A Penguins fan will tell you that they had the Binghamton Senators all the way tonight.
A Binghamton Senators fan will say the same thing too, probably with a few expletives in there, after the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeated the B-Sens tonight by a score of 3-2 in overtime, on Anton Zlobin’s goal 8:40 into the first overtime.
So the Penguins beat the Sens 3-2 in a playoff game. Where have I read this before? Oh, right, last year when the Pens did it three straight times last year and swept the B-Sens out of the playoffs.
Tonight though, was a much more even game than what the Penguins are accustomed to in prior meetings to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena this season. The home rink for the East Division Champion B-Sens has been nothing short of a house of horrors for the Penguins.
Peter Mannino vs. Andrew Hammond. Spencer Machacek was the veteran scratch. Mike Carman was scratched too. Conor Sheary took warmups. Matt Murray backed up Mannino.
First Period: Matt Puempel was sprung on a mini breakaway on a long stretch pass. Mannino made the save but in the ensuing chaos of reacting to what just happened and who had who, Adam Payerl was whistled for tripping and the B-Sens were off to the power play. Cody Ceci pumped one home for a 1-0 B-Sens lead early.
Here is what defined the Binghamton Senators to this point. You make a mistake of letting Puempel get in behind your D, you take a penalty and on the power play it ends up in your net. Actually, two mistakes. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you. Or something like that.
The Ceci power play goal jumpstarted the Penguins after that. Wilkes-Barre controlled about two thirds of this period. Brendan Mikkelson and Stephane Da Costa traded shots which rang loudly off the pipe but stayed out. The first ended with a 1-0 Binghamton lead but felt like the Penguins should be leading if not tied.
Second Period: Alex Grant wanted him some pipe too. He rang one off the post at the beginning of the period. Then Zach Sill popped Puempel into the boards on what may end up being some bad collateral damage for Binghamton. Puempel scored 30 goals for the B-Sens this season. He tried to give to a go in the third period but was not seen in overtime.
Harry Zolnierczyk scored to even the game at one for the Pens on the doorstep of Hammond.
But, just like that, Jean-Gabriel Pageau put the home team back ahead less than 90 seconds later.
Remember mistakes? Anton Zlobin boarded Mark Borowiecki and the B-Sens were headed to the power play. Time to step on the throats of the Pens and put this away, right? No! You’re wrong!
Andrew Ebbett scored shorthanded on a firecracker slapshot that beat Hammond glove side to even things again at two a piece.
Third Period: Pens had 1:51 of 5-on-3 time late in the second and some leftover in the third but were unable to capitalize on it.
Here’s where the “replay” part of my headline comes in.
Carter Rowney appears to have scored to put the Pens up 3-2. But it was ruled no goal on interference on the goaltender. After a conference between the four man officiating crew, the call stood. No goal.
Shot off of a face-off for Binghamton surprises Mannino. Nearly goes in, or does it? Goal light comes on. Officials look at it on replay and the tape doesn’t lie, no goal.
No one scored in this period. So it was off to…
Overtime: Shane Prince, a certified Penguin killer, appears to have scored to give the B-Sens the overtime winner. But referee T.J. Luxmore washes it out and rules it was kicked in. To replay!
Luxmore was joined in the booth by the second man in the arm bands, Keith Kaval. After a conference, it was confirmed as no goal.
The guys that cover the B-Sens for the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin tweeted this post game about the disallowed goal:
Replay is new to the AHL. Well, actually it is in its second year. It’s an inexact science. I can say that from what I saw, it looked inconclusive really. I didn’t see a kick but then again the puck was deflected off of the man skating forward.
Zlobin ended it. Jonathan describes it best in his blog post game recap:
The play started after a neutral zone faceoff. Binghamton won it, but Zlobin and linemate Chuck Kobasew pursued defenseman Mark Borowiecki as he backpedaled with the puck, forcing a turnover. Zlobin raced toward the left half-wall to recover the loose puck. Kobasew screened off the other Binghamton defender, allowing Zlobin to walk pretty much unmolested to the slot.
Three Stars: 3) Cody Ceci (goal, -1) 2) Patrick Mullen (two assists, even) 1) Anton Zlobin (overtime game winning goal, +1)
Elsewhere in the East: Providence evened its series with Springfield at a game a piece with a 2-1 overtime win tonight….St. John’s got a late goal to stun Albany 2-1 to go up 1-0 in that series and Manchester shut out Norfolk 2-0 to go up 1-0 in that series.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers are on to the next round after sweeping the South Carolina Stingrays by a score of 4-2 tonight. Denver Manderson had a goal in the win.
SendToNews Highlights: How about YouTube, courtesy of the Binghamton Senators?
Reactions after seeing the video: Awful call on the Rowney no goal. Contact was made with Hammond to his left. He goes down to make a save but the puck never gets through then Rowney slams it in two seconds AFTER contact on his right……the Prince goal in overtime should have counted, having looked at it in front of my computer screen. No kick. At all.
The washout on Rowney was made without replay. I don’t think those plays are reviewable. So both teams dodge bullets. You just shake hands and move on.
Game 2 is tomorrow night at 7:05 in Binghamton. I’ll make the trip and have it all covered. Gameday hits the blog Saturday at three.
Let’s Go Pens!