MANCHESTER, NH - Right wing Niko Dimitrakos matched his two regulation goals with a pair in the shootout, including the game winner, as the Binghamton Senators defeated the Manchester Monarchs 5-4 in a shootout before 8,453 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (15-15-4-2) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 36 points. Binghamton (16-16-3-2) is in fifth place in the East Division with 37 points.
Binghamton struck first on a power play goal from Dimitrakos with 9:40 remaining in the opening period. Receiving the puck at the high slot from defenseman Brian Lee, Dimitrakos maneuvered to the left face-off circle and lifted a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Monarchs goaltender Erik Ersberg. Left wing Nick Foligno collected the secondary assist on Dimitrakos' 10th goal.
The Senators doubled their lead with another power play goal, this time by defenseman Lawrence Nycholat at the 16:12 mark of the first stanza. Binghamton gained possession in the offensive zone and Dimitrakos controlled the puck at the left face-off circle. Connecting on a pass from Dimitrakos at the top of the right circle, Nycholat unleashed a slap shot that found its way past Ersberg. The goal was Nycholat's seventh on the season, with the assists going to Dimitrakos and Lee.
Binghamton increased their lead to three with Dimitrakos' second goal of the night and 11th tally of the season with an unassisted shorthander at 1:43 of the second period. After the Senators failed on an initial clearing attempt, the puck bounced to Dimitrakos, who split the defense and raced down the ice on a breakaway. Skating between the circles, Dimitrakos found the back of the net with a forehand wrist shot that beat Ersberg.
Manchester's first goal of the game came via the power play on left wing Matt Moulson's 11th tally of the season at the 5:12 mark of the second period. With the Monarchs cycling the puck in Binghamton's zone, right wing Teddy Purcell found center Gabe Gauthier alone at the high slot, where he unleashed a shot that Moulson tipped past Binghamton's screened goaltender Jeff Glass. Gauthier and Purcell earned the assists on the play.
The Monarchs cut Binghamton's lead to one on Moulson's second goal of the night with 7:46 remaining in the middle frame. Right wing John Zeiler freed the puck to defenseman Drew Bagnall at the point. Bagnall moved the puck up to Moulson stationed at the top of the crease, who one-timed the puck past Glass.
The Senators thought they took a 4-2 lead at the 14:13 mark of the second period when defenseman Matt Kinch's shot from the point was tipped past Ersberg, but referee Chris Ciamaga ruled that the puck was touched by a Binghamton high stick and the goal was waved off.
The Monarchs tied the game at 3-3 on a power play marker from center Brian Boyle with 1:26 left in the second stanza. After the Senators failed to clear the zone, the Monarchs re-established possession on the power play when Moulson corralled the puck at the right wing boards and drove to the net. Moulson's initial shot was stopped by Glass, but Boyle was there to bang home the rebound. Moulson and defenseman Peter Harrold earned the assists.
Binghamton regained the lead on center Scott May's goal at 9:41 of the third period. Senators right wing Jeremy Yablonski's shot through a screen was blocked before it reached the net, but May reached the loose puck and slipped a shot past Ersberg who was down reacting to the initial shot. Defenseman Matt Carkner also collected an assist on May's tally.
Manchester appeared to be headed for their third consecutive home loss in regulation, but center Matt Ryan's fourth goal of the year with 1:57 remaining in the third period forced overtime. Ryan gathered the puck at the Monarchs blueline and streaked down the right wing, uncorking a slap shot at the top of the right face-off circle that snuck through the pads of Glass. Boyle and Moulson were credited with the assists on Ryan's goal.
Dimitrakos tallied twice in the shootout along with Nycholat and center Ilya Zubov for the Senators in the victory. The Monarchs collected shootout tallies from center David Meckler, center Trevor Lewis and Moulson.
Ersberg (9-7-2) stopped 31-of-35 shots in the shootout loss. Glass (9-9-2) stopped 32-of-35 shots en route to his ninth victory of the season
Manchester went 2-for-4 on the power play. Binghamton was 2-for-5 with the man advantage.