It took just 12 seconds into the opening period for the visiting Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins to set the stage with a 1-0 lead as it felt like it was going to be one of those nights once again for the Binghamton Devils. But it was just the opposite despite the results, as they suffered their sixth straight loss on Friday at the Floyd L. Maines Veteran Memorial Arena.
The Penguins (11-2-0-0) entered the night as the hottest team with a 10-0-0-1 record over their last eleven games, tops in the league while the Devils (5-8-1-0) are currently tied with Syracuse for last place in the North Division. To even make it a game trailing by two in front of a large crowd with chances galore in the final five minutes was both entertaining and irritating, as Binghamton got a late goal in the third period by defenseman Jacob MacDonald to cut the Pens lead by one that gave hope for a chance to send it to overtime. Wishful thinking was my thoughts at that point but reality would rear its ugly head eventually.
Behind by one, Binghamton tied it with one of their three power play goals on the night as rookie forward Brandon Gignac was able to pounce on a blocked shot by Pens’ defenseman Jarred Tinordi and sent the puck through the wickets of starter Casey DeSmith for his second goal of the season. Devils were in complete control at that point, but the Penguins closed out the first with one of their own with 17.8 ticks left on the clock as forward Teddy Blueger’s wrap-around attempt was denied by goalie Ken Appleby, but the rebound was there for the taking in front when Thomas DiPauli lifted the puck up and over and into the back of the cage.
Binghamton would get one of their own in the middle frame when Joe Blandisi’s shot went off of Bracken Kearns near the slot for the re-direct goal past a screened DeSmith, as the two teams headed into the locker room knotted up at two apiece after 40 minutes.
In the final frame, WBScranton regained the lead with two goals of their own from forwards Adam Johnson and Christian Thomas 2:13 apart. But the Devils crawled back to within one when defenseman Jacob MacDonald scored his fifth on the power play at 15:33 with a similar reaction like Gignac on his own rebound that sent the puck past DeSmith that set the final stage with four minutes remaining.
There were several close calls offensively towards the end by the Devils but they simply couldn’t crack DeSmith, as the sell-out crowd was sent home with another disappointing finish while the Penguins basked in another win of their own.
Forwards; Blandisi-Kearns-Lappin, Pietila-Rooney-Bastian, Thomson-Mandat-Gignac, Baddock-Cangelosi-Speers. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, White-Loov, MacDonald-Dyblenko. In Goal; Ken Appleby. Back up; Mackenzie Blackwood. Scratches; John Quenneville (inj.), Tim Kennedy, Michael Kapla and Ryan Kujawinski (inj.). Lappin, Pietila and Strait with the A’s.
Post Game Notes
- Did the Pens take the Devils too lightly? Perhaps. But let’s look at this from a different angle. Three PP goals by the Devils and one even strength with eight calls going against the Pens, compared to three for the Devils. This team still desires some offensive results.
- Tonight there was A.) a 60 minute effort, B.) they stayed out of the box, and C.) played with some passion. I don’t have to be happy with the loss, but I liked what I saw, something that I haven’t seen in a long time in those three elements I just mentioned.
- Special teams were better on both ends with Brandon Gignac having a lot of ice time, and deservingly so, one of the few bright points so far this season.
- Brandon Baddock went after Jarred Tinordi in the third and got the take down with the two tangled up for the most part.
- Blake Speers continues to have a bad season as he’s played himself down to the fourth line, one of the many disappointments this team has in the first quarter.
- Shots were in favor of the Devils 34-18, but those two that Appleby let in on four shots in the first period hurt the most. I’m going to label this one as a ‘character builder’ and see what happens on Saturday against the Amerks.
- Jacob MacDonald scored his fourth power play goal of the season which puts him in a tie with Andy Welinski of San Diego for the lead amongst all defensemen with four.
- Seems there was an obvious blown call by the refs with an apparent icing that went awry with about 3 seconds left in the third period that would’ve sent the faceoff in the offensive zone for one last ditch effort. Devils pleaded their case to the officials but to no avail as they were quickly whisked away off the ice. When you are in the middle of a long losing streak, things sometimes just don’t go your way.
#1 Teddy Blueger (2a), #2 Christian Thomas (1g), #3 Jacob MacDonald (1g,1a).
Binghamton has a re-match with Rochester at home on Saturday that hopefully ends this losing streak.