NORFOLK, Va. – Cedrick Desjardins stopped 22 of 23 shots in his first game since January 16 as the Norfolk Admirals (35-19-8-5) topped the Albany Devils (29-35-1-3), 4-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The same two teams meet tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Desjardins, who was injured on January 16 at Charlotte, did not play in 25 games before returning to action tonight. Matt Fornataro tallied a goal and an assist for Norfolk. Tim Marks, James Wright and Stefano Giliati also scored for the Admirals. Marc-Antoine Pouliot had two assists.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead 6:08 into the contest. Mike Angelidis attempted a wraparound shot that hit the left leg of Devils goaltender Dave Caruso. Marks found the rebound on the top of the goalmouth and shoveled it past the right leg of the goaltender for his fourth goal of the season.
The Admirals’ lead doubled just over two minutes later. Pouliot sent a pass from the left circle to Wright on the opposite side. Wright sent the puck into the net behind Caruso for his fifth goal in the last three games and his sixteenth of the season.
Albany got on the board 1:05 into the second stanza with a shorthanded goal. Adam Henrique sent a shot from the left circle between the blocker and right leg of Desjardins to cut Norfolk’s lead to 2-1.
However, the Admirals restored their two-goal lead less than six minutes later on the power play. Pouliot sent a feed from the top of the left circle to Fornataro at the bottom of the left circle. Fornataro closed in on Caruso, stopped suddenly at the goalmouth and spun to his backhand before sliding a shot between the post and right leg of the goaltender as he was checked to the ice. Fornataro’s seventeenth goal of the season put the Admirals ahead 3-1 at 6:53.
Giliati added an empty-net goal with 41 seconds left in regulation.
Cedrick Desjardins (23 shots, 22 saves) improved his season record to 15-6-1. Dave Caruso (27 shots, 24 saves) fell to 6-7-0.
Norfolk was 1 for 5 on the power play. Albany was 0 for 4.
The same two teams meet tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. Tomorrow night marks the eleventh annual Admirals MDA Jersey Auction, Presented by PAPCO. The Admirals will don one-of-a-kind jerseys during the game. Immediately following the game, a live auction will take place on the ice with the jerseys being auctioned right off the players' backs. Proceeds benefit the Hampton Roads Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Matt Fornataro – NOR
2. Marc-Antoine Pouliot – NOR
3. Cedrick Desjardins – NOR
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF CHASE ... With tonight’s win, Norfolk (83 points, 13 games remaining) remains one point back of the third-place Charlotte Checkers (84 points, 11 games remaining), who picked up a win tonight at Bridgeport. Norfolk remains seven points back of the second-place Hershey Bears (90 points, 10 games remaining) after Hershey defeated Springfield tonight. The Admirals increased their lead over the fifth-place Binghamton Senators (75 points, 12 games remaining) to eight points after the Senators fell at home against Portland tonight … The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
NOTES … The Admirals have won four straight games and seven of their last nine games (7-2-0-0) … Eleven different Admirals have scored at least one goal during the four-game winning streak and 18 different players have registered at least one point … Norfolk has won five straight home games and is now 17-7-5-4 at Norfolk Scope Arena … The Admirals are now 6-0-1-0 against the Devils this season … After breaking a 28-game goalless drought last Friday night with a hat trick against Binghamton, James Wright has goals and points in three straight games (5G, 1A) … Alex Berry picked up an assist tonight and has points in four consecutive games (1G, 4A) … After going without a point in 14 consecutive games, Stefano Giliati now has points in three straight games (1G, 4A) … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Mitch Fritz, Dustin Tokarski.