CHARLOTTE, N.C—Robin Lehner stopped all 33 shots he faced as the Charlotte Checkers were shutout by the Binghamton Senators, 3-0, on Friday evening.
With the loss, the Checkers are now down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 from Binghamton will be on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.
Ryan Potulny recorded a pair of goals for the Senators while Bobby Butler netted Binghamton’s third tally. Senators captain Ryan Keller had an assist of each of Potulny’s markers.
Mike Murphy had a solid night between the pipes for Charlotte, making 28 saves.
With 43.3 seconds remaining in the first period, Binghamton broke the scoreless tie on a goal by playoff-scoring leader Potulny. Keller cut across the slot and slipped a pass across to the right-wing circle, where Potulny drove it home.
Just 29 seconds into the second period, the Keller-Potulny connection struck again to give the Senators a 2-0 lead. Keller drove down the right-wing boards and saucered a pass to Potulny, who redirected it past Murphy.
At 15:53 of the second period, Brett Sutter looked to have drawn the Checkers to within one. However, the goal was waved off because of a delayed interference call on Sutter in front.
Charlotte had a prime chance to get on the board when Sutter left the penalty box. The Alberta-native received a pass on a 3-on-2 and wristed a shot that Lehner somehow got a blocker on.
Bobby Butler added another goal for Binghamton to give them a 3-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in regulation.
Charlotte pulled Murphy with three minutes remaining in a desperate attempt to generate offense, but Lehner stood tall and sealed the 3-0 Binghamton victory.
The Checkers (0-2) head to Binghamton for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. All games are scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start time and are available to watch/listen on Time Warner Cable digital channel 520 or www.AHLLive.com.
NOTES: Three teams in AHL history have come back to win a series after dropping the first two games of the series at home—Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Norfolk/2011 most recent…The Checkers were 27-6-1-1 in games following a loss in the regular season and are 3-2 in such games in the playoffs…Ryan Potulny extended his AHL playoff lead in goals (13) and points (22)…Robin Lehner has two shutouts in his last three starts and is tied for the AHL playoff lead in shutouts (2).