Robert Nilsson scored 67 seconds into the game to set the tone, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rolled to an 8-1 win over te Binghamton Senators on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Arena.
"I tought the guys did a good job preparing themselves and getting emotionally attached to the game. From the drop of the puck in the first period, I thought we controlled the game," said head coach Todd Richards. "We scored early and got a few more right after, so that was a huge, huge help."
The Pens struck for four goals in the opening 20 minutes of play, and never looked back en route to their 47th win of the season.
The eight goals scored matched the franchise mark for goals in a game (the 10th time in team history they have scored that many), and the seven-goal differential equalled the team record for largest margin of victory.
Micki DuPont (2+1) and Kyle Brodziak (1+2) led the Penguins' charge with three points apiece, while five other players picked up multiple points on the night.
Perhaps the biggest positive to come out of the game was the Pens' power play, which struck for three goals in 12 attempts. That ended a 0-for-24 skid during the past four games.
"Obviously you could see a lot of the frustration on their side, that led to a lot of power plays in the third," Richards said. "We addressed it this morning, showed some video. The guys did a good job executing."
Rookie netminder Brian Elliot got the rude welcome to Wachovia, allowing seven goals in 42 minutes to take his third loss in three games. Nolan Schaefer picked up the victory for the Penguins, raising his record to 8-2-0 since arriving in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the trade deadline.
The Penguins finished the season series with the Senators by posting seven consecutive victories after dropping a 5-4 shootout loss in the opening contest.
Now, the team's focus turns to the Hershey Bears, who they'll play twice on the weekend. Hershey currently holds a two point cushion (100 to 98) over the Pens in the East Division standings.
"This one's over with...in the back of everyone's mind, we know what's coming up this weekend," said Richards. "And it's going to be a great challenge for us."
NOTES: Micki DuPont moved into second place among defensemen with 44 points (16+28) on the season. He is tied for first among blueliners in goals...DuPont now has 10 power play goals on the season after picking up two on Wednesday...Jonathan Filewich continued his quest for the team's single-season goal scoring title by picking up his 29th this season 19 seconds into the third period. He now sits just two goals off the team record with nine games to play...Connor James was the only Penguins skater to finish on the minus side, while Kurtis McLean and Wade Brookbank ended the evening with even ratings...Binghamton head coach Dave Cameron was tossed from the game for arguing a call with 5:57 left in regularion.