Andrew Ebbett put up three points and Peter Mannino turned aside 26 of 27 shots, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins posted a 5-1 win over the Binghamton Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
With the win, the Penguins advanced to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. They also eliminated the Senators from postseason play for the second consecutive year.
It was the first playoff game between the teams to be decided by more than one goal since April 27, 2005 – a string of eight straight contests.
The Penguins power play unit struck twice in the team’s first six chances, and that proved to be all the scoring the home club would need on the night.
Chuck Kobasew blasted home a shot from the right faceoff circle for the team’s first tally at 11:38 of the opening period. The goal was awarded after reviewing video replay, which showed the puck hit the back of the Sens’ net and bounced back out into play. The goal was Kobasew’s third of the opening round, tied for first in the league.
Brian Dumoulin increased the lead to 2-0 early in the second with a rifle blast from the left point that found the far side of the net, beating a screened Andrew Hammond.
Dominik Uher made it a 3-0 game with a turnaround wrister from 30 feet that beat the Binghamton netminder high and on the short side at 9:01 of the second.
It was a great individual effort by Kobasew, whose diving pass sprung Ebbett on a clean breakaway for an easy goal, that made it a 4-0 game before 40 minutes were in the books.
Shane Prince picked up a third period power play goal to ruin Mannino’s shutout bid, but Harry Zolnierczyk reestablished the four goal cushion with an empty net tally with 2:07 remaining in regulation to complete the night’s scoring.
Ebbett and Kobasew both finished the series with six points, tied for the top spot in the AHL as of Saturday night, while Mannino saw his postseason goals against average drop to 2.02.
The Penguins will find out their opponent for the second round on Saturday night. Tickets for home games C and D, with dates yet to be determined, are on sale now at all TicketMaster locations, online at TicketMaster.com, at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.
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