BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins did a lot of things right in their Game 2 matchup against the Binghamton Senators in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday.
Except hold a lead.
The Penguins held a 3-1 lead deep into the second period as they looked to go up 2-0 on the Senators, only to allow Binghamton to chip away and force overtime. A goal by Binghamton’s Stephane Da Costa 11 minutes into the overtime period beat the Penguins 4-3 and evened up the series with Game 3 in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak in the postseason by the Penguins over the Senators.
“We took some ill-advised penalties against a power play like that,” said head coach John Hynes. “They’re strength was a real big difference-maker. That gave them momentum and kept them in it. We can do a better job than that.”
Despite being outshot by Binghamton 8-3 in the first period, the Penguins made the most of their chances. Brian Dumoulin sent a shot through traffic that was deflected by Chuck Kobasew past Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond five minutes in for a 1-0 lead.
After Binghamton answered with a power play goal from Chris Wideman, Tom Kostopoulos put the Penguins back on top when he one-timed a Mike Carman pass at the midway point.
The goal set the Penguins up with a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Penguins quickly built on their lead in the second with a goal from Carman just two minutes in. Kostopoulos sent the puck deep into the Binghamton zone where it took an odd bounce off the boards behind the net and out to Carman at the side, who beat an unaware Hammond to make it 3-1.
Carman’s shot was the Penguins’ fourth of the game, and Hammond had only stopped one until that point.
Penalties did haunt the Penguins again, however, as Zach Sill went off for slashing and Binghamton scored after Mark Stone’s shot hit goalie Peter Mannino, ricocheted off the post and behind the net out to Da Costa, who punched it in to make it 3-2.
The Penguins lead evaporated quickly in the third period when Mark Stone stole the puck from Brian Dumoulin along the boards, skated into open ice and blasted a slapshot past Mannino to make it 3-3 just 23 seconds in.
The tie held as the teams went to overtime for the second straight night.
The offense picked up right away in the overtime period. Binghamton’s Cole Schneider broke loose on a rush down the ice, only to have his stick lifted from behind by Anton Zlobin just as he attempted to shoot.
On the next shift, Spencer Machacek had the puck at the doorstep, only to have Hammond close his pads to stuff the shot.
The Penguins kept firing as Reid McNeill blasted a shot from the point and Machacek nearly stuffed in the rebound at the halfway point.
With 11 minutes gone in the extra frame, Binghamton won it when Da Costa picked up a loose puck at the corner and lifted a shot over Mannino for his second goal and the game-winner.
“This is exactly what we figured,” Hynes said of the first two games of the series going to overtime. “It was a intense, well-played game by both teams. It’s what we expect moving forward.”
• G Eric Hartzell, G Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (injury), D Philip Samuelsson (injury), C Nick Drazenovic (veteran scratch), D Nick D’Agostino, D Harrison Ruopp, RW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, RW Josh Archibald, LW Conor Sheary, LW Matia Marcantuoni, RW Bryan Rust and LW Scott Wilson were scratched for the Penguins.
• Hynes made a couple of lineup changes for Game 2. Out were C Nick Drazenovic and RW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, in their place were RW Spencer Machacek and C Mike Carman.
Binghamton 4, Penguins 3, OT
Game 2, Eastern Conference quarterfinals
(Series tied 1-1)
Scoring – 1. WBS, Chuck Kobasew 1 (Dumoulin, Ebbett) 4:51. 2. BNG, Chris Wideman 1 (Stone, Ceci) power play 9:09. 3. WBS, Tom Kostopoulos 1 (Carman, Payerl) 11:03. Penalties – WBS, Payerl (tripping) 7:55; WBS, Despres (interference) 13:43.
Scoring – 4. WBS, Mike Carman 1 (Kostopoulos, McNeill) 1:58. 5. BNG, Stephane Da Costa 1 (Stone, Schneider) power play 16:34. Penalties – WBS, Sill (slashing) 15:13; BNG, Mullen (roughing) 17:08.
Scoring – 6. BNG, Mark stone 1 unassisted :23. Penalties – BNG, Dziurzynski (elbowing) 2:38.
Scoring – BNG, Stephane Da Costa 2 (Stone) 11:07
Shots on goal
Penguins – 3-10-6-7-26
Binghamton – 8-9-7-4-28
Penguins – 0 of 2
Binghamton – 2 of 3
Penguins – Peter Mannino 1-1 (24 saves-28 shots)
Binghamton – Andrew Hammond 1-1 (23-26)
Penguins – D Brian Dumoulin, D Barry Goers, LW Harry Zolnierczyk, C Zach Sill, RW Spencer Machacek
Binghamton – D Mark Borowiecki, D Patrick Mullen, LW Cole Schneider, C Stephane Da Costa, RW Mark Stone
1. BNG, Stephane Da Costa (two goals) 2. BNG, Mark Stone (goal, two assists) 3. WBS, Mike Carman (two assists)
Referee – Darcy Burchell, Jon McIsaac. Linesmen – John Grandt, Francis Trempe.