The Binghamton Devils looked a little lethargic for about half of the first period when they stepped on the home ice for the very first time in game conditions, but behind the steady play from goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, they settled in and earned themselves a 3-1 victory over Wilkes/Barre-Scranton in pre-season action on Sunday in front of a small gathering at The Floyd.
Blackwood ended up with 25 saves on the night as Binghamton broke a 1-1 tie with two goals in the third period and split the home-in-home mini series with the Penguins with Friday night’s 6-2 loss in Pa.
This was also the first time fans got to see their new team in action, which was a little strange I’ll admit at the start. Over the course of the last 15 years, this was BSens territory.
Not anymore. We are now BDevils’ fans.
Devils go up 1-0 in the first on a power play tally tipped in by forward Nathan Bastian at the doorstep of Pens netmainder Tristian Jarry, who finished with 26 saves. Brandon Gignas shot from the point was redirected by Bastian for his second goal of the pre-season.
In the middle frame Pens’ tie it with a power play goal of their own. With Devils’ defenseman Yaroslav Dyblenko in the box, forward Jean-Sebastien Dea scored his second of pre-season on his own rebound past Blackwood in front, with a primary assist credited to defenseman Frank Corrado.
It was Jarry’s time to shine as stopped the ongoing threat from the Devils’ offense with a nice glove save on a slap shot from the point by defenseman Tim Erixon, followed by a quick kick save on another slapper, this time from the stick of Colton White.
In the final 20 minutes Binghamton kicked it into high gear as they scored twice to secure the win over the Pens. Rookie forward Blake Speers return pass to Blake Pietila up the middle created a two on one rush as his tip in beat Jarry up close. Then Jarry was beat once again with a hard wrister off the stick of rookie Chris Calnan inside the circle that sailed under his blocker and into the back of the net, as Pens defenseman Craig Skudalski was stripped off the puck near the slot.
W-B/Scranton pulled Jarry with a minute and a half left for the extra attacker, but Devils defense thwarted any chance of having the contest run into overtime.
Post Game Notes
- Bracken Kearns, Tim Boyle, Victor Loov and Austin Cangelosi were healthy scratches. Starting five were Michael Kapla & Josh Jacobs on D, up front Bastian, Ryan Kujawinski and Tim Kennedy. Ken Appleby served as back up.
- I thought Erixon was ok, but gave a up a really bad turnover in the second period that resulted on a two on one rush between Pens forwards Thomas DiPauli and Dea which Blackwood had to come up big to bail out his teammate.
- BDevils gathered at center ice for a stick salute for the home fans afterwards much to the delight from the small crowd. also of note, players were seen with smiles as they received high fives outside the locker room before reaching the ice during intermissions.
- Binghamton wore NJ uni’s as the club is waiting to unveil the new ones on Saturday for the home opener.
- No fights, few penalties as Pens finished the pre-season with a 1-2 record.
- Three Stars; 1st Bastian, 2nd Erixon, 3rd Pietila.
The big one is next as the inaugural BDevils season kicks off next weekend when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday.