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March 23, 2012

Weekend Preview – Admirals vs. Albany Devils

by Nate Skytta

Weekend Preview – Norfolk Admirals vs. Albany Devils
Game Dates: March 23rd - 24th, 2012
Venue: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia

Standings45-18-1-2, 93 points
1st East Division
1st Eastern Conference
28-26-6-5, 67 points
3rd Northeast Division
T-9th Eastern Conference

The Admirals return to home ice, where they have not lost since January 29. They conclude the home portion of the regular season schedule with a season-long, seven-game homestand beginning tonight and tomorrow night against the Albany Devils and lasting through April 7.

Last week, Norfolk re-wrote the AHL record books with three victories over teams fighting for a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. On Wednesday night, Norfolk scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Scope. The Admirals then traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they won games #17 and #18 in a row to establish the new American Hockey League single-season record for most consecutive victories. On Friday night, seven different players scored as Norfolk became the first team to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 7-2 victory over the Checkers. On Sunday, Richard Panik scored a goal and added two assists and Jaroslav Janus stopped all 20 shots as the Admirals shut down the Checkers, 5-0.

The Devils arrive at Scope coming off a 6-5 victory on Wednesday night. Despite dropping eight of their last 10 games, the Devils occupy 10th place in the Eastern conference, just one point behind the eighth place Syracuse Crunch. The Devils have played one game fewer than ninth place Worcester Sharks.

The Admirals have recorded just a single victory in five opportunities vs. the Devils this season. In November, the Admirals dropped a pair of low-scoring affairs in Albany. On November 4, rookie netminder Keith Kinkaid stopped all 34 Admirals’ shots as he handed the Admirals their first shutout of the season, 1-0. A week later, Cory Conacher’s sixth of the season was the lone Admirals goal, as Kinkaid backstopped the Devils to a 2-1 victory.

Just days after the turn of the calendar, the Devils took games three and four between the teams at Scope. On January 6, the Admirals watched as the Devils erased a four-goal third period deficit and then score in overtime to skate away with a 5-4 victory. The next night, Kinkaid starred once again as the Devils completed the weekend sweep, 3-1.

Eleven days later, the Admirals received goals from five different players, including four in the second period, en route to a 5-4 victory in Albany.

After this weekend’s matchups, the Admirals and Devils will face off one final time in the regular season. Norfolk returns to Albany on April 13 as they begin a three-game in three nights road trip to wrap-up the regular season.

Join us on Saturday, March 24, for MDA Jersey Auction, presented by PAPCO, as your Norfolk Admirals play the Albany Devils at 7:15 p.m. at Norfolk Scope Arena.

The Admirals will don one-of-a-kind jerseys during the game. These jerseys pay homage to the 40th anniversary of hockey in Hampton Roads with jerseys similar to the first hockey team to play at Scope – the 1971-72 Tidewater Wings.

Immediately following the conclusion of the game on Saturday, a live auction will take place on the ice with the special jerseys being sold right off the players’ backs. All proceeds go to the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Over the past 11 seasons, the Admirals have been able to raise $306,465 for MDA through the annual jersey auction.

Goals: Cory Conacher (34)
Assists: Mark Barberio (43)
Points: Cory Conacher (71)
Games: Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson (65)
PP goals: Cory Conacher (14)
SH Goals: Tyler Johnson, J.T. Wyman (2)
+/- Rating: Pierre-Cedric Labrie (+30)
PIM: Radko Gudas (168)
GAA: Dustin Tokarski (2.34)
Spct: Jaroslav Janus (.909)
Wins: Dustin Tokarski (27)
Losses: Dustin Tokarski (11)
GPl: Dustin Tokarski (40)
Minutes: Dustin Tokarski (2282)

Goals: Steve Zalewski (16)
Assists: Joe Whitney (26)
Points: Joe Whitney (39)
Games: Eric Gelinas (64)
PP goals: Eric Gelinas, Steve Zalewski (7)
SH Goals: Steve Bernier, Vladimir Zharkov (2)
+/- Rating: Dan Kelly (+6)
PIM: Tim Sestito (100)
GAA: Jeff Frazee (2.75)
Spct: Keith Kinkaid (.907)
Wins: Keith Kinkaid (15)
Losses: Jeff Frazee, Keith Kinkaid (16)
GPI: Keith Kinkaid (36)
Minutes: Keith Kinkaid (2071)

The Admirals set a new American Hockey League single-season record with their 18th consecutive win on Sunday at Charlotte … Norfolk also tied the longest single-season winning streak in professional hockey history (IHL's Peoria Rivermen, 1990-91) … Tyler Johnson has goals in seven straight games (9g), establishing a new AHL Admirals record and tying the longest goal-scoring streak in the AHL this season (Bridgeport's David Ullstrom) … Albany snapped an eight-game winless streak (0-5-1-2) on Wednesday vs. Worcester … The Devils are winless in their last six road games (0-4-0-2) and have not won on the road since February 25 at Manchester … The Devils are one of only two teams with head-to-head records against Norfolk at .500 or better in 2011-12. Albany is 4-1-0-0 while Hershey is 5-4-1-0 … Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid has posted a 3-1-0 record against Norfolk this season with a 1.76 GAA and .939 SV% in four games. He is the only goaltender to have shut out Norfolk this season (34 saves, 11/04/11 at Albany)… The Devils enter tonight's contest tied for 9th place in the Eastern Conference – two points out of seventh place and four points ahead of 14th place … Tonight's contest features Norfolk's Mark Barberio, who leads all AHL defensemen in points (54) and assists (43) and Albany's Eric Gelinas, who is tied for the AHL lead in goals by a defenseman (14). Today is Barberio’s 22nd birthday … Albany and Norfolk are two of eight AHL teams led in scoring by a rookie. Joe Whitney (13g, 26a, 39pts) leads the Devils and is tied for 14th in AHL rookie scoring while Cory Conacher (34g, 37a, 71pts) leads the Admirals and all AHL rookies in scoring ...

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