NORFOLK, Va. – Former Admiral Martin St. Pierre netted the game-winning goal and added an assist in the third period as his Providence Bruins topped the Norfolk Admirals 3-2 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
After a scoreless opening period, Norfolk (23-27-3-5) took a 1-0 lead 5:48 into the second period. After goaltender Riku Helenius made a save, captain Zenon Konopka sent the puck up ice to Justin Keller who tipped the puck as it entered the attacking zone along the left wall. The puck was misplayed by Providence netminder Tuukka Rask behind the net, allowing Keller to pounce on the loose puck and wrap a shot inside the left post for his twelfth goal of the season.
The Bruins (34-21-2-2) used three quick strikes in the first 2:51 of the final frame to take the lead. Brad Marchand tied the game at 1-1 just 28 seconds into the period, as he won a faceoff and sent a quick shot between the blocker and right leg of Helenius.
Mikko Lehtonen gave the visitors a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later. Martin St. Pierre sent a shot from the point that bounced off legs in the low slot – including Lehtonen’s – before pinballing into the net at 2:16.
St. Pierre doubled Providence’s lead under a minute later. He sent a shot from the right circle through the leg pads of Helenius at 2:51.
Norfolk closed their gap to one goal at 9:58. Vladimir Mihalik sent a pass from the Norfolk blueline to Radek Smolenak, who entered the attacking zone with a partial breakaway. Smolenak sent a backhand shot over the left leg of Rask for his seventeenth goal of the season.
Despite pulling Helenius in favor of the extra attacker late, the Admirals were unable to find the equalizer.
Riku Helenius (32 shots, 29 saves) took the loss. Tuukka Rask (42 shots, 40 saves) earned the victory.
Norfolk was 0-2 on the power play. Providence was 0-4.
Norfolk now hits the road for four straight games. The Admirals will drop anchor in Hershey tomorrow night for a 7:00 faceoff against the Bears.
The next home action for the Admirals will come on Friday and Saturday nights next week when Norfolk hosts the Lowell Devils, AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. The puck drops for both games at 7:15 p.m.
Friday night is Military Appreciation Night. Individuals may show their military ID at the Scope Box Office and receive $8 Red Level Tickets. Groups or commands who would like to sit together may contact the Admirals Group Sales Department at (757) 640-1212 ext. 23. For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
Saturday night is AAA Member Night. AAA members can receive $3 off Red Level Tickets at the Scope Box Office only. For more details, visit AAA online at AAATidewaterVA.com.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $42 per month! Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Martin St. Pierre – PRO
2. Tuukka Rask – PRO
3. Radek Smolenak – NOR
Notes … The Admirals kicked off a stretch of eight games in ten days tonight. Last week, the Admirals finished a stretch of seven games in nine days with a 4-2-1-0 record … Justin Keller has points in ten of his last twelve games (7G, 8A) … All 12 of Keller’s goals this season have been scored at Norfolk Scope Arena … Brandon Segal has points in ten of his last 15 games (9G, 4A) … Riku Helenius notched his first AHL point with an assist on Keller’s goal … Scratches: F Jay Rosehill, F Bracken Kearns, F Jason Ward, F Chris Lawrence, D Scott Jackson, D Andy Rogers … Attendance: 5,012.