating scoring chances by stretching their wingers, the Penguins did manage to take a positive from the loss.
“Definitely the third period helped us is we have to come back and meet these guys in the playoffs,” Ebbett said. “But when the game was on the line in the first half, we didn’t capitalize. They won it right there.”
• Deslauriers (injury), G Matt Murray, D Reid McNeill (injury), D Philip Samuelsson (injury), C Zach Sill, RW Scott Wilson, RW Spencer Machacek (veteran scratch), RW Carter Rowney, D Harrison Ruopp, RW Matia Marcantuoni, RW Josh Archibald, RW Bryan Rust, LW Conor Sheary, C Jean-Sebastien Dea and D Clark Seymour were scratched for the Penguins.
Binghamton 5, Penguins 4
Scoring – 1. BNG< Shane Prince 21 (Dzingel, Robinson) 2:49. 2. BNG, Jean-Gabriel Pageau 18 (Stone) 17:18. Penalties – WBS, Kobasew (hooking) 19:37.
Scoring – 3. BNG, Jean-Gabriel Pageau 19 (Stone, Schneider) power play :18. 4. BNG, Dziurzynski 13 (Grant, Mullen) 4:46. 5. BNG, Jean-Gabriel Pageau 20 (Stone, Mullen) 6:26. 6. WBS, Adam Payerl 5 (Kostopoulos, Despres) 6:46. 7. WBS, Bobby Farnham 7 (Harrington) shorthanded 13:58. Penalties – WBS, Leblond (fighting) 3:15; BNG, Sdao (fighting) 3:15; WBS, Uher (hooking) 5:20; WBS, Zolnierczyk (kneeing, roughing) 7:32; BNG, Mullen (roughing – double minor) 7:32; BNG, Grant (cross-checking) 8:09; WBS, Kostopoulos (hooking) 8:36; WBS, Kostopoulos (interference) 12:14.
Scoring – 8. WBS, Andrew Ebbett 13 (D’Agostino, Kobasew) 12:10. 8. WBS Chuck Kobasew 11 (Ebbett, D’Agostino) 17:24. Penalties – WBS, Kostopoulos (diving) 7:04; BNG, Cowick (interference) 7:04; WBS, Zlobin (cross-checking) 7:09; WBS, Kobasew (cross-Checking) 8:49; BNG, Dzingel (hooking) 14:17.
Shots on goal
Penguins – 10-11-26-47; Binghamton – 12-8-7-27
Penguins – 0 of 2; Binghamton – 2 of 6
Penguins – Peter Mannino 10-9-1 (22 saves-27 shots); Binghamton – Andrew Hammond 25-19-3 (43-47)
Penguins – G Peter Mannino, D Brendan Mikkelson, D Barry Goers, LW Anton Zlobin, C Andrew Ebbett, RW Chuck Kobasew; Binghamton – G Andrew Hammond, D Fredrik Claesson, D Alex Grant, LW David Dziurzynski, C Derek Grant, RW Cole Schneider
1. BNG, Jean-Gabriel Pageau (hat trick) 2. BNG, Mark Stone (three assists) 3. WBS, Chuck Kobasew (goal, assist)
Referee – Terry Koharski. Linesmen – John Everett, Francis Trempe
Attendance – 3,674