BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Chad Kolarik made the quite the impression in his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton playoff debut, scoring twice – including the game-winning goal in overtime – as the Penguins defeated the Binghamton Senators, 3-2, at Broome County Veterans Memorial in Arena in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
In what was the second-ever postseason overtime between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Binghamton, Kolarik took a pass from Trevor Smith across the Senators blueline and snapped a shot that beat goalie Nathan Lawson low to the blocker side at 8:18 of the extra session.
The Penguins opened up the scoring at 10:58 of the first period with a power play goal by Brian Gibbons. Standing on the far blueline, Brian Dumoulin sent a backdoor pass toward the crease that a cutting Gibbons was able to redirect inside the right post.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton then capitalized on a Binghamton turnover six minutes later to double its lead. Smith gathered the loose puck deep in the offensive zone and hit Kolarik at the hash marks for a quick wrist shot over the glove of Lawson.
During a 5-on-4 advantage, Shane Prince helped the Senators cut the Penguins’ lead in half with 47.3 seconds left until the intermission. Prince pulled out of the near corner with the puck and worked toward the crease before lifting a backhand shot to the top of the net.
Binghamton struck late in the second period as well to even the game, 2-2, with 2:57 remaining. A failed pass in the defensive zone by the Penguins was quickly picked up by Mark Stone, who slipped it past the left leg pad of goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.
Zatkoff earned the victory with 34 saves on 36 shots, while Lawson made 30 saves for the Senators.
The Penguins and Senators get back to ice on Sunday, Apr. 28 at 5:05PM for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Tune in to the game on 102.3 the Mountain or AHLLive.com
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