05/03/2011 8:22 PM
By Chris Cotrone
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – After falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven Atlantic Division Final series with a 6-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators Monday night, the Portland Pirates took to the ice Tuesday for game five like a team with their backs against the wall would be expected to: firing on all cylinders. Facing elimination, the Pirates did everything in their power to make sure when they returned to home to Portland it would be to face the Senators in a sixth game.
And force a game six they did, as the Pirates took advantage of a pair of Binghamton miscues in the first to spark a four-goal period en route to a 6-2 victory at the Broome County Arena. With the win, the Pirates pushed the series to 3-2, and now head back to the Cumberland County Civic Center to try and even things up.
Delay of game penalties issued to both Ryan Potulny and Geoff Kinrade in the opening frame resulted in consecutive power play goals for the Pirates, with Portland’s Colin Stuart and Luke Adam the recipients of the man advantage.
Receiving the start over David Leggio, Jhonas Enroth was superb in game five, stopping 35 of the 37 shots he saw to capture his first goalie win of the post-season.
It was Mark Mancari, however, who played the most vital role in securing the game five win for the Pirates, as the winger tallied two goals and two assists in the contest, including a shorthanded score in the first that halted the Senators’ momentum.
With back-to-back Portland penalties providing the B-Sens with a 5-on-3 advantage 10:24 into the first, Mancari managed to cap a shorthanded rush with a put-back goal after Robin Lehner gave up a rebound right in front of the Binghamton net to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
Mark Parish would net a fourth for Portland in the first after Lehner lost sight of the puck upon getting screened in front of the net, prompting Senators coach Kurt Kleinendorst to pull the struggling goaltender in favor of Barry Brust.
In his first minutes of action this series, Brust fared better, stopping 25 of 27 shots, but by then the B-Sens had found themselves in too big a hole to mount a comeback.
Jim O’Brien scored his first goal of the playoffs in the second period to put the B-Sens on the board, but just as play was beginning to favor the Senators, Mancari struck again, this time sniping a goal from the blue line following a delayed penalty call.
Bobby Butler also notched his seventh playoff goal in the game, beating Enroth after a perfect feed from Corey Locke, but it was far too little too late for the Senators, who failed to close out the series with the disappointing loss.
The B-Sens will try to finish off the series once again this Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Fans can listen live on 680 WINR-AM or Team 1200 (Ottawa) beginning 30 minutes before the game for Countdown to Face Off with Grady Whittenburg, voice of the B-Sens.
-Go B-Sens Go-