12/12/2009 8:59 AM
Wilkes-Barre, P.A. - On a frigidly cold Friday night, the Senators traveled an hour south on I-81 to take on the Penguins. Before the opening face-off, only one point separated the two teams in the East Division standings, with the B-Sens having a 27 to 26 point advantage. A 3-2 overtime victory for the Pens forced the two clubs into a third place divisional tie before the night was over.
It didn’t take long for the Wachovia Arena to heat up. Three seconds into the game, Jeremy Yablonski dropped the gloves with Aaron Boogaard. Before the penalty box doors could close, Tim Spencer and Jesse Boulerice did the same, sending four men to the “sin bin” before the game was five seconds old.
The Senators failed to convert on the power play in the first, going 0-for-4 with the man advantage, including a 5-on-3 advantage in the final minutes of the period.
It wasn’t until thirty seconds remained in the second period that the Penguins broke the scoreless game. Deryk Engelland netted his first goal of the season off a wrist shot from just inside the blue line. The traffic in front screened Binghamton net minder and former Penguin Andy Chiodo just long enough. The puck beat him over his left shoulder to give the Pens a 1-0 lead going into the third.
The Senators seemed to have tied it up a minute into the third, but the goal was disallowed. Denis Hamel tipped a wrist shot from Derek Smith past John Curry, but Hamel’s stick was up near his shoulders, and referee Geno Binda was right there to wave it off.
Four minutes later, the puck crossed the goal line once again. But this time, it counted. Martin St. Pierre brought the puck into the Penguins zone up the right boards and fired a wrist shot from the right circle. The puck ricocheted off Curry’s glove and trickled in to tie the score at 1-1.
The Penguins answered right back at 8:17 with a goal from Joe Vitale. Chiodo made an outstanding effort, stopping four shots as he sprawled across the goal crease, but Vitale chipped it over Chiodo’s pad to put the Penguins up 2-1.
The Senators pulled Chiodo for an extra attacker with 1:30 left in the third, looking for a chance to tie it up. The gamble paid off as Craig Schira wristed a shot through traffic that beat Curry top shelf with 24.9 seconds left in the game to force overtime.
Overtime didn’t last long as Dustin Jeffrey busted down the middle of the ice, receiving a lead pass from Chris Lee. Jeffrey deked Chiodo and lifted a backhand into the net to give the Penguins their second win in three days.
The B-Sens look to bounce back at home tomorrow night as they host another East Division rival, the Syracuse Crunch. Puck drops at 7:05 P.M.
-Go B-Sens Go-