TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans play their third game in four nights tonight as they head to the southern tier to clash with the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. game will be the second of eight meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonight’s game marks the second get-together in just over a month since Binghamton prevailed with a 3-1 win over Rochester in the first encounter between the two teams back on Oct. 16 at The Blue Cross Arena. Team captain Kevin Porter scored the lone goal for the Amerks while David Leggio turned aside 34 shots in the losing effort. The victory for the B-Sens was just their second in the last five games against the Amerks dating back to last season when Rochester posted a near-perfect 6-1-1-0 record versus Binghamton. Rochester is 37-38-6 all-time against the Baby Sens.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (8-5-1-0, 17 points) enters the contest after seeing its brief two-game win streak halted in a 3-2 loss to the league-leading Abbotsford Heat last night at The Blue Cross Arena. The first-place Heat, who came into the matchup with a league-best 21 points, spoiled the home debut of rookie goaltender Connor Knapp as former Buffalo Sabres draft pick Paul Byron broke a 2-2 standstill with the eventual game-winner midway through the final frame. Knapp, who made just his second start of the season, turned aside 18 of Abbotsford’s 21 shots. The power-play duo of Brayden McNabb and T.J. Brennan continued to pour in points for the Amerks. McNabb lit the lamp for the first time this season, while Brennan assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to four games. Rookie forward Brian Flynn also added an assist, improving his point streak to a career-long six games. With four wins in their last seven games, including three on the road, the Amerks enter play tonight in sole possession of third place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings, just six points behind division-leading Abbotsford.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 39 goals through their last 10 games, including a combined 11 in two games against Syracuse this season, the Amerks are currently fourth in the AHL in goals for with 51, just three shy of Charlotte’s league-leading 54 tallies.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last 10 games as the Amerks have converted on 13 of their last 55 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank third in the league with 15 power-play goals and own the seventh-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 20.3% efficiency rate.
- With 12 points over his last 11 games, including a three-point outing at Syracuse last Saturday, Marcus Foligno remains Rochester’s top point-getter with 15 points (6+9) in 14 games this season. The second-year pro currently ranks tied for fifth overall among the AHL’s top scorers while his six goals place him tied for 19th.
- Brennan, who has found the back of the net in three of his last four games, ranks third in scoring among AHL defensemen with 14 points (7+7) while his team-leading seven goals are tied for the most among league rearguards.
- Cody Hodgson’s nine assists are 11th-most in the AHL, while six of his helpers have come on the man-advantage, also good for sixth in the league in that category.
- David Leggio, who has started 12 of the last 14 games for the Amerks, leads all AHL netminders in saves (354) and minutes played (72:41), while his eight wins are second-most among league backstops. He also boasts the best shootout record among goaltenders, having stopped nine of 10 shooters for a .889 save percentage.
- Flynn ranks 11th among AHL rookies with 10 points (5+5) in 13 games.
- Brennan leads the league with 52 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.43 penalty minutes per game, Tarnasky is second in the AHL with 62 penalty minutes. He also comes into play tonight with a league-high eight fighting majors, including three in his last five games.
- The Amerks are 3-2-0-0 at home when scoring the first goal of the game and are 6-1-0-0 when leading after two periods. In addition, Rochester shows a 5-1-0-0 mark when leading after the first period.
- Rochester is also 4-3-0-0 on home ice this season and is just one of eight teams to remain unbeaten in the shootout.
BINGHAMTON NOTES: Binghamton (6-4-1-1, 14 points), playing Game 3 of its current four-game homestand, comes into the matchup in search of its third straight win after a decisive 5-2 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms last night in a game that saw the teams combine for 120 penalty minutes. Five different goal-scorers would provide the offense for the B-Sens, who scored three unanswered goals, including two within 57 seconds, and used a 33-save effort from goaltender Ben Bishop to give the team its second win in as many games. Averaging just 2.58 goals-per-game through the first 12 games of the season, the Senators have the fourth-fewest amount of goals for among their AHL counterparts with 31. Only the San Antonio Rampage (30),Peoria Rivermen (30) and Albany Devils (25) have scored fewer goals than the Sens. After going a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill last night against Adirondack, Binghamton enters play tonight with the sixth-best penalty kill in the AHL. In addition, the Senators have a scored a league-high five shorthanded goals this season, with four coming from their top five point-getters.
UP NEXT: Rochester begins a three-game homestand on Friday, Nov. 23 as the Amerks host the Albany Devils in a post-Thanksgiving bout at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. Black Friday matchup will be the first of four meetings between the in-state foes this season and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 26.
Flynn, who shows five points (2+3) through his last three games, is in the midst of a career-long six-game point streak (4+5)… After being held scoreless in three consecutive games, Brennan snapped his season-long scoring drought and now shows four points (3+1) in as many games, including goals in three straight outings during that span, to take over the team lead with seven on the season…Despite seeing his four-game assist streak snapped last night, forward Evan Rankin has registered 10 points (3+7) over his last 11 games… More impressively, the Portage, Michigan, native has only been held scoreless four times in 14 games this season… Nick Tarnasky has tallied goals in four of his last seven games, including two in his last three appearances... Foligno, Rochester’s reigning Rookie of the Year, has registered six points (1+5) in his last seven games… With another assist in Wednesday’s win at Hamilton, defenseman Alex Biega has collected seven points (1+6) over his last 10 games, including at least one in three straight games between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2… Veteran forward Mark Mancari enters play tonight after notching seven points (2+5) through his last 10 showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Newcomer Rick Schofield also shows seven points (3+4) over the last 10 games and second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb has collected one goal and eight assists in his last 11 appearances.
Wednesday’s game at Hamilton featured the 500th career AHL game for Mancari… Jerome Gauthier-Leduc also made his professional debut against the Bulldoogs and scored his first pro goal in the 4-1 win… Rookie forward Kevin Sundher notched his first professional point with an assist in last Saturday’s 5-2 win at Syracuse… Brennan, who recently eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career, skated in his 200th career AHL game last Friday versus Adirondack… Defenseman Nick Crawford needs just one more game for 150 pro appearances… Luke Adam is two games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another three wins to reach 100 career victories… Schofield is just three games away from 100 AHL appearances.