Big man. Even bigger douche. - Phillip MacCallum
Saturday night marked the first of three straight games for the Anaheim Ducks' AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. If the game against the Binghamton Baby Senators is any indication, it's going to be a loooooong three games.
The Norfolk Admirals started flat in the first game of the next three straight. Three games in a row; something the NHL doesn't do because of the [now expired] bargaining agreement.
The Ads are facing the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa) for the third time in nine days. Starting goaltender Igor Bobkov was scored on just 3:11 into the first period. Corey Cowick of the Senators earned the goal with Pat Cannone getting the only assist.
Over four minutes later, with Jay Rosehill serving his time for a high sticking penalty, the Baby Sens doubled the score on the power play. Andre Petersson netted the man advantage goal with assists from Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverburg.
With under two minutes left in the period, Binghamton's Andre Benoit racked up his team leading 4th goal of the season after a quick passing play with Cowick and Silfverburg. The Admirals looked terrible all period. Troy Bodie started a fight with Mark Borowiecki, but it may have done more damage to him than it might have helped the team. The Ads were outshot 15-9.
To start the second period, Fredrik Andersen replaced Bobkov in net for Norfolk. On the first shot that Andersen faced, the short-handed Baby Sens' Derek Grant scored, taking the tally to 4-0. Almost two minutes later, the Ads finally got on the board while on the power play. Gabe Guentzel shot the puck from the blue line and Patrick Maroon deflects the puck behind Binghamton's goalie, Robin Lehner.
Later in the period, Andersen took a shot off the mask. It was a hard enough shot to break his helmet; yet, the referee didn't stop play. In the interest of his safety, Andersen did the logical thing and pushed the net off the moorings to stop play. The referee didn't care his mask was broken and proceeded to give the Ads' goalie a two minute penalty for delay of game. Luckily, the Ads killed the penalty. The Admirals did out-shoot the Senators 14-6 in the period, but the shots didn't turn into goals. Binghamton still lead, 4-1.
The third period was uneventful. Brandon McMillan scored his first goal of the season midway through the third period to bring the score to 4-2. Down two goals in the closing minutes of the third, Rosehill took another terrible penalty when he trips Lehner for no reason, killing any moment the visit Ads had.
With Andersen was pulled for the extra attacker, Norfolk could only get a couple shots in before Gabe Guentzel took a hooking penalty to stop an empty net goal. Baby Sens' goalie Lehner hit McMillan in the upper body - his face, I think - with his blocker/stick for a penalty. Andersen stayed on the bench for the extra man and with Guentzel in the box, it was 5-on-4 for the final minute. Devante Smith-Pelly was not pleased by the results and got straight in Lehner's face at the end.
In all, the Norfolk out-shot the Baby Sens 33-27 but still coming away from the game with the 4-2 loss. Going 1-for-7 on the power play isn't going to help.
Pete Michaud, the Admirals' radio play-by-play guy, noted Jordan Hendry had not played after the first period. Michaud said a reliable source told him Hendry was in street clothes in the players tunnel. This could be really bad news. The Admirals have no extra defenceman with Vatanen banged up and Matt Smaby out for awhile. Based on Rosehill's play Saturday night, I'd expect to see him scratched on Sunday with Chris Wagner replacing him. If Coach Yawney decides to go with 13 forwards, Luca Caputi will be inserted in the lineup.