(Rochester, NY) … The Rochester Americans (19-5-2-2) scored once in each period and benefitted from yet another outstanding goaltending performance on their way to a 3-0 win in a rematch against the Binghamton Devils (9-16-4-0) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Jonas Johansson turned in a stellar career-high 40-save effort for his second shutout of the season and second on home ice. It was also the sixth time this season Rochester held the opposition off the scoreboard as a team.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Additionally, the Amerks increased their lead over the Toronto Marlies for first place in the AHL’s North Division standings to five points and have earned points in 16 of their last 18 games dating back to Nov. 1, showing a 14-2-1-1 record over that span. Rochester has picked up points in 21 of the last 25 contests overall, going 17-4-2-2, while also earning 42 out of a possible 56 points through its first 28 contests of the season.
Defenseman John Gilmour led the Amerks as he turned in his second multi-point outing (1+1) in the last three games while Lawrence Pilut and Tyler Randell each scored their third and fourth goals of the campaign, respectively. In his last seven appearances, Johansson (9-2-2) boasts a remarkable 7-0-0 record with two shutouts, a 1.57 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage while allowing just two goals or less in six straight starts over that span. Additionally, the Swedish netminder own an AHL-best 1.92 goals-against average and ranks third among all goaltenders with a .935 save percentage.
WATCH: JONAS JOHANSSON POST-GAME
Egor Sharangovich registered a game-high six shots for Binghamton, which saw their two-game win streak halted, while netminder Evan Cormier (1-8-1) stopped 23 saves but was dealt the lost.
One second following the end of Rochester’s first power-play of the night, Jean-Sebastien Dea handed the puck to Taylor Leier behind the net. Leier moved the puck up to Gilmour at the left point before the blueliner rifled a shot just inside the left post to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead.
WATCH: JOHN GILMOUR POST-GAME
“On Wednesday we were flat right out of the gate,” said Gilmour when talking about the difference between tonight’s rematch with the Devils. “Tayls’ said we needed to push on them and come out harder. I felt we did that and had the upper hand for all three periods.”
“We gave up a lot of grade-A chances tonight, but Johansson was there stopping everything,” added Gilmour. “JJ played great. We would have liked to have protected him more tonight, but he is a great goaltender.”
Midway through the second stanza with the puck just inside the Binghamton blueline, Gilmour sent a shot-pass to the center of the face-off dots towards Randell. As the puck made its way through traffic, Randell provided a last-second deflection over the left shoulder of Cormier at the 11:06 mark.
WATCH: CASEY MITTELSTADT POST-GAME
Carrying a two-goal lead into the final 20 minutes of play, the Amerks were whistled four consecutive penalties, which included two different 5-on-3 man-down situations for a combined 1:46. Despite being down a pair of skaters, Rochester successfully cleared off the infractions and kept Binghamton off the board.
“Getting those kills during the third period were huge tonight,” said Casey Mittelstadt after making his home Amerks debut. “JJ made some big saves, guys made some big blocks and the PK unit played great.”
The Devils attempted one final push to breakup Johansson’s bid for a shutout as they pulled Cormier for an extra attacker inside the game’s final three minutes, but after collecting a pass from Eric Cornel inside his own zone, Pilut shot the puck the length of the ice and into the vacant net to secure the 3-0 win for Rochester.
WATCH: CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME
“Our neutral zone play was better, getting shots in the first period, getting in front of Binghamton’s goaltender and I thought we were on the right side of the puck,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor when comparing the game tonight to Wednesday.
“It was a great team win,” said Mittelstadt.
The Amerks play their final game prior to the Christmas Break on Saturday, Dec. 21 as they welcome the Utica Comets to The Blue Cross Arena for the first time this season at 7:05 p.m. The matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: J. Gilmour (2 – GWG), T. Randell (4), L. Pilut (3)
ROC: J. Johansson – 40/40 (W)
BNG: E. Cormier – 23/25 (L)
ROC: PP (0/2) | PK (6/6)
BNG: PP (0/6) | PK (2/2)
1. J. Johansson (ROC)
2. J. Gilmour (ROC)
3. T. Randell (ROC)