Mark Stone had a three-point night; Cole Schneider added two goals and rookie Buddy Robinson along with Shane Prince each had two assists, to help the Binghamton Senators take down the Albany Devils 5-3 Friday night at the Broome County Arena.
Binghamton jumped out to a two goal lead with first period tallies from Schneider and David Dziurzynski, but Albany answered with lamp lighters from Steve Zalewski and Chris McKelvie. Stone’s goal with 3:46 left in the second period, gave Binghamton a 3-2 lead.
“There were a couple breakdowns here and there,” said Binghamton coach Luke Richardson. They (Albany) were a desperate team and they kept coming at us the whole game.”
The Devils second goal was especially frustrating because Binghamton was in the midst of a 5-minute power-play, as J.S. Berube was given a match penalty for kicking with 9:38 to go in the second period. Binghamton did not look good at all as the power-play progressed, as they missed some easy passes and were called for off-sides in there as well.
Albany took advantage of a missed opportunity at one end, as they looked to have Albany goaltender Jeff Frazee dead to rights but he made a save and the Devils rushed up the ice and McKelvie scored with 6:07 to go.
“When you create a scoring chance and we had an open look a couple times, you just let off the gas a little bit,” said Richardson of the B-Sens power-play. “You think it’s in and it’s never in until it crosses the line. Those are good lessons, but better lessons when you win the game.”
Binghamton missed out on the extended man-up, but they did get one more power-play chance later in the third period and Corey Cowick put that one home. That made it 5-2 at the 12:21 mark.
“We’ll take the one power-play goal, but we’ll continue to work on it to make sure when teams do that penalties and you get a five minute chance, you wanna make sure you can bury a team.”
Robinson, who was playing in just his second game with the club, is settling in nicely, on a line with Stone and Dziurzynski.
“He’s a big guy who can skate and he makes great little plays,” said Richardson of his rookie winger. “He looks right at home and we’re happy he’s here. He’s contributing every night and he can handle the puck and skate.”
“Feels great to get the legs going and it was a good win for the boys,” said Robinson. “Dizzy and Stoner were great on my line today and made me look good, so happy to get those first couple points but we gotta get that (first) goal out of the way at some point.”
“It was our first game together, but you can tell he’s got the skills,” said Stone of Robinson. “A six-foot six body definitely helps.”
Lost in the shuffle a little bit on Friday was the effort of goaltender Nathan Lawson, who made some key saves to give Binghamton the chance to put things away in the third period. Lawson made 27 of 30 saves.
With the win, Binghamton breaks a three-game losing streak and took the first game of a three-in-three weekend.
“Going into the third with a lead at home that’s where you wanna be,” said Stone. “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been having some pretty big lapses in the games and tonight we played our best 60 in a while.”
“This is huge to get the first win out of a three game stretch,” said Robinson. “Playoffs are right around the corner, so we wanna be playing our best hockey.”
With the win, Binghamton stays within shouting distance of Eastern Division leading Syracuse, who lost 3-2 in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Crunch still hold a two point edge in the standings, but Binghamton has one game in hand.
The B-Sens (41-23-1-6) will travel to Albany tonight to play the back end of a home-at home.
“They’re gonna be hungry,” said Stone of the Devils. “They’re not gonna be happy with the outcome today, so we just have to match their intensity moving forward.”
They're gonna be even more desperate because their fighting for their lives, with that last playoff spot." said Richardson of Albany. "We're gonna expect their best and all we can do is respond with our best."
Injury update: Derek Grant was not in the lineup Friday for Binghamton. Richardson said he has a lower-body injury.
"He did it I think in the second game down in Norfolk," said Richardson. "We just thought we're not gonna risk it. He probably could've played right now, but we'll get through this weekend and hopefully see him next weekend and tune him up for the playoffs."