A sold-out Broome County Arena went home unhappy Friday night, as the Binghamton Senators dropped a 3-2 decision to the Rochester Americans.
Robin Lehner, who returned from Ottawa Thursday, got the start between the pipes for Binghamton and was greeted rudely by the visitors, who scored twice in the first 2:33 of the game.
Binghamton battled all night, but couldn’t dig out of the early hole. For the B-Sens, it was their third straight 3-2 loss. Hershey came out on top last Sunday and Albany continued the trend on Wednesday. Binghamton also opened the season with a pair of 3-2 losses at home against Hershey and Toronto respectively. Overall, it was Binghamton’s sixth one goal loss in 12 games.
Rochester got off to a fast start Wednesday, with Jacob Legace scoring 1:09 into the contest, followed by Zack Kassian 74 seconds later.
“I didn’t like our first five (minutes) and I really didn’t like our last five which is a little unfortunate,” said Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst. “First five, not everybody, but we had some guys weren’t ready to answer the bell and they (Rochester) came out hard and got a couple goals around our crease where they just outworked us.”
When asked if he thought the first goal was one he thought Lehner would like to have back, Kleinendorst admitted it is tough to be called up and then come back.
“Just tough circumstances for Robin,” he said. “That’s the way it is. There’s gonna be other games where Robin’s gonna have travel back in a limo the night before and gonna have to be prepared to play.”
Immediately off the next faceoff, Francis Lessard and Joe Finley dropped the gloves for the first of two bouts on the evening, with Lessard coming out on the short-end.
“I didn’t like the first one,” Lessard said. “I lost my balance right away.”
Obviously, the fight was meant to put a charge into the crowd and the team and Lessard accomplished that. Binghamton got power-play seconds later and although they didn’t score, they seemed to get their legs under them and generated some good chances.
The B-Sens second power play came with 10:06 to go in the period and they didn’t let that one slip away. Pat Cannone got a real nice feed from Patrick Wiercioch and found the back of the net. The second assist went to Corey Cowick, to halve Rochester’s lead at the 11:12 mark.
The two teams went to the locker room with Rochester holding a 13-12 lead in shots.
The Amerks (4-4-2-1) struck early in the second period as Marcus Foligno slipped one through Lehner’s legs. He looked to be in great position to make the save, but it found its way through, to make it 3-1.
Lessard did his best to get the crowd back in the game again with 12:25 to go in the second. This time he did it with his stick on a nice feed from Mark Borowiecki. Rochester goaltender David Leggio came tumbling across the crease to try to make the stop, but to no avail.
“Just right to the net,” said Lessard of the play. “I just changed and Boro passed me a great pass, so I could not miss.”
On the ensuing faceoff, Binghamton’s David Dziurzynski dropped the gloves against Matt MacKenzie and Lessard followed that up with the second fight against Finley.
“I had a great start, but his jersey ripped,” Lessard said of the second bout. “That happens sometimes.”
Binghamton got a 6-on-4 power-play late in the third period, after Lehner was pulled with 50 seconds left and less than eight seconds later, Alex Beiga got a double-minor for high-sticking.
Unfortunately, Binghamton couldn’t come up with the shot they needed to send the game to overtime.
“Not that the effort wasn’t there, Kleinendorst said. “But when the game was on the line and we needed our guys to step-up and show a little bit of poise and composure it wasn’t there. We passed some pucks we should’ve been shooting and shot some pucks maybe we should’ve been passing.”
It was a much better effort for Binghamton than they have shown in the last couple games and Kleinendorst acknowledged that there were some good things to take away from the game, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
“We’re not here to play well and lose,” he said. “But, having said that, we know that this is a group that’s growing and we have a long way to grow.”
For more info: Rochester @ Binghamton gamesheet
Binghamton (5-6-1-0) will be right back at it tonight on home ice, as they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The puck drops at 7:05 PM.