It was too little, too late for the Binghamton Senators in their return to the Calder Cup playoffs.
Jeff Zatkoff turned aside 34 of 35 shots he faced as the homestanding Manchester Monarchs edged the B-Sens 2-1 on Thursday night at Verizon Wireless Center in the opener of their best-of-seven Atlantic Division semifinal series.
Only Ryan Potulny, who deflected a Derek Smith shot past Zatkoff with 38.4 seconds left on the clock, was able to hit the scoresheet for Binghamton in its first American Hockey League playoff game since the 2004-05 post-season.
Barry Brust turned aside 27 shots in the B-Sens net.
The game was scoreless until the 2:19 mark of the second period, when Corey Elkins found the back of the net for the Monarchs. David Kolomatis notched the eventual game winner with 3:35 remaining in the third.
Game 2 in the series goes Friday night in Manchester (7 p.m., Team 1200, ahllive.com).