In his first start since October on home ice, netminder Cam Johnson stopped 17 out of 18 shots to lead the Binghamton Devils’ to a 3-1 victory over Belleville Senators on Saturday. BDevils took two out of three wins in the last four days and extended the BSens losing streak to four games of their own.
The Devils (12-15-3-0) are now percentage points ahead of the Sens (12-15-2-0) in sixth place in the North Division and Twelfth in the Eastern Conference.
It would be a close contest for the majority of the game but the Devils drew first blood just over five minutes in by defenseman John Ramage. Brian Ward circled towards the net and fed a quick pass to Ramage for a one-timer past Belleville goalie Marcus Hogberg for the only goal in the opening twenty minutes.
Nathan Bastian made it a two-goal lead in the second with a low, hard shot while crossing the shooting lane for his eighth of the season. But the Sens would answer back 1:44 after with a shot from Adam Tambellini that landed far corner of the net past Johnson that made it a 2-1 Devils’ lead.
In the final stanza, the two clubs played a tight defensive style tempo that included killing off a crucial five on three man advantage by Belleville. The Devils managed just two shots in the period but made one count with an insurance goal by Michael McLeod into the empty net with Hogberg pulled. Shots were at a premium with a slim 19-18 count in favor of the Devils.
Line-Up, Game #29
Forwards: Tangradi - McLeod - Bastian, Pietila - Rooney - Schmelzer, Baddock - Sharangovich - Speers, Gignac - Ward - Gabriel
Defensemen: White - Jacobs, Kapla - Ramage, Sissons - Gryba
In Goal: Cam Johnson, Mackenzie Blackwood,
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Tariq Hammond, Marian Studenic and Nick Lappin
Post Game Notes
- Studenic and Lappin banged up a bit but should be ready to go on Wednesday in Toronto. Hammond a healthy scratch as Sissons filled in.
- Johnson played well and got a little help from the post as he is filling in for the injured Eddie Lack. His line reads 3-4-0-0 4.21 GAA 0.854 SV% this season for Binghamton as Coach MD decided not to go with Blackwood on back-to-back nights after last weekend’s disaster.
- Bastian has 8 goals and 2 assists in 29 games this season well on his way to career highs. In his rookie campaign, he recorded 10 goals and 8 helpers in 68 contests.
- McLeod had himself a 2 point evening which puts him at 5g, 10a in 28 games on his rookie season.
- Officiating was really bad last Saturday night against Utica, but tonight might have been the worst call of all. Bastian was whistled for a cross-check that never took place as the Sens player fell to the ice naturally. After in-house replays indicated the blown call, the ref went over to Bastain in the box and declared it was on him and apologized.
- There was a goal by Eric Gryba from outside the blueline that was called back with an off-sides whistle as Eric Tangradi appeared to be the culprit much to the boos heard from the crowd. Replays would also help support the decision by the linesman.
- NJ Devils personnel were seen taking in the action.
#1. Nathan Bastian (1g), #2. John Ramage (1g, 1a), #3. Cam Johnson (17 saves)
Binghamton travels to Canada on Wednesday for a date with the Toronto Marlies in Ontario.