A perfect ten for the Toronto Marlies and William Nylander:
- A ten goal game.
- A victory that lengthens the Marlies point streak to ten.
- A game in which William Nylander extended his point streak to ten games and recorded his tenth goal of the season.
In truth, though, it was far from a perfect performance from Toronto, who were only at their best for twenty minutes of the sixty played.
The opening twenty minutes had started brightly for Toronto, with Brendan Leipsic earning a power play with just thirty seconds gone. Less than a minute had passed when Kasperi Kapanen and Nylander played catch with the puck before Kapanen rifled home from the hash marks, his second goal on the man advantage this season.
Toronto were guilty of too many turnovers through the first period and it was no surprise when Binghamton tied the game up. Colin Greening’s speculative wrist shot took a deflection off T.J Brennan and beat Antoine Bibeau short side.
Nikita Soshnikov should have put his team up 2-1 but he contrived to miss the net after Stuart Percy found him with a terrific pass.
Eric O’Dell then performed his best Soshnikov impression, failing to score on a yawning cage when it looked easier to score than to miss, but he would make no mistake shortly afterwards. Schneider took advantage of Viktor Loov coughing up the puck behind Toronto’s net before finding O’Dell in front.
It could have been worse for the home team, as Justin Holl was the next to give up a great chance in front of his own net, but Bibeau was sharp to deny O’Dell, who could easily have had a first period hat-trick.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening period, and having only registered four shots on net, the home team Marlies responded to some home truths told by Sheldon Keefe during the first intermission.
A fast and positive start to the second period was halted by a penalty called on Sam Carrick. Shortly after Toronto killed that off, Mark Fraser and Richard Panik got to know one another a little more than the officials were happy with and some four on four hockey ensued.
This definitely suited the speedier and more skilled Marlies team, who promptly tied the game up. Kapanen put the initial effort on net that produced a juicy rebound for Nylander, who scored his tenth of the season at 4:28.
Just 67 seconds later, Toronto took the lead. Upon leaving the penalty box, Panik was part of a 3-on-1 break and Hyman found him with a perfect if unspectacular cross ice feed. The Slovakian forward applied the finish for his fourth of the season.
Toronto completed the three-goal blast before the nine minute mark. Kapanen was the architect with a gorgeous pass to Arcobello, who just isn‘t missing chances in alone right now, as he made no mistake for his seventh on the year.
The Marlies would waste two further powerplay opportunities as Binghamton struggled to contain the hosts, taking some penalties in the process.
The Leipsic-Carrick-Frattin line came closest to adding to the advantage, but Carrick cut a frustrated figure after seeing three straight efforts turned aside by Binghamton’s rookie netminder Chris Driedger.
Despite allowing 22 shots through the middle frame, it was the visitors who finished the stronger with a good spell of pressure inside the last two minutes.
There would be no further scoring, and after a scrum in the final few seconds involving Max McCormick and Matt Frattin, Toronto would begin the final period on yet another powerplay.
It was more frustration as the Marlies frittered away two straight opportunities with the man advantage, giving the visitors hope this game wasn’t over and done with yet. To rub salt into the wound, Binghamton would tally on their only powerplay of the third period.
It was unfortunate for Antoine Bibeau, who made a stunning save to deny Cole Schneider all alone in front on a feed from Zach Stortini. The next shot from Fredrik Claesson found its way through, with the aforementioned Stortini providing the perfect screen in front.
With just over eight minutes to play and the game now in the balance, nerves were frayed for the majority of the 5,783 in attendance at Ricoh Coliseum. More ill-discipline from Binghamton, this time in the form of a face-off violation, sent Toronto to the powerplay for the sixth occasion.
Exactly four seconds after that advantage had expired, the home crowd exhaled in relief as the Marlies secured the 5-3 insurance marker.
Soshnikov, from the left side of the net, somehow threaded the eye of the needle with a pass that eluded a scrum of players in front of the Binghamton goal and found Leipsic, who fired home before Driedger could fully adjust his position.
A two-goal lead with under four minutes to play was still not safe as Binghamton pulled their goaltender early for the extra attacker and got within one with 57 seconds left on the time clock. Too many Marlies players were caught below the goal line and Ryan Dzingel lifted his backhand effort past Bibeau in the time and space afforded to him.
The visitors net would remain empty, but Binghamton were unable to garner any sort of possession. It was left to Stuart Percy to finish the scoring with a buzzer beating empty netter after good work to keep the puck away from the net.
It was a 6-4 final scoreline that would have been a far easier victory for Toronto had they managed to spread some of their excellent second period play over the rest of the forty minutes.
Post Game Notes:
Toronto’s 9-0-1-0 point streak has propelled them to an eight point lead in the North Division.
William Nylander’s ten game point streak contains seven goals and ten assists. A truly remarkable run that doesn’t look likely to end any time soon.
Kasperi Kapanen had his best game in a Marlies uniform in his second outing since returning from injury. His two assists were his first helpers of the season.
Brendan Leipsic has found his groove of late, and four points in his last three outings is a just reward for his play. There still looks to be more to come from the left winger.
Despite firing just four times on net in the first period, Toronto ended with 40 shots, although they did allow Binghamton 35 in the process.
Justin Johnson came in for Josh Leivo but wasn’t required to drop his gloves in what was a timid encounter between these two teams compared to the previous two meetings this season.
Game Highlights – Marlies vs. Binghamton
Marlies vs. Binghamton – Marlies Player Stats