B-Sens Weekly: Pair of weekend games wrap season
Binghamton aims to be streak buster against record-breaking Admirals in home finale
Friday, April 6: Binghamton 1, Norfolk 3
Shots: Binghamton 28, Norfolk 35
PP: Binghamton 0-for-5, Norfolk 0-for-2
The Binghamton Senators made the trek south to Virginia last Friday to kick off a weekend of back-to-back games against the East Division rival Norfolk Admirals. The Admirals broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of third-period goals to take the game 3-1 and stretch their record-breaking win streak to 24 games.
The Admirals took a 1-0 advantage heading into the first intermission as defencemen Mark Barberio scored off a faceoff in the B-Sens zone to put his team on the board. The goal came with just 1:45 to go in the opening frame.
After trailing for most of the second period, Jack Downing scored his third goal in as many games at 16:34 of the second to knot the game at one. Downing put the puck under the crossbar over Jaroslav Janus’s blocker side. David Dziurzynski and Wacey Hamilton drew the assists on the play.
Just 2:51 into the third period, the Admirals claimed the lead courtesy of a goal scored by Tyler Johnson. With 3:14 to go in the final period, the Admirals gave themselves a two-goal cushion as Trevor Smith found the back of the Binghamton net.
Robin Lehner stopped 32 of 35 shots as he fell to 12-22-1 on the season. Janus stopped 27 of 29 shots to improve to 21-9-2.
Saturday, April 7: Binghamton 1, Norfolk 4
Shots: Binghamton 31, Norfolk 40
PP: Binghamton 0-for-3, Norfolk 0-for-3
The Norfolk Admirals scored three goals within the final three minutes of regulation on Saturday night to defeat the Binghamton Senators 4-1. The B-Sens have now dropped their last five meetings against the rival Admirals.
Craig Schira gave the visiting B-Sens a 1-0 lead at 13:12 of the first. Wacey Hamilton won a faceoff in the Norfolk zone, feeding Schira, who then fired a shot over the gloved hand of netminder Dustin Tokarski.
The B-Sens would hold that lead until the final minutes of period number two. With just 1:33 to go in the middle frame, Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored to knot the game at one.
The game remained tied until late in the third period. Trevor Smith scored what would be the game winning goal at 17:11. Just 36 seconds later, Tyler Johnson gave the Admirals some cushion, stretching his team’s lead to 3-1. The goal was Johnson’s second in as many games against the B-Sens.
The B-Sens would pull Mike McKenna in favour of an extra skater in the final minute of regulation, but Cory Conacher found the empty net with just 13 seconds remaining to send the Ads home with a 4-1 victory.
Mike McKenna stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced as he fell to 14-21-1 on the season. Tokarski stopped 30 of 31 shots to improve to 31-11-0.
Standings: The B-Sens are fifth place in the East Division (62 points).
THIS WEEK …
Friday, April 13 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) – 7:05 p.m.
The Binghamton Senators head south on I-81 tonight for their final road game of the 2011-12 season. They will square off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Mohegan Sun Arena tonight at 7:05 p.m.
The meeting is the 10th and final between the two teams this season. The B-Sens are 2-6-0-1 against the Pens. Their lone road victory against the Penguins came back on Oct. 15, a 5-4 B-Sens win.
Entering the weekend, the Penguins boast a record of 43-23-2-5 with 93 points — good for second place in the East Division and fourth place overall in the Eastern Conference.
Ben Street leads the Penguins in points with 56 (27-29-56). Goaltender Scott Munroe is perfect against the B-Sens this season, posting a record of 5-0-0-0 with 1.31 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
Saturday, April 14 vs. Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning) – 7:05 p.m.
The B-Sens will conclude the 2011-12 season at home this Saturday night against the Norfolk Admirals, who enter the weekend riding a 25-game win streak. Norfolk looks to make it 26 tonight as they visit the Albany Devils.
Saturday’s game is the eighth and final meeting between the teams this season. The B-Sens are 1-6-0-0 against the Admirals this season. Their lone victory came in Norfolk back on Oct. 22, a 3-2 shootout win.
The Admirals enter the weekend with a record of 52-18-1-2 and 107 points.
Rookie Cory Conacher leads the team in goals (35), power-play goals (14) and points (75). Defenceman Mark Barberio leads all AHL defenceman in assists (47) and points (60). Pierre-Cedric Labrie (+33) and Trevor Smith (+29) are ranked the top two players overall in plus-minus in the AHL. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski leads the Ads and the AHL with 31 wins.
SENS SNIPPETS …
Forward Mika Zibanejad was assigned to the B-Sens by the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.
Zibanejad, 18, was Ottawa's first selection in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In nine games with the Senators this season, he recorded one assist and two penalty minutes. With his debut on Oct. 7 against the Detroit Red Wings, he became the youngest Swedish player to debut in the NHL and the youngest player to play for Ottawa.
Zibanejad was loaned to Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League on Oct. 26, 2011. In 26 regular-season games with Djurgarden, he recorded five goals, eight assists and four penalty minutes.