Not a good night for Devils’ hockey.
Special teams and goaltending ended up being a killer for Binghamton as the Belleville Senators went on to a 5-2 victory over the Devils in their home opener on Wednesday at CAA Arena. Goaltender Mike McKenna was solid for the Sens as he made 38 saves, and on the other end of the ice Cam Johnson took the loss giving up five goals on 20 shots.
The BDevils (3-2-0-0) couldn't take full advantage of the power play as they ended up 1/8 on the night while Belleville (2-2-0-0) went 2/5.
Binghamton found themselves in a 3-0 hole in the opening twenty minutes and couldn’t recover in time. Senators goal scorers went to Francois Beauchemin (1), Christian Wolanin (1) and Rudolfs Balcers (4) while being out-shot 11-10.
In the second period, the Sens increased their lead to four when Nick Paul’s wrister from the circle beat Johnson top corner, blocker side for a power play tally. It would soon be 5-0 as the Devils didn’t have the answers to get one by McKenna however, the Senators did on Johnson.
Binghamton would end up out-shooting Belleville 19-7 in the final period and scored a pair of goals to end the shutout bid from McKenna. Rookie forward Joey Anderson (2) backhanded home a rebound off the cross bar and another rookie Yegor Sharangovich (2) took a cross ice pass from defenseman Yegor Yakovlev into the open net.
But a little too late as the Senators looked to have cashed it in leaving McKenna to defend for himself, yet at the same time encouraging to see the Devils with the effort. The early contentious is the club needs to address starts more aggressively before falling behind too soon.
Forwards: Tangradi - Seney - Lappin, Pietila - Sharagnovich - Anderson, Studenic - Rooney - Bastian, Speers - McLeod - Gabriel
Defensemen: Strait - Kapla, Yakovlev - Ramage, White - Jacobs
In Goal: Cam Johnson, Mackenzie Blackwood
Scratches: Tariq Hammond, Colby Sissons, Ryan Schmelzer, Brandon Baddock, Brandon Gignac
Post Game Notes
- Rooney, Strait with the A’s. I hope we have a Captain anointed soon as Tangradi appears to be the leading candidate.
- Special teams play stood out as something that needs some work as the Devils were not effective on either side of the PP or PK. No blame game goes out to any specific player as the first PP unit consisted of Lappin-Tangradi-Pietila, Seney/Kapla. The 2nd unit was McLeod-Sharagnovich-Studenic, Anderson/Yakovlev. There was over 90 seconds of 5 on 3 man advantage without anything to show for except a penalty against the Devils right after.
- The Lappin - Seney - Tangradi line were shutout on the scoreboard despite a combined 12 shots on goal.
- Michael McLeod recorded an assist on the Devils’ second goal giving him his first point of the season in four contests. While Yagor Yakovlev recorded two assists giving him seven in five games which shares the lead amongst all rookies in the AHL’s top three.
- One and a half fights happened tonight as in the first period Kurtis Gabriel manhandled Andreas Englund along the boards landing some punches for the Devils’ first fisticuffs of the season. While in the third, John Ramage hit Boston Leier on a high hit down to the ice and was jumped by Patrick Sieloff, as the two wrestled around in circles without any substantial damage.
- Johnson was a surprised start in goal over Mackenzie Blackwood given his 40 save effort in his season debut last Saturday in Laval. Cam has given up five goals in three out of his four starts, as his line reads 2-2-0-0, 4.59 GAA, 0.846 SV%.
- Last season the 3rd period was a constant problem as the team had what appeared to be some conditioning issues. Not tonight though, as they peppered McKenna with 19 shots (and a game high 40) with a pair of goals as a result. However, it was a little too late as the Senators were more efficient on man-to-man coverage, special teams and possessed better goaltending.
#1. Nick Paul (1g, 2a), #2. Mike McKenna (38 saves), #3. Drake Batherson (3a)
Binghamton Devils return home and will have two games on tap this weekend kicking it off with the Syracuse Crunch on Friday.