DAOUST PULLS PENS THROUGH IN BINGHAMTON
BINGHAMTON, NY – Jean-Michel Daoust's power play goal with 2:16 left in regulation put the Penguins in front for good, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled out a 4-2 win Friday night against the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Memorial Arena.
The win put some needed space between the third place Penguins (23-13-1-1, 48 points) and the fourth place Senators (19-12-3-3, 44 points) in the East Division standings.
“To be able to make it a four point game, get the two and the win, it’s certainly a big game,” said head coach Dan Bylsma. “But hopefully it gets us going in the right direction for a good weekend.”
The see-saw battle saw the Penguins take - and lose - a pair of one-goal leads, before Daoust gave the Penguins the decisive score with Greg Mauldin serving a hooking penalty.
Daoust was moved from the fourth line to the prime spot on the top scoring unit and the power play thanks to Chris Minard being promoted to Pittsburgh earlier in the day.
“Chris Minard’s a good player. And J. M. Daoust right now is not going to beat him out of a spot,” said Bylsma. “But J. M. has been playing fourth line center a little bit. It’s not a place where he can have a ton of success.
“In a situation where Chris Minard goes up and he gets a chance to play in that spot, he can clearly make plays and be in that spot on the power play. He’s not a big guy, but he was right in the right spot.”
Mark Letestu opened the scoring by sneaking in on the left wing at the blueline, then beating a Bingo defender and getting a shot off of Jeff Glass’ pad that trickled just inside the far post. The goal was Letestu’s seventh of the season, setting a new personal best for goals in a year and equaling his point total of 18.
Mauldin tipped home a Drew Fata shot through traffic five minutes later to even the score at the end of one period.
Janne Pesonen picked up his fourth goal in the past six games, taking a cross-ice pass from a falling Connor James and sniping a shot short side on Glass at 8:29 of the second period.
John Curry made sure that was the only tally of the middle frame, as he made a big save on a Mauldin shorthanded breakaway and snuffed a two-on-zero with 20 seconds left in the period.
Denis Hamel cracked Curry early in the third, picking up a bouncing puck on the far side of the net and flipping home his 10th goal of the year to even things at 2-2.
That score held for almost 16 minutes before Daoust found the net, and James notched and empty net goal with one second left to bring the scoring to a conclusion.
Curry made 30 saves to pick up his 10th win of the season.