Just when their situation seemed dire, the Binghamton Senators found new life.
's goal 4:03 into overtime gave the B-Sens a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Center on Friday night. The best-of-seven Atlantic Division is all square at 1-1 with the series heading back to Binghamton for the next three games.
Patrick Coulombe created the game-winner with a rush up the left wing that carried him deep into the Monarchs zone. He found Grant speeding down the right side and fed a sharp pass that the B-Sens rookie wristed past Manchester goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for the game-winner.
"It feels good, for sure," said Grant afterward. "It was a great play by Patty Coulombe there. I think he beat the whole team and made just a great pass, and I was fortunate enough to put it in."
After 40 minutes, such a scenario seemed improbable, with the Monarchs holding a 2-0 lead on home ice in front of a crowd of 8,588 and the B-Sens firing blanks for the second straight game. All of that, however, changed drastically in an eight-minute span of the third period.
Ryan Potulny got the visitors started with his second goal of the series at the 1:07 mark, then captain Ryan Keller evened matters a little more than four minutes later. Binghamton's power play sprung to life at 8:59 of the third, with Kaspars Daugavins
giving the B-Sens their first lead of the night.
The Monarchs, who took the opener 2-1 on Thursday, wouldn't go away easily. Jake Muzzin forced overtime with 1:02 left in the regulation, sending the game to an extra period. But the B-Sens weren't to be denied in overtime.
"Really, it was easy," Binghamton head coach Kurt Kleinendorst said of the way his team bounced back after giving up the late Manchester goal. "We had gone out and we had erased a two-goal deficit in the third period. We came back and we gave ourselves a chance to win it in overtime. And we felt like if we just continued to play the same way, we were going to be the ones to get the goal and, sure enough, it worked out that way."
Grant, a late-season addition from Michigan State who decided to turn pro after his sophomore season, made sure the night didn't last much longer, notching the game-winner on the setup from Coulombe. The Abbotsford, B.C., native notched six points (1-5-6) in 14 regular-season games for the B-Sens.
"A beautiful effort on (Coulombe's) part," said Kleinendorst. "Nice feed over to Derek and then Derek found the net. Probably two guys that, if you were picking a pool going into that overtime, you might not have had either one of them on it. But they came through for us and that’s what we’re going to need.
"We can’t be relying on one or two players. This is going to take everybody, so it was nice to see them step up."
After a scoreless first period, Manchester got going quickly in the second with goals from former Ottawa 67's star Tyler Toffoli
(2:16) and Justin Azevedo
(9:09). Toffoli, who had notched his first professional goal in the Monarchs’ regular-season finale at Providence, scored on the power play.
The series now shifts to Broome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday (5:05 p.m., Team 1200, ahllive.com). Games 3 and 4 will also be played in Binghamton, on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.