BINGHAMTON 5, PORTLAND 3
Rookie goaltender Robin Lehner turned aside 43 of 46 shots and red-hot Binghamton shook off a 2-0 second-period deficit to claim a 5-3 win at Portland on Thursday, sending the Senators home with a 2-0 series lead in the Atlantic Division Finals.
Binghamton, which has now won five straight games – including four in a row on the road – since falling into a 3-1 first-round hole vs. Manchester, will host Game 3 of the series on Saturday at the Broome County Arena.
Lehner was stellar between the pipes, surrendering a goal in each period but holding the fort during a third frame in which Portland held a 16-6 advantage in shots. The 19-year-old Lehner is a perfect 5-0 since taking over the starting duties from Barry Brust.
Kaspars Daugavins led the Senators’ offense with a pair of goals, including a shorthanded marker to put Binghamton on the board 8:28 into the second period. Daugavins later sealed the victory with a last-second empty-netter.
B-Sens defenseman Bob Raymond struck for a goal and an assist in his AHL debut; Zack Smith registered a goal and a helper for the second straight night; and rookie Bobby Butler extended his goal-scoring streak to five games (5-0-5) with his sixth tally of the postseason.
The Senators are now an impressive 4-2 this postseason when allowing the game’s first goal, which has occurred in six of their first nine playoff contests.
Mancari ended up with two goals and Matt Ellis posted two assists for the Pirates, who had lost an AHL-low eight games in regulation at home all season prior to these back-to-back setbacks to the Senators.
Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Binghamton 5, PORTLAND 3
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., May 2 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 3 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 6 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., May 7 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00