Penguins Eliminate Senators, Advance To Conference Semifinals

Friday, May 2, 2014

Penguins advance to the second round, eliminating the Senators in the first round for the second straight season. Photo credit: @ItsJacki.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins weathered the storm in the first period, with thanks to several saves by Peter Mannino, and did something they had trouble doing throughout the regular season and the first three games of this series - take advantage of their power plays.

The undisciplined Binghamton Senators handed the Penguins nine power plays in the first 40:55 and the Penguins built their lead early in a 5-1 rout of the Senators in a series-clinching win. The Penguins eliminated the Senators on May 2nd for the second straight year and all-time have never lost to the BSens at home in the playoffs (6-0).

The Penguins will await the result of tomorrow night's Game Five between Springfield and Providence before finding out their second round opponent.

If Springfield wins, the Penguins travel to Newfoundland to start a best-of-seven series with the St. John's IceCaps. If Providence wins, the Penguins host the PBruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals because eighth seeded Norfolk eliminated top-seeded Manchester tonight.

The BSens came out with the edge in the first 8:45 of the contest, much like you would expect a team with their proverbial backs against the wall would. Peter Mannino kept the game scoreless and the Penguins killed off an early too many men penalty and weathered the storm until the BSens found themselves in penalty trouble.

While on their 2nd power play of the night, Andrew Ebbett fed Chuck Kobasew a one-time pass that Kobasew roofed to the back-bar and out. The referee initially waived off the goal and after 1:41 of playing they reviewed it at the next stoppage and deemed it was a good goal. Brian Dumoulin added a secondary assist after a good keep-in at the blue line to allow the play to happen.

The Penguins had 52 seconds of 5-on-3 power play time late in the first period but were unable to capitalize. In all, they went 1-for-5 on the man advantage in the first 20 minutes of play.

The BSens penalty problems continued in the middle frame. Already starting the 2nd period on the PK, Conor Sheary took a stick up high and the Pens capitalized on the two-man advantage. This time Ebbett set up Dumoulin, who's shot from the point rang off the crossbar and in to put the Pens up 2-0.

After a successful penalty kill, Dominik Uher flung a shot towards Hammond and it was wired to the top shelf. Uher's timely goal made it 3-0 and from there the BSens lost their cool and continued to take selfish penalties.

Corey Cowick didn't like something Peter Mannino did and after Mannino jumped under the sliding Cowick, the BSens forward punched Mannino in the back of the head and dished out a heavy slash on Dumoulin, causing a gathering at the 9:36 mark.

The Penguins failed to score on the ensuing power play, but after a great diving sweep of the puck by Kobasew to Ebbett, the Pens assistant captain made no mistake. Ebbett came in on a breakaway from the blue line and beat Hammond low to the blocker side to extend the WBS lead to 4-0.

Binghamton tried to make a game of it in the third period, making it a 4-1 game on a Shane Prince power play tally, but it was too little too late as the Penguins defense stayed tight and Harry Zolnierczyk added an empty netter to complete the 5-1 final score.


For the fourth straight game, Peter Mannino got the start in net and Matt Murray was the backup goaltender.

No changes on defense. Harrison Ruopp took the warmup skate as the team's 7th defenseman for the second straight game.

Up front, Anton Zlobin (undisclosed) was out after taking a boarding hit from BSens captain Mark Boroweicki. Bryan Rust made his AHL playoff debut in his place.

UPDATE: Head coach John Hynes said Anton Zlobin is "day-to-day with an upper body injury" and could return for Game One of the 2nd round depending on when the series starts. Also, Mike Carman has been a healthy scratch and it was a coaches decision to play Bryan Rust tonight.


Sheary - Ebbett - Kobasew
Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Rust - Rowney - Payerl
Uher - Sill - Farnham

McNeill - Despres
Harrington - Mikkelson
Dumoulin - Goers

Scratches: Eric Hartzell, Jeff Deslauriers, Philip Samuelsson (lower body), Nick D'Agostino, Harrison Ruopp, Spencer Machacek (veteran), Anton Zlobin (undisclosed), Mike Carman, Pierre-Luc Leblond, Scott Wilson and Josh Archibald.


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