Chuck Kobasew's goal 7:32 into overtime game the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night. With the victory the Pens took a 2-1 series lead, and can now close out the best-of-five series on home ice this Friday night.
It was the third straight overtime contest between the two teams, and the eighth straight playoff game between the clubs to be decided by one goal dating back to 2005.
Kobasew tipped home a point shot from Conor Sheary - a recent amateur tryout signee who was appearing in his first career postseason contest - for his second goal of the series.
The Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period, as nick Drazenovic took advantage of a five-on-three power play to slam home his first goal of the postseason off a feed from Kobasew exactly three periods (7:32 of the first) before the game-winner was scored.
The lead lasted for all of 21 seconds, though, as Corey Cowick knocked down Simon Despres at the Sens blueline, then broke in two-on-one and snapped a shot past Peter Mannino for the shorthanded goal.
Adam Payerl put the Pens back in front at 16:37 of the second period, taking a drop pass from Carter Rowney and using his linemate to screen netminder Andrew Hammond.
The lead held until midway through the third period, when an Derek Grant shot deflected off of a Pens defenseman and landed on Jim O’Brien’s stick. O’Brien was all alone in front of Mannino and swatted home his first of the postseason to force the extra frame.
Mannino made 20 saves for the Penguins, while Hammond turned aside 30 shots in defeat.
The Pens will look to eliminate the Senators from the first round of the playoffs for the second straight season this Friday night, when they once again host Binghamton at 7:05pm.
Kids 14 and younger can get into Friday’s game for free with a paid adult ticket. Good seats for Friday night’s game are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.
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