ALBANY, N.Y. – The Norfolk Admirals (53-18-1-2) received goals by five different skaters as they defeated the Albany Devils (30-33-6-5), 5-1, on Friday night at the Times Union Center. The victory is Norfolk’s 26th consecutive victory and also sets an Admirals’ franchise record with 109 standings points.
The Admirals’ close out the regular season with a visit to Binghamton on Saturday night before traveling to Adirondack on Sunday evening.
Trevor Smith, Michel Ouellet, Evan Oberg, Brandon Segal and Philip-Michael Devos scored for the Admirals while Keith Aulie posted two assists in his Admirals debut. Jaroslav Janus (22-8-2) turned aside 20 of 21 shots for his 14th consecutive victory.
Norfolk opened the scoring with five unanswered goals, including three goals in the opening period. After collecting a pass, Smith broke in all alone on Devils’ netminder Keith Kinkaid. From in between the hash marks, Smith snapped a shot over the glove of the rookie goaltender for his 25th goal of the season at 2:55.
Less than five minutes later, Ouellet’s 16th goal of the season stretched the Admirals lead to 2-0. In his first game as an Admirals’ uniform, Aulie tipped a pass from behind the Devils’ net out front to Ouellet. From just below the left faceoff circle, Ouellet chipped the pass over the left shoulder of Kinkaid at 7:17 of the first.
Norfolk tripled their lead with less than three minutes remaining in the first period. From along the Devils net, Johnson slipped a pass into the lower slot to Oberg. The pinching defenseman collected the pass and sent a shot off the stick of Kinkaid and under the goaltender to extend the Admirals' lead to 3-0 with his sixth goal of the season at 17:29 of the opening 20 minutes.
The Admirals expanded on their lead just over five minutes into the middle frame. From the left faceoff circle, Picard sent a cross-crease pass to the backside of Kinkaid. Before the goaltender could recover, Segal tapped in his 17th goal of the season to Norfolk in front 4-0 at 5:17.
The visitors’ lead strengthened to 5-0 on Devos’ seventh goal of the season. This time, Aulie found Devos standing on the glove side of Devils’ netminder Jeff Frazee. Aulie fed Devos a pass, who tucked the puck behind Frazee at 7:07 of the third period.
Albany broke the shutout bid with a power play goal by Vladimir Zharkov. While skating on their fifth power play of the night, Zharkov’s shot from the right faceoff circle deflected behind Janus as the Admirals lead narrowed to 5-1 at 14:13 of the final period.
Neither team scored in the final five minutes of play as the Admirals skated away with the 5-1 victory, their 26th victory in a row.
Kinkaid (17-20-3) finished the night with 13 saves on 17 shots before exiting midway through the second period. Frazee (11-19-2) made eights saves in 31 minutes of action and did not record a decision.
Norfolk was scoreless on four power play chances. Albany was 1 for 5 with the man advantage.
The Admirals continue their three-game, three-night road trip tomorrow night in Binghamton, before closing out the season on Sunday in Adirondack. Both games can be heard at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. You can also watch on a pay-per-view basis at AHLLive.com.
The 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs will begin the week of April 16th. Once Norfolk's Eastern Conference Quarterfinals playoff schedule and opponent has been determined, it will be posted at norfolkadmirals.com.
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.
Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2011-12 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $350 while 10-Packs are available for as little as $110. 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. Michel Ouellet – NOR
2. Brandon Segal – NOR
3. Keith Aulie – NOR
Notes … Admirals have won 26 games in a row which ties the record for longest win streak in North American hockey history … Norfolk has not lost since Feb. 5th - a 4-2 defeat in Springfield … Norfolk extended their regulation winning streak to 20 games, a record for active professional hockey leagues in North America … The Admirals have won 25 of 26 games during the winning streak in regulation and only one game in a shootout (Feb. 18 vs. Syracuse) …The Admirals set a new franchise record with 109 standings points on the season … Norfolk has not allowed their opponents to more than one goal in their last six straight victories …Tyler Johnson leads the Admirals with 16 goals and 40 points during the 26-game winning streak, posting at least one point in 22 of 26 games of the streak and posting multiple points in 14 of the 26 games … Keith Aulie posted a pair of assists and a +3 in during his Admirals debut … Prior to the tonight’s game, Cory Conacher was named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2011-12 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities … After dropping the first four games, Norfolk finished the season series by winning the final four games against the Devils … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Mike Angelidis, Alex Hutchings, Eric Neilson, and Jon Kalinski.