The Scene; Overtime. The Set-Up; Sean Day with a hook to Keven Rooney that gave Binghamton a powerplay with 1:44 remaining. The Play; Blake Pietila, John Ramage and John Quenneville form a triangle up top and played keep away looking for the right opportunity to present itself.
All three finally found it as Pietila returns the puck back to Ramage at the top and lines a soft pass to Quenneville down the side while back peddling to draw the goalie out of position. JQ waits for the right moment before he unloads a cannon of a slapper that finds the back of the net as the Devils win 3-2 over the Hartford Wolf Pack at The Floyd on Friday.
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood looked solid making 22 saves on 24 shots and Pietila had a three-point night (2g, 1a) as Binghamton (20-23-4-0, 44 pts) puts an end to their four-game losing skid.
BDevils with a powerplay tally grabs a 1-0 lead as Pietila received a cross-ice pass in the circle from Nick Lappin and sent the puck on a one-timer past Wolf Pack netminder Marek Mazanec for his team-leading 13th. But the lead is short-lived as Hartford responds 1:17 later on a Bobby Butler shot along the wall that hit Colton White’s stick in front and by Blackwood.
Hartford would go up 2-1 in the second period when Vinni Lettieri let loose a shot through traffic as Blackwood looked partially screened. That would be all the scoring through 40 minutes with shots 19-18 Hartford.
In the third, BDevils tied it with Pietila’s second of the night as he received a lead pass from JQ and found the far corner on a wrister by Mazanec’s stick side at 7:24. The two clubs would battle it out the rest of the period as both goaltenders came up with several great saves to send it to overtime.
Like mapped out above, JQ with an absolute bomb as Mazanec couldn’t get over fast enough with the trio passing to one another looking for the right opportunity to end it.
And boy, did he ever.
Line-Up, Game #47
Forwards: Tangradi - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Schmelzer - Lappin, Baddock - Rooney - Saracino, Quenneville - Pietila - Studenic.
Defensemen: White - Jacobs, Kapla - Ramage, Sissons - Gryba
In Goal: Mackenzie Blackwood, Cam Johnson
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Cory Schneider, Blake Speers, Egor Sharangovich, Egor Yakovlev and Tariq Hammond.
Post Game Notes
- Schneider, seen in the stands as I’m going to guess he was out with a maintenance day, should get the nod on Saturday vs the Penguins.
- BDevils with a nice performance, good effort and put pressure on the Wolf Pack all night long. Decent 60 minute effort. Shots in favor of the BDevils 35-24.
- The line of Tangradi - McLeod - Bastian looked great but the story of the game was Quenneville - Pietila - Studenic as they combined for 6 points, 9 shots and a +2 highlighted with JQ on one of his better performances of the season.
- Brandon Gignac can fly. He’s got some serious wheels that were on display, especially in the OT period with him turning on the jets for back-to-back scoring opportunities only to be denied by Mazanec.
- Eric Gryba was a hitting machine tonight taking several players out with some heavy collisions. Would like to see more of that from the veteran defenseman on a consistent basis.
- A quick little tidbit that took place during warm-ups. Gryba was stretching out on the ice early and took a puck from the opposite side that landed inside his pants. A perfect shot. With a concerned glare to the other side as what just happened, he spotted Bobby Butler as the culprit with a wave of the hand and a big smile. The two players were teammates in the 2011 Calder Cup season as Binghamton Senators. Hartford players were laughing as Gryba eventually formed a smile of his own. (Perhaps that was his motivation tonight?)
#1. Blake Pietila (2g, 1a), #2. John Quenneville (1g, 1a), #3. Nick Lappin (1a)
The BDevils face their old nemesis the Penguins on Saturday as fireworks will be erupting for sure.