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Senators strike again, take 2-0 lead

Charlie Stephens scored twice to lead Binghamton to a 4-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at a sold-out Broome County Arena on Saturday, upping the Senators’ lead in their East Division semifinal series to two games to none.

Game 3 is Monday night in Wilkes-Barre.

Stephens opened the scoring only 1:44 into the game, beating Penguins goaltender Andy Chiodo over the left shoulder. Chiodo got the start in net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after backing up Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 1.

The Penguins controlled play for much of the second period, tying the score on a Kris Beech power-play goal at the 10:50 mark.

But the Senators came out strong in the third, with Chris Neil putting them ahead for good just 49 seconds in. Stephens made it 3-1 at the 5:06 mark, and AHL rookie scoring champion Brandon Bochenski added his first career playoff goal at 12:46.

Brian McGrattan recorded two assists for Binghamton, and Ray Emery made 29 saves to improve to 12-0-2 in his last 14 decisions, dating to the regular season. Jason Spezza had an assist, giving him at least one point in 22 straight games since Mar. 5.

Erik Christensen finished with a goal and an assist for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Binghamton, which led the lead in offense with 276 goals in the regular season, has scored nine in the first two games against the Penguins.

LOWELL 2, HARTFORD 1
Ryan Bayda scored midway through the third period and Cam Ward made 28 saves as Lowell held on for a 2-1 win in Hartford on Saturday. The teams’ Atlantic Division semifinal is tied at 1-1.

Chuck Kobasew added a shorthanded goal for the Lock Monsters. Jeff Hamilton scored the only goal for the Wolf Pack.

The series shifts to the Tsongas Arena for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.

PHILADELPHIA 3, NORFOLK 0
Antero Niittymaki stopped 32 shots as Philadelphia posted a 3-0 win over Norfolk to take a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 will be Monday in Norfolk.

Todd Fedoruk and Jeff Carter scored 2:13 apart midway through the second period to break a scoreless tie, and Ben Eager added an insurance tally with seven seconds to go in the game.

The shutout was Niittymaki’s first in 14 postseason appearances over the last two seasons.

Craig Anderson made 26 saves for the Admirals.

MANCHESTER 4, PROVIDENCE 2
Noah Clarke scored with 7:49 left in the third period to propel Manchester to a 4-2 win over Providence in Game 2 on Saturday night.

The teams’ Atlantic Division semi is tied at 1-1, with Game 3 set for Monday.

Mike Cammalleri had a goal and an assist for the Monarchs and Mathieu Garon made 21 saves as Manchester rebounded from Friday night’s 5-1 loss.

Dustin Brown and Chris Schmidt also scored for Manchester. Andy Hilbert and Pat Leahy had the Providence goals.

CHICAGO 1, HOUSTON 0
Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves and Tommi Santala provided the offense in the final minute of the second period as Chicago eked out a 1-0 win in Houston on Saturday.

The Wolves have a 2-1 series lead heading into Sunday’s Game 4 at the Toyota Center.

Mike Smith made 31 saves in the loss.

MILWAUKEE 3, CINCINNATI 2 (OT)
Simon Gamache scored on a power play 17:01 into overtime, giving Milwaukee a 3-2 win over Cincinnati and a 2-1 series lead.

Timofei Shishkanov forced OT with a power-play goal of his own with 8:24 left in regulation. The Admirals are now 8-for-28 with the man advantage in the series.

Darren Haydar also scored and Wyatt Smith had two assists for Milwaukee. Ryan Suter added an assist for his league-leading sixth point of the postseason.

Brian Finley finished with 36 saves for the Admirals, including 12 in the third period and 13 in overtime.

Chris Kunitz and Zenon Konopka scored for the Mighty Ducks.