BINGHAMTON 4, HOUSTON 2
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (theahl.com) … Zack Smith scored twice and Robin Lehner made 41 saves as Binghamton moved to within one victory of a Calder Cup championship with a 4-2 win over Houston in Game 5 of the AHL Finals on Saturday night.
Attendance for the Senators’ final home game of the 2010-11 season was 4,727 – above capacity at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
It was the fourth time in five games of the series that the Senators scored first.
Houston’s fourth line got the Aeros on the board at 11:08 when Jean-Michel Daoust knocked the puck past Lehner to tie the score at 1-1. It was the first goal allowed by Lehner in 97:09 of work.
The Senators went back in front just 69 seconds later, however, as Erik Condra blocked a Houston shot, took off on a breakaway and scored his first goal of the series and fifth of the playoffs.
As the opening frame wound down, Lehner made a sprawling pad save on Jarod Palmer, but moments later Daoust parked himself on the doorstep and tipped home a pass from Marco Scandella, tying the game with 6.3 seconds remaining before intermission.
Houston controlled play for much of the second period, which was scoreless until Zack Smith banged home a bouncing puck during a power play with 8.5 seconds left in the frame. The Senators took a 3-2 lead into the locker room after 40 minutes despite being outshot by a 29-19 margin at that point.
The Aeros continued to press looking for the tie in the third period, but the Senators got some much-needed breathing room when Smith netted his second of the night with just 4:04 to play.
Houston finished the night with a 43-27 edge in shots. The Senators were 1-for-4 on the power play; the Aeros were 0-for-4.
The Senators take a 3-2 series lead back to Houston, with two chances at Toyota Center to capture the city of Binghamton’s first championship. Game 6 is set for Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.
2011 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Fri., May 27 – HOUSTON 3, Binghamton 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 28 – Binghamton 2, HOUSTON 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Wed., June 1 – Houston 2, BINGHAMTON 1
Game 4 – Fri., June 3 – BINGHAMTON 3, Houston 0
Game 5 – Sat., June 4 – BINGHAMTON 4, Houston 2
Game 6 – Tue., June 7 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:05
*Game 7 – Thu., June 9 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:05