Devils nip Monsters in overtime, 4-3
The Monsters played hard from beginning to end, hustled at both ends of the ice.
The game the Monsters played against the Binghamton Devils on Feb. 10 at Quicken Loans Arena would look good on a highlight reel of the 2018-19 season — as long as the scoreboard at the end of the game didn’t make the final cut.
The Monsters played hard from beginning to end, hustled at both ends of the ice and outshot their visitors, 44-24. But in the end all they had to show was one point in the AHL North standings after falling, 4-3, on a goal by Binghamton’s Marian Studenic with 1:09 remaining in the five-minute overtime.
“We played a terrific game,” Monsters coach John Madden said. “There’s not much more you can do. We probably doubled the chances they had. We had our opportunities all night long. That happens. That’s hockey.
“I liked our compete. I liked our composure when things weren’t going well. We saw some things out of players we haven’t seen yet, so there were a lot of positives.”
Madden pulled starting goalie Matiss Kivlenieks, who allowed three goals on seven Binghamton shots. His replacement, JeanFrancois Berube, stopped all 14 shots he faced in regulation and the first two he saw in overtime.
The Monsters, meanwhile, kept blasting away at Binghamton goalie Cam Johnson.
Vitaly Abramov, playing what Madden said was his best game of the season, tied the game 1-1 at 6:42 of the first period when he shot from the right circle over Johnson’s left shoulder.
The Devils built their 3-1 lead, and then with 24.2 seconds left in the middle period, Nikita Korostelev — who, like Kivlenieks and Abramov is from Russia — snapped off a shot between Johnson’s legs from low in the right circle.
Abramov scored his second goal of the game when he spun and put a rebound past Johnson at 14:29 of the third period.
The overtime was wild. The Monsters had five shots on net. Abramov narrowly missed a hat trick when his backhand attempt slid wide of the left post, drawing groans from most the 9,766 fans in attendance. A small contingent of fans from Binghamton, all in New Jersey Devils gear, rang cowbells when the red light behind Berube went on in overtime.
“We keep learning lessons, but there was compete and there was emotion to the game,” Madden said. “We didn’t quit working. That was impressive to me.”
The Monsters host the Rochester Americans at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 before heading out on a four-game road trip to Belleville, Utica and Rochester.