WILKES-BARRE TWP. – On paper it looks like the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have dominated the Binghamton Senators by allowing five goals in three games against their East Division rival.
But in reality, it's the Senators who have gotten the better of the Penguins, limiting them to a pair of goals through nine periods this season. In fact, only one Penguin has scored against the Senators, and that's Trevor Smith who scored unassisted in the season opener and the lone tally in Friday's 3-1 loss.
They're a really good team, well coached and they have excellent goalies, said head coach John Hynes when asked to sum up his team's offensive struggles against Binghamton.
In the first two meetings this season, it was Binghamton goaltender Robin Lehner who stifled the Penguins offense, allowing one goal on 71 shots.
On Friday, it was Ben Bishop's turn to frustrate the Penguins, and he did a pretty good job, turning away 26 of 27 shots for a 3-1 win.
Penguins forward Warren Peters wasn't completely surprised at how hard it's been to score against the Senators this season. It's something that other teams are dealing with as well, he said, considering Binghamton's low goal production and record of 14-6-1-1.
I looked before the game and they haven't scored a lot of goals and they have a good record, Peters said. You're going to have to make the most of your chances, and we had some tonight but they didn't go in the back of the net.
One of the Penguins' few strong points of late turned out to be a weakness against the Senators. Coming into the game the Penguins' penalty kill allowed one goal in 21 chances over the last four games.
That didn't matter to the Senators, who scored a power play goal in the first and second periods, enough to earn the win.
The Penguins did manage a goal midway through the third when Smith placed a wrist shot to the far side of Bishop to make it 2-1.
Binghamton put the Penguins away with a goal with less than four minutes to play to make it 3-1.
And that's where things stayed.
The loss extends the Penguins winless streak to four and drops them to 13-9-1-1 on the season. It also puts their record at 1-2 against the Senators, which doesn't bode well considering their record against another division rival, the Hershey Bears. Against Hershey, the Penguins are 1-4. Combined with Binghamton, the Penguins have a 2-6 record against the two East Division foes, and an 11-4 record against the rest of the league.
Those teams are division rivals, right up the road from us and we play them a lot, Smith said. We need to put more of the onus on each other and get up for those games because those points are huge.
Still, when it comes to Binghamton, the Penguins don't have to change much except generating a boost in their offense, Peters said.
There's not a lot of goals being scored both ways, so it's hard to feel like you're being owned by a team, he said. Against Binghamton, we have to stay with it mentally. They're not easy games to play and you might only get a few scoring chances a night, which can be frustrating. But we're doing the same thing to them. You have to stick to the game plan.
• During the first intermission Charles Boyer, a first sergeant with the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Division of the National Guard, was awarded a bronze statue for distinguished service in war zones in the Middle East.
• D Dylan Reese (day-to-day), D Brian Strait (injury), C Zach Sill, RW Tom Kuhnhackl (injury), LW Steve MacIntyre, RW Keven Veilleux (injury) and D Simon Despres (injury) were scratched for the Penguins.
• Alex Grant's first period fight against David Dziurzynski was the first time the pair squared off since an incident during the 2010 rookie tournament. That's when a slash from Dziurzynski broke Grant's wrist, forcing him to miss the 2010-2011 season.
First Period Scoring – 1. BNG, Hugh Jesseman 5 (Benoit, Wiercioch) power play 13:19. Penalties – WBS, Grant (fighting) 1:34; BNG, Dziurzynski (fighting) 1:34; BNG, Stone (hooking) 8:05; WBS, Uher (cross-checking) 12:35; WBS, Thompson (roughing) 17:28; BNG, Da Costa (slashing) 19:17 Second Period Scoring – 2. BNG, Jakob Silfverberg 8(Benoit, Hoffman) power play 14:15. Penalties – BNG, Gryba (holding) 2:24; WBS, Smith (boarding) 4:39; WBS, Grant (cross-checking) 13:04; WBS, Uher (roughing) 17:13; BNG, Jessiman (unsportsmanlike conduct) 20:00; WBS, Mormina (roughing) 20:00. Third Period Scoring – 3. WBS, Trevor Smith 9 (Ferriero, Morrow) power play 8:10. 4. BNG, Patrick Wiercioch 7 (Hoffman) 16:08. Penalties – BNG, Gryba (tripping) 6:08; WBS, Bennett (high-sticking) 6:33; BNG, Cannone (interference) 7:13; BNG, Jessiman (high-sticking) 10:50. Shots on goal Binghamton – 10-15-3-28 Penguins – 6-10-13-29 Power-play Opportunities Binghamton – 2 of 5 Penguins – 0 of 6 Goaltenders Binghamton – Ben Bishop 6-2-0 (26 saves – 27 shots) Penguins – Brad Thiessen 3-4-1 (26-29 Starters Binghamton – G Ben Bishop, D Patrick Wiercioch, D Andre Benoit, LW Mike Hoffman, C Stephane Da Costa, RW Jakob Silfverberg Penguins – G Brad Thiessen, D Brian Dumoulin, D Robert Bortuzzo, LW Bobby Farnham, C Warren Peters, RW Dominik Uher Three Stars 1. BNG, Patrick Wiercioch (goal, assist) 2. BNG, Jakob Silfverberg (goal, assist) 3. BNG, Andre Benoit (two assists) Referee – Ryan Fraser, Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen – Scott Pomento, Bob Goodman Attendance – 6,166