This wasn’t a situation that many saw coming, was it? The Toronto Marlies now officially have a losing record (by points percentage) for the first time since January 5th, 2015, having fallen 3-1 to the Binghamton Senators last night.
Let’s start this recap off by focusing on the positives, because there admittedly isn’t a ton to pump the team’s tires with at the moment. Most specifically, it was a night of return for a handful of players; Garret Sparks started his first game in nearly a month, Rich Clune was back from a lower-body injury, and team stars Kasperi Kapanen and Brendan Leipsic both hit the ice for the first time in a while after addressing their own physical ailments.
Those latter two, in fact, got on the scoresheet late in the first period. After former Marlies forward Jack Rodewald took a high-sticking penalty, the 20-year-old Kapanen buried his 14th of the year past Chris Driedger. It was a cheeky effort, initiated with a pass from Leipsic but made possible by a behind-the-back pass from Kerby Rychel. Toronto looked poised to finish the opening frame with the lead and an edge in the shot count.
The former part didn’t happen, though; Ben Harpur responded with a goal for Binghamton just 85 seconds later, beating Sparks to nab his first goal of the season. Three minutes into the second period, Binghamton struck again, this time victimizing the Marlies by having Francis Perron take a seeing-eye snapshot from the hashmarks while Buddy Robinson acted as a screen. It was relatively downhill from there; the Senators took 25 shots to Toronto’s 15 in the final two periods, and eventually grabbed an empty netter in the closing moments.
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 29, 2016
Notable performances from the Marlies included a 29-save performance from Sparks, and three-shot efforts from both Colin Greening and Brett Findlay, who was recently called up from Orlando after starting his season at an over point-per-game pace.
With the loss, the Marlies fall to 13-14-1-1 on the season with a Goal Differential of +1. Their 0.483 record remains fourth in the North, but they’re starting to seriously lose ground on Syracuse, St. John’s and Albany. They will get a chance to close things up against the Devils, though, as they face them tomorrow at 7:00 PM.