HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonight’s game is the fifth of eight meetings this year between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Binghamton Senators. The Penguins hold a 3-1 advantage over the B-Sens this season, with two of those victories coming in the month of February. The Penguins hosted the B-Sens last Friday in Wilkes-Barre, and winger Jean-Francois Jacques buried four markers to lead the Penguins to the lopsided victory. Binghamton was held to a season-low 17 shots in the loss. The teams have played twice at the Arena this season, with Binghamton earning a 6-5 shootout win back on Saturday, Nov. 25. Binghamton stormed back from a 5-1 deficit, as winger Danny Bois buried two markers in a two-minute span to get Binghamton within two goals. The B-Sens took advantage tripping penalty at the end of the second period, as defenseman Charlie Cook slipped the puck past Andrew Penner with just two seconds remaining. Grant Potulny struck at 3:43 of the third period to knot the game at 5 apiece. Following a scoreless overtime period, The B-Sens collected three shootout markers to earn the 6-5 win. Danny Bois finished the night with three points (2+1=3), while Grant Potulny added a two-point night (1+1=2). Eleven different players collected points in the comeback victory. Danny Bois has five points (3+2=5) in four games against the Penguins. Daniel Carcillo leads the Penguins with four points (4+0=4) in four games against the B-Sens. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder Jeff Deslauriers has been between the pipes for all three victories over the B-Sens.
BINGHAMTON SENATORS: Binghamton has won four consecutive home games, with Saturday’s win over Norfolk at First Arena in Elmira considered a home contest. The B-Sens edged Manchester on Wednesday night at the Arena. Leading scorer Jeff Heerema buried two markers, and Josh Hennessy converted the game-winning penalty shot early in the third period to push Binghamton past a first-place squad for the second time in five days. Netminder Jeff Glass made 36 saves in route to his second consecutive win between the pipes. Glass has 79 in the two wins. Hennessy’s successful penalty shot was the third for the B-Sens in the month of February, as Andrew Ebbett and Matt Koalska converted penalty shots earlier this month. Hennessy leads the B-Sens with four game-winners, with Heerema next in line with three. Hennessy (3+3=6) and Heerema (4+0=4) have sparked the offense in the B-Sens last three wins.
B-SENS STREAKS: Andrew Ebbett has a two-game assist streak (0+2=2). Jeff Heerema has a two-game goal streak (3+0=3), and Josh Hennessy has a two-game point streak (1+2=3). Jeff Glass has been in net in three straight for the B-Sens, while the B-Sens have been outshot in their last two games (82-64).
B-SENS TRANSACTIONS: Goaltender Tom Draper was released from his tryout contract by Binghamton (AHL) today. Right wing Kevin Saurette was signed by Binghamton (AHL) to a 25-game tryout contract on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
WBS PENGUINS: The Penguins enter tonight’s game having lost three straight games, including a 3-2 shootout loss to Hershey on Wednesday night. Tyler Kennedy had two assists while Brodziak netted the game-tying goal to force overtime. Since their win over the B-Sens last Friday, the Penguins have struggled to find the net scoring three goals in three games. Former Binghamton Senator and current Penguin Dennis Bonvie will play in his 800th AHL game tonight, good for 27th all-time. Bridgeport and netminder Billy Thompson posted a 1-0 shutout win over the Penguins last Sunday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had gone 61 games without being blanked before the Sunday loss to Bridgeport. Jonathan Filewich leads the Penguins attack with 22 goals and 43 points. Tyler Kennedy has 25 helpers and a +15 rating.
PENGUINS STREAKS: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penalty kill is 16 for its last 16.
PENGUINS TRANSACTIONS: Right wing Chris Thorburn was loaned for conditioning by Pittsburgh (NHL) on Tuesday.
OTTAWA SENATORS UPDATE: The Ottawa Senators (35-22-4, 74 pts.) had their five-game winning streak snapped last night in Buffalo, as the Sabres edged the Senators for 6-5 shootout win. In a fight-filled game that saw both goalies (Ottawa’s Ray Emery and Buffalo’s Martin Biron) ejected, the Senators fought their way back into the game with two late markers to force overtime. Following a scoreless overtime, the Senators went 0-4 in the shootout. Buffalo winger Drew Stafford tallied the game-winning shootout marker in the fourth round. Dany Heatley registered a three-point night (2+1=3), as did former AHL most valuable player Jason Spezza (1+2=3).