01/30/2011 1:40 AM
By Chris Cotrone
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The East Division leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins trekked up I-81 Saturday night to square off against the Binghamton Senators in the final game prior to the AHL’s All-Star break. Still harboring some frustration from last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Bears, the B-Sens were fired up to try and close the first half of the season on a positive note. Though the Penguins appeared to be in control of the game, outshooting the B-Sens 44-21, Binghamton made the most of their scoring opportunities and broke a late tie to send the Pens packing by the final score of 2-1.
The Penguins jumped on the board in the first period thanks to a well executed one-timer right at the Binghamton net by Nick Johnson. Setting up the offense, the Pens’ Corey Potter slid the puck to an open Ryan Craig along the right side of the net, who then tipped the puck through the crease to Johnson who was waiting to bury it home with a slap shot.
The B-Sens would waste little time getting things started in the second, notching the tying goal just 16 seconds into the period on a beautiful backhanded shot from Erik Condra. Handling a pass from Andre Benoit, Jim O’Brein dumped the puck just inside the right circle for Condra, who instinctively turned and sent a backhander sailing over the shoulder of the Pens’ John Curry, to knot the game at one.
The second also showcased Robin Lehner’s goaltending prowess, as the Sweden native recorded 17 of his eventual 43 saves in the contest to keep the game locked at 1-1.
As the game was shaping up to follow in the footsteps of last night’s nail-biter against Hershey, Bobby Butler showed fans why he’s headed to the All-Star game by providing the B-Sens with their tiebreaking second goal of the night.
Working behind the end line in the Pens’ territory, Corey Locke sent a pass toward the net for Butler who tried a one- timer of his own. The puck deflected off of Curry’s pads and back towards Butler where he scooped up the rebound and fired it back again, this time beating Curry and tallying what would be the game-winning goal for the B-Sens.
Binghamton heads into the AHL’s All- Star break with a record of 24-20-2-3, good for fifth in the East Division and in the playoff hunt.
Don’t forget to watch Binghamton’s Corey Locke and Bobby Butler as they represent the B-Sens in the 2011 AHL All-Star Game presented by Capital BlueCross on Monday night. For more information and a complete broadcast schedule visit www.theahl.com.
-Go B-Sens Go-