The Providence Bruins began the first of two games with the Binghamton Devils this weekend with a win as Bruins’ rookie Ryan Fitzgerald had a goal and two assists and starter Zane McIntyre came up with 28 saves to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Devils at Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday.
Fresh off Binghamton’s 3-0 shutout over Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, goalie Ken Appleby made his second straight start but fell short despite his 29 save effort, as the Bruins won their third game out of the last four while just the opposite for the Devils, the team’s fourth loss out of five.
Appleby couldn’t be at fault on two of the three goals he let in that began with just under two minutes into the night, when Bruins’ defenseman Chris Breen sent the puck through traffic from the blueline and deflected into the back of the cage off of Kenny Agostino in front for a 1-0 Bruins early lead.
However, Binghamton would soon tie it when defenseman Jacob MacDonald’s shot from the point eluded McIntyre for his eighth of the season and team-leading 18th point. But Providence would regain the lead on a power play goal from Fitzgerald with an easy tap-in by the corner of the pipes, after a cross-ice feed from another rookie in forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to close out the first period. Shots were in favor of the Bruins 12-6.
Bruins would push it to 3-1 in the middle frame when Karlsson cashed in on another powerplay, this time parked near the bottom of the circle after Appleby was caught out of position with Fitzgerald quarterbacking the blueline on a long pass to Karlsson.
Nick Lappin would pull the Devils to within one with his team-leading 11th at 6:45 in the third with the Devils buzzing and creating havoc, as his shot went top shelf past McIntyre that made it 3-2 contest.
With all the momentum going the BDevils way late in the final stanza, Kevin Rooney fanned on a one-timer up the middle that led to an odd man rush for the Bruins but unfortunately for the Devils, a careless slashing penalty was called against D-man Yaroslav Dyblenko with 3:26 left in the third period. Binghamton would end up killing it though, but the rest of the way shifted towards the Bruins with some heavy fore-checking that bottled up any attempts for Binghamton to tie it, with hopes of sending the game to overtime. Bruins ended up 32-30 in shots.
The re-match will be held on Saturday with Mackenzie Blackwood in net for the BDevils and Jordan Binnington for the Bruins.
Forwards; Kennedy-Kearns-Lappin, Quenneville-Pietila-Bastian, Gignac-Rooney-Speers, Thomson-Cangelosi-Mandat. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, White-Loov, MacDonald-Dyblenko, White. In Goal; Ken Appleby Back up; Mackenzie Blackwood Scratches; Michael Kapla, Brandon Baddock (inj.) and Ryan Kujawinski (inj.).
Post Game Notes
- Defenseman Brian Strait left the game early in the opening period on the wrong side of a hit along the side boards near the Devils’ bench, as his quick exit behind the bench lasted throughout the game with several defensemen rotating in his spot, aligned with Josh Jacobs on the top pairing.
- This team continues to shoot themselves in the foot one way or another. It was there for the taking late in the third before a penality that put them behind the eight ball once again. Just like the theme it’s been so far this season, one step ahead, two steps back. Just the opposite for Providence in protecting the lead, something that Binghamton cannot do on a consistent basis.
- I thought JQ was sloppy tonight. He was given big minutes in the final push in the third period with Lappin and Pietila, but seemed to second guess himself at times.
- First game after Joe Blandisi was involved in the trade for the Devils in acquiring Sami Vatanen for NJ, as Tim Kennedy filled his spot on the BDevils’ roster on the first line, in his first game back from injury.
- ICYMI: 1st Quarter Grades Reports were published on Thursday.
1st; Ryan Fitzgerald (1g, 2a), 2nd; Jacob MacDonald (1g, 1a), 3rd; Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (1g, 1a).
The two teams face one another once again on Saturday in Providence.