Without the services of Adam Brooks due to injury — plus Egor Korshkov and Mason Marchment to call-ups — the Toronto Marlies were icing a lineup with players who combined for over 200 points this season.
That said, at no point did the Toronto Marlies match the work-rate or pace of a desperate Binghamton team that played like it knows it has to string victories together to keep themselves in the playoff race.
“We need a little bit more compete, a little more effort in 50-50 battles in our d-zone, and then playing slow just killed us,” said Greg Moore.
The teams exchanged one great chance apiece inside the first four minutes, with Ryan Schmelzer hitting the iron for the Devils and Tanner MacMaster following suit at the other end of the ice.
A power play for the Marlies only resulted in two shorthanded breakaways against as Kasimir Kaskisuo rescued his team with saves on Michael McCleod and Brett Seney.
Toronto’s netminder than pulled off another wonderful stop Dakota Mermis, who was left all alone in the slot. It was only a short-lived reprieve as Jesper Boqvist was gifted his fifth goal of the season on the same shift.
The Marlies then tied the game up at one apiece thanks to a Pontus Aberg power-play tally, leaving the score-line at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The middle frame was a one-sided period in favour of the Devils despite Toronto taking the lead just 42 seconds in.
Kenny Agostino put home a great feed by Aberg to give the Marlies a 2-1 advantage, but Toronto was out-played and out-chanced for the remaining 19 minutes.
Binghamton had to remain patient through their dominance, including firing 18 shots on goal in the period. Kaskisuo’s resolve was finally broken as the Devils netted a pair of power-play markers in the final six minutes of the period.
Toronto’s penalty kill may have left a lot to be desired, but tallies by Seney and Julian Melchiori gave the Devils a deserved 3-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
A comeback looked possible for Toronto as they began the opening two minutes with some pep in their step and spent the majority of the time in the offensive zone.
However, the Marlies paid for a lack of discipline as they took a bad penalty that killed their momentum — while they came through two minutes unscathed, they fell 4-2 behind 30 seconds later as Marian Studenic netted his fifth on the year.
Toronto generated four grade-A scoring chances on 17 shots overall, but Cory Schneider stayed calm and composed, giving out very little in the way of second opportunities as Binghamton mostly coasted to victory. The Devils added on an empty netter through Egor Sharangovich in the final minute to secure a much deserved 5-2 win.
Post Game Notes
– Toronto lost the special teams battle, giving up two goals on six penalty kills and netting once on five power-play opportunities.
– Kasimir Kaskisuo continues to have his statistics sewered by the team in front of him, but he was the only reason Toronto stayed competitive for as long as they did, stopping 35 of 39 shots. “He saw a lot of rubber and gave us a chance,” said Moore.
– Pontus Aberg (1-1-2) and Tanner MacMaster (0-2-2) both registered multi-point games.
– Marlies lines: