BINGHAMTON – Jesper Boqvist scored twice and Janne Kuokkanen had a two-point game as the Binghamton Devils handed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 6-4 loss inside Floyd L Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.
Jesper Boqvist scored the opening goal to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Jeremy Groleau’s shot was stopped by the leg pad of goaltender Casey DeSmith but Boqvist slid the rebound in on his backhand at 13:20 of the opening frame. The goal was Boqvist’s sixth of the year with assists from Groleau and Mikhail Maltsev.
Late in the first, the Penguins tied the game up at one. Adam Johnson took a lob pass on a breakaway and lifted the puck over the left shoulder of goaltender Gilles Senn with just 1:02 remaining. The goal was Johnson’s 10th of the season with helpers from Kevin Roy and Cole Cassels and the game was tied 1-1 after one period with Binghamton holding the shot advantage, 14-5.
Binghamton put home three goals in the second period to take a three-goal lead heading into the third. Just 58 seconds into the second stanza, Ben Street won the faceoff out to Josh Jacobs waiting back by the blue line. Jacobs launched a shot toward the net and Street tipped the puck past DeSmith for his 15th goal of the season. Jacobs grabbed the sole assist to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
A power-play goal gave the Devils a two-goal advantage with 7:32 remaining in the middle frame. After Ryan Schmelzer won a battle along the boards, the loose puck connected with a flying Boqvist just entering the offensive zone. Boqvist rocketed a shot off the post and in for his second goal of the night with Schmelzer and Janne Kuokkanen registering the assists.
The third goal of the period was scored with 4:37 left to go in the second. Kuokkanen raced down the ice and slid a quick shot that was stopped by DeSmith. After the save, Penguins defenseman Kevin Czuczman slid into DeSmith, pushing both players and the puck past the goal line to give the Devils a 4-1 lead. Egor Sharangovich and Chris Conner assisted on the play and the Devils took that lead into the third period along with a 29-9 shot lead.
The Penguins answered 9:31 into the third period with Roy’s 12th goal of the season. Cassels raced down the ice and sent a pass through a diving defender over to Roy who ripped a one timer by a sprawling Senn. Cassels tallied the only assist and the Penguins trailed 4-2.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton comeback attempt was short lived when Schmelzer grabbed his sixth goal of the season that put the Devils up by three. Colton White sent a pass over to Nathan Bastian from the left-wing circle and he was stopped by DeSmith several times on rebounds. The puck then hopped over to an open Schmelzer on the other side of the net to give the Devils a 5-2 lead with 9:55 to go in the final frame. Bastian and White were awarded the assists.
Bastian picked up his second point on the night on a shorthanded goal that put the Devils up, 6-2. With 4:50 remaining in regulation, Bastian raced down and sent a shot from far out that bested DeSmith between his leg pads for Bastian’s 14th of the season. Kyle Cumiskey grabbed his 11th assist of the season on the play and Schmelzer received his 13th.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton kept pushing and scored twice on the power play to pull within two goals. Jordy Bellerive tallied both goals on the man advantage at 16:19 and 19:07 however it wasn’t enough as the Devils came away with the 6-4 victory. Senn stopped 17 of 21 for the win and DeSmith put away 37 of 43 in the loss.
The Devils are back home tomorrow to host Lehigh Valley at a special 4:05 p.m. Parade Day puck drop! Fans can get $5, 20-ounce draft beer and listen to live music from 3-4 p.m. between sections 19 and 20 at the UHS Sound Stage. In addition, fans can enjoy corned beef sandwiches in the Arena Club all game long. Tickets are available by calling or texting “TICKETS” to 607-722-7367.
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