TORONTO – Playing for a rare national television audience, the Toronto Marlies failed to put on a show.
Barry Brust made 41 saves to lead the visiting Binghamton Senators over the Marlies 3-1 in American Hockey League action Sunday.
Ryan Keller, Colin Greening and Erik Condra provided the scoring for the Senators, who snapped a three-game losing skid and improved to 2-3-0 on the season.
Rookie Brayden Irwin replied for the Marlies (1-3-0) in front of 4,816 fans at Ricoh Coliseum—plus a national television audience as the afternoon game was one of 10 AHL contests that will be broadcast on CBC this season.
“Today was a little sloppy, it wasn’t our best game,” Irwin said. “We came out flat…We had some good spurts, but we weren’t able to sustain it.”
Marlies netminder Jussi Rynnas stopped 26-of-28 shots to lose his second straight game, and remain winless in North America. The 23-year-old native of Finland was signed as a free agent in the off-season.
“I don’t feel like the guys are clicking yet,” said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins, “but we did have 42 shots. I don’t really like the feel of the forward lines, but they are creating chances.”
All but one of those chances were turned aside by Brust, who was especially sharp in the opening frame when the Sens were outshot 13-6, and he denied the Marlies with a couple of big stops in the third period as Binghamton clung to a one-goal lead.
The victory was the first win of the young season for the Senators goalie (1-2-0).
Binghamton led 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 through 40 minutes.
“We need to start scoring and start moving and get some wins,” said Marlies winger Marcel Mueller, who dropped the gloves with Bingahmton’s David Hale in the game’s only fight. “We’ll feel way better when that happens.”
Binghamton opened the scoring with a late power-play goal in the first period when Keller stole the puck in the offensive zone and beat Rynnas over the shoulder with a high wrist shot at 19:10.
The Senators added to their lead when Greening one-timed a centring pass in the slot past Rynnas at 9:13 of the second period. The goal was Greening’s first in the AHL as he turned pro last spring after four seasons of U.S. college hockey at Cornell.
Toronto’s Irwin closed the gap less than two minutes later when he went hard to the net and whacked a rebound past Brust at 11:07. Nazem Kadri, who scored his first professional goal against Hamilton on Saturday—a game the Marlies won 5-3—picked up an assist.
“My linemates did a great job getting the puck to the front of the net, and I was able to crash the net and put it in,” Irwin said.
Irwin had a chance to tie the game early in the third period when he broke in all alone on the Senators net, but Brust knocked the puck off of Irwin’s stick with a diving poke-check.
“(Brust) made a nice play and caught me off-guard a bit,” Irwin said.
Toronto continued to pressure Binghamton in the final frame, but Brust turned aside everything that came his way.
Condra sealed the game for the Senators with an empty-netter at 19:30 of the third period.
“It doesn’t feel very good to be 1-3-0 right now,” said Marlies winger Luca Caputi. “We need to find a way to get some wins … We need to play with the lead and not have to come from behind all the time.”
Notes: The Marlies are 0-3-0 at home after going 22-13-5 at Ricoh last year. … The Marlies are off until the weekend, when they host Oklahoma City on Saturday and Grand Rapids on Sunday.