04/10/2010 8:58 PM
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Just 24 hours before their last home game of the 2009-2010 season, the Binghamton Senators were celebrating their 6-5 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms in Glens Falls. However, their victory was short lived, as they learned of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ win over the Lowell Devils, which officially eliminated the B-Sens from contention for the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs. But on Saturday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, they played like a playoff favorite, defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-1.
The Penguins jumped on the board first just two and a half minutes after the opening faceoff. The Sens initially halted the Pens’ attack into the Binghamton zone, standing them up just below the blue line and pinning the puck against the boards. But Pens’ forward Zach Sill jarred the puck loose and snapped it through traffic. The shot bounced in front of newcomer Robin Lehner and over the netminder’s shoulder to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
But Wilkes-Barre’s lead was gone just as fast as it came. Just sixteen seconds after Sill’s goal, Sens’ defenseman Derek Smith evened the score. Erik Condra came out of a battle in the far corner with the puck and chipped it to Martin St. Pierre, who slid a pass to Smith wide open in the slot. Smith wristed a shot through the five-hole of Pens’ goaltender John Curry to tie the score at 1-1.
A minute and a half later, Smith struck again for his second goal of the game to give the Sens the lead. Setting up in the Penguins’ zone, captain Denis Hamel fired a pass from the near boards to Smith waiting at the point. Smith fired a slap shot through traffic that found the mesh behind Curry to put the Sens up 2-1. Josh Hennessy was credited the second assist on the goal.
With time winding down in the first period, the Sens didn’t stop applying pressure. On the power play, the Senators bombarded the Pens’ net. Catching the defense out of position, Erik Condra lasered a pass through the front of the net to Kaspars Daugavins waiting at the far post, who buried the puck into the back of the net with just 45 seconds left in the first to give the Sens a two-goal lead. Geoff Kinrade added an assist on the goal.
The score would stay that way until the final buzzer of the season at the Arena, as Lehner stopped the next 31 shots, securing the victory for the Sens and their 4,684 home fans in attendance. After the game, the Sens skated to center ice and lifted their sticks in appreciation to the sell-out crowd for all of their support throughout the season.
The B-Sens play their final game of the season, as they follow the Penguins down I-81 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Sunday, April 11th. Drop of the puck is 3:05 pm.
-Go B-Sens Go-