After a poor effort in Hershey on Wednesday, the Admirals came home on Friday and had a well played bounce back game against the Albany Devils.
The first period was another start where the Admirals dominated most of the play, limiting the opposing teams shots. 2:24 into the frame, the Devils took a holding the stick penalty. The Admirals scored with 30 seconds to go into the power play as Devante Smith-Pelly put away a Gabe Guentzel shot on net. Captain Nate Guenin got the second assist. Almost halfway through the period, Norfolk was outshooting Albany 9-2 and those two shots were easily covered pucks for goaltender Igor Bobkov.
With under five minutes to go in the first, Albany took their third penalty of the period. One minute had gone by on the power play when Patrick Maroon put the Admirals up 2-0 after a shot from Sami Vatanen couldn't be corraled by Frazee; Peter Holland earned the secondary assist. The Admirals killed three penalties in the period and scored an above average two power play goals, which is something the team has been really struggling with.
In the second frame, the Admirals played well but no scoring happened. They killed off some very crucial penalties, including two penalties that were called back-to-back resulting in four minutes straight on the penalty kill. Towards the end of the period they killed a 5-on-3 after Brandon McMillan high sticked a guy and then Guenin threw the puck over the boards in the defensive zone. The penalty kill is ranked seventh in the league and you can be pretty confident with this team down a man or two. Right after they killed the 5-on-3, the Devils thought they scored but the referee ruled that the net had come off the moorings before the puck crossed the goal line.
The third period saw the dreaded "play not to lose" strategy and it worked without a major backfire. The Admirals killed four penalties through the period including another critical 5-on-3 that really got the crowd excited and back into the game. The score card stayed perfect until there were 26 seconds left in the game. Bobkov lost his shutout after Albany pulled their goalie and scored a 6-on-5 goal. Luckily that was the only thing the Devils could do all night and the Admirals won on home ice 2-1. In the period, the Devils out-shot the Ads 14-3.
For the fight fans, Jay Rosehill punched a guy in the helmet until he turtled to the ice and the linesman jumped in. Jordan Hendry got hit up high after a Devils player left his feet, looked like he may have been pushed a bit, and Hendry tore into that guys helmet as well. I don't know what it is with this Devils team that makes them want to fall straight to the ice when they engage in a fight but it looks kinda silly. Maybe they had Louis Robitaille teach them how to fight or something.
Three Stars: 1. Igor Bobkov 2. Devante Smith-Pelly 3. Patrick Maroon The Admirals look to sweep the weekend series Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. ET. In-case anyone was wondering, our replica championship rings from the promo for this game are awesome!