05/02/2011 8:37 PM
By Chris Cotrone
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Having already completed an unlikely comeback following a 3-1 series deficit in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs, the Binghamton Senators know better than anyone that no lead is ever safe in the post-season. So after letting a potential victory slip away in the final seconds of game three of the Atlantic Division Finals against the Portland Pirates, the B-Sens refused to let down their guard in game four on Monday night.
Sparked by a three-goal opening frame, the B-Sens defeated the Pirates by the final score of 6-1 to capture a 3-1 series lead and put themselves in position to close out the series at home tomorrow night.
After accounting for both B-Sens goals in game three, Kaspars Daugavins and Ryan Keller continued to serve as catalysts for Binghamton as each found the back of the net on Monday night in the winning effort.
It was Daugavins who lead the way for the Senators with two goals on the game, including the momentum changer during the B-Sens scoring surge in the first.
After a pretty move from Portland’s Luke Adam knotted the game at one midway through the first, Daugavins responded with a score immediately following the ensuing faceoff to regain control for the Senators. An additional unassisted score in the second period gave the winger seven total post-season goals and five in his last three games.
Keller pitched in his sixth goal of the playoffs to cap the three-goal first, tipping in a shot from Bobby Butler as the B-Sens continued to roll, tallying five unanswered goals to finish out the game.
Ryan Potulny also got into the action in this one, contributing his ninth goal in the second period before adding his AHL playoff-best tenth score and Binghamton’s sixth of the game for good measure with 0:48 seconds to play.
Potulny’s goal with just under a minute to go in regulation epitomized the B-Sens’ team-wide effort that dominated the game, as their aggressive offensive attack was on full display until the final horn. Binghamton’s offensive relentlessness kept the scoring chances to a minimum for the outworked Pirates, who simply couldn’t get anything going.
Fittingly, Robin Lehner didn’t see many shots come his way—the Pirates managed just 13 after two periods—but the B-Sens goaltender was sharp nonetheless, saving all but one of the 23 total shots on goal from Portland to pick up his sixth goalie win of the post-season. Lehner’s counterpart, David Leggio, didn’t fare as well, conceding four goals in 22 minutes before being pulled in favor of Jhonas Enroth.
Though Enroth had better success, saving 17 of 19 shots faced, the five-goal deficit proved to be too much for the Pirates to overcome, as the B-Sens walked away with the commanding 6-1 victory and the opportunity to clinch the series tomorrow night.
The B-Sens will host the Pirates in Game 5 of the Atlantic Division Finals tomorrow night. Drop of the puck is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $19.75 for side seats and $18.75 for end zone seats. Fans can purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the Binghamton Senators’ executive office located on the third floor of the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena or the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena box office
-Go B-Sens Go-