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B-Sens aiming for quick rebound against Monarchs

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Ryan Potulny and the Binghamton Senators need to rebound quickly from Sunday's heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss to the Manchester Monarchs (Photo by Scott Slingsby/inGoal Magazine).
Consider it a hard lesson learned by the Binghamton Senators, and one they'll need to put behind them rather quickly.

Certainly, the B-Sens have little time to dwell on Sunday's collapse at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, when they squandered 3-0 and 4-2 leads in falling to the Manchester Monarchs 5-4 in overtime. The Monarchs now lead the best-of-seven American Hockey League Atlantic Division semifinal 2-1, with Game 4 set for Tuesday in Binghamton (7:05 p.m. Team 1200, The B-Sens are also home for Game 5 on Wednesday.

"By no means are we hitting the panic button," centre Zack Smith said after Sunday's loss. "It's something to learn from and we take what we can from it. The good thing is we've got to play (again) right away and we've got a chance to redeem ourselves."

After rallying for a 4-3 overtime victory on Friday night in Manchester, N.H., the B-Sens returned home carrying all the momentum in the series. Then they shot out to a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes on home ice Sunday. But the Monarchs cut the lead to 3-2 by the end of the second period, then didn't fold when Bobby Butler's power-play goal near the midway point of the third restored a two-goal margin.

"We played not to lose instead of playing to win," said B-Sens goaltender Barry Brust. "We've got to play to win. We have to be an aggressive, up-tempo team to be successful. We were that in the first period, then we lost it."

Head coach Kurt Kleinendorst hopes his young team, which features 14 players taking part in their first AHL playoff series, can quickly learn from Sunday's setback.

"It's unfortunate but we're still young at this, we're inexperienced at this and we're still learning as we go," he said. "That's what we got (Sunday), a lesson learned ... You would think four (goals) at home would be enough to win. When we were going, I tell you, it was exactly the way we played in the third period up in Manchester (on Friday). But you've got to put three of those together.

"We'll get through this. We've gotten through ever little piece of adversity that we faced so far this year. That's all part of their development process."

All three games in the series so far have been decided by a single goal, including two of them in overtime. Kleinendorst said that's just part of the ebb and flow of a playoff series.

"This is seven games and this is what you get," he said. "You get highs and you get lows. Every kind of emotion you can imagine is going to come out in a series. Unless you sweep, that's the way it is."

While the teams only met twice during the regular season, they haven't needed long to gain familiarity with each other already in this series.

"After you play a team three or four times, you pretty much know what’s going to happen as far as their special teams and the way they’re going to come at you and attack you," said Brust. "There’s no secrets out there and it just comes down to a battle of will and skill. We’ve got to bring it up a notch.

"All year, we’ve said you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low. We had a nice win in overtime (in Game 2) and they responded, so we just have to respond right back."

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