The Binghamton Senators entered Wednesday night’s game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 7-1-0-1 record against their division rivals, but the Penguins held off a B-Sens comeback and held on to win, 4-2.
It was the second loss in a row for the Sens who were beaten at Connecticut Sunday, 6-1. Binghamton has not lost three in a row yet this season.
First period goals by Trevor Smith, Chad Kolarik and Paul Thompson in a five minute span, propelled the hometown Penguins and earned goaltender Jeff Zatkoff his 21st win of the season.
B-Sens goaltender Nathan Lawson made just 10 saves on 13 shots in the first 20 minutes Wednesday.
Smith got the scoring started after Lawson made a pad save of a shot from Kolarik but gave up a big rebound that Smith was able to bang home with 11:35 left in the period.
Kolarik scored a goal of his own 3:03 later when he picked up a turnover off the stick of Binghamton’s Mark Stone and rifling it past Lawson to make it 2-0.
The third goal came courtesy of Paul Thompson, who ripped one home from the right circle with 3:33 to go in the period.
Wilkes-Barre outshot Binghamton 13-7 in the first and forced Coach Luke Richardson to use Binghamton’s timeout after the third goal.
In the second period, Binghamton overcame big time penalty trouble as they picked up three penalties in less than a minute. Michael Sdao was called for holding 2:31 in, Derek Grant went off for delay of game at 3:14 and 10 seconds later, David Dziurzynski was called for slashing.
The Dziurzynski penalty started as soon as Sdao served his, but the B-Sens caught a break when Wilkes-Barre was called for too many men. Not something you see often on a power-play, but it helped Binghamton escape trouble.
They were unable to take advantage of the 53 seconds of power-play time that followed, but had a couple good chances including a chance by Corey Cowick who skated away and was stopped by Zatkoff. Shane Prince came up with a great opportunity just as the penalty was ending, as Zatkoff made a huge pad stop after leaving a half-open net for Prince to shoot at.
Cowick got another chance later in the period and he made good on it as he scored on a backhander after picking up the rebound of a Jean-Gabriel Pageau shot, closing the gap to 3-1, 12:51 into the period.
The B-Sens picked up another penalty with 1: 40 seconds left in the period. They trailed in shots, 26-21 as the two teams headed to the third period.
Hugh Jessiman got the B-Sens to within a goal when he rifled a low wrister past Zatkoff with 14:30 left in the game, but that was as close as the visitors would get.
With Binghamton’s Pat Cannone in the box for slashing with 5:24 left, it took 18 seconds for the Penguins to put the icing on the cake.
Alex Grant let a shot go that was stopped by Lawson. The puck popped up in the air and went off the leg of Brett Lebda and into the net. The goal was credited to Brian Gibbons and gave the Pens’ a 4-2 victory.
Binghamton (39-21-1-5) will look to rebound Friday night when they return home to take on the Adirondack Phantoms. The Penguins will visit the arena on Saturday.
For more info: Binghamton @ Wilkes-Barre game report
Playoff watch: Binghamton still trails Syracuse by two points in the East Division standings. They fell 1-0 to the Rochester Americans on Wednesday, with goaltender David Leggio stopping 38 in the shutout.