Binghamton played like they were still in the playoff hunt it would appear as the Devils came back from an early 2-0 deficit to overcome the Springfield Thunderbirds by a 4-3 decision on Saturday. Brandon Gignac scored the game-winner in overtime on a poor play by former Devils’ defenseman Jacob MacDonald as the BDevils won their second straight.
Devils’ netminder Evan Cormier earned the win making 22 of 25 saves and Ryan Schmelzer had a two-point night for Binghamton.
The lone goal scored in the opening period would come from Springfield forward Blaine Byron as he pounced on a rebound off of Cormier’s leg for his 11th of the season.
In the second period, the TBirds made it 2-0 with Byron scoring his second of the game but the Devils would answer back 65 seconds later on the powerplay as Joel Lowry was in the box for holding. With pinpoint precision, a wrister from John Quenneville managed to squeeze through, short side of goaltender Chris Driedger who finished the night with 30 saves.
BDevils would tie it after a nice individual effort from Schmelzer as he drove towards the net and was able to pick off his own rebound in front past Dreidger for his 12th of the season. Less than two minutes later, defenseman John Ramage charged into the offensive zone and ripped a slapper from along the wall to make it 3-2 Binghamton with 10:41 remaining in the third period.
Everything was going the BDevils way with three unanswered goals and the lead until Springfield veteran forward Harry Zolnierczyk scored on a flip of the puck near the crease over Cormier with three minutes left as the two teams eventually would head into OT.
Gignac intercepted a zone clearing, backhand attempt by MacDonald and was able to feed the puck to Blake Pietila inside the circle, who quickly returned it as Gignac rushed towards the net and sent the biscuit past a diving Dreidger for the game-winner.
Line-Up, Game #69
Forwards: Quenneville - Pietila - Schmelzer, Tangradi - Seney - Lappin, Gignac - Sharangovich - Popugaev, Baddock - Larsson - Saracino
Defensemen: White/Ramage, Hammond/Murphy, Jacobs/Gryba
In Goal: Evan Cormier, Cam Johnson
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Blake Speers, Alex Krushelnyski, Ryan Walker, J.D. Dudek, and Marian Studenic
Post Game Notes
- Speers, Studenic, and Krushelnyski were seen in street clothes in the stands. Krush appeared to be a healthy but Speers and Stu are out with injuries. Ludvig Larsson signed to an ATO, made his pro debut and recorded three shots.
- With a healthy-sized crowd, fans were chanting Let’s Go, Devils! as this was the first home game in nearly three weeks with the team away for the last six games.
- Cormier stopped 22 of 25 shots and improved to a 5-6-0-1 record and a 2.78 GAA, 0.908 SV%. Dreidger looked like the same player he was with the old BSens coming up looking brilliant at times with several gloves saves only to falter near the end.
- Nikita Popugaev left the ice during the 3rd period favoring his leg after blocking a shot and did not return.
- Springfield’s leading scorer Paul Thompson was sidelined with an injury helped matters but Jean-Sebastien Dea is still a threat for the offense as the ex-Devils registered a point.
- Shots ended up in favor of the BDevils 34-25.
#1. Brandon Gignac (1g), #2. Ryan Schmelzer (1g, 1a), #3. Blaine Byron (2g)
The BDevils conclude their third game in four nights on Saturday when they take on the Rochester Americans at home.