Special Teams and Goaltending Key in Admirals Victory
NORFOLK – Igor Bobkov made 35 saves and the Norfolk Admirals (12-13-1-0) scored twice on the power play while denying all 10 power play opportunities by the Albany Devils (9-10-0-6), as they claimed a 2-1 win on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The same teams face off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Bobkov improved his season record to 5-7-0 with the win. Devante Smith-Pelly and Patrick Maroon scored power play goals in the first period as Norfolk carried a 2-0 lead into the final minute of regulation.
The Admirals took the lead exactly four minutes into the contest on Smith-Pelly’s fifth goal of the season. Gabe Guentzel sent a shot from the high slot that Albany goaltender Jeff Frazee stopped. However, Smith-Pelly fount the rebound in the goalmouth and stuffed it under Frazee for a 1-0 Norfolk lead.
The home team doubled their lead at 16:31 of the first period with another power play tally. Sami Vatanen fired a slap shot from the blue line that hit Frazee. Maroon found the rebound in the goalmouth and slid a backhand shot around the goaltender’s left leg for his eighth goal of the season.
Neither team scored more than 43 minutes thereafter, although Norfolk’s penalty kill was put to the test. Penalties four seconds apart late in the second period gave the Devils a five-on-three power play for 1:56. However, the Admirals withstood the challenge, with Bobkov making several saves and the defense coming up with big shot blocks and clears. The story was repeated in midway through the third period, with Albany failing to score on a five-on-three advantage that lasted for 1:35.
The Devils out-shot the Admirals, 14-3, in the final frame, and one of their last shots finally solved Bobkov to spoil his shutout bid. Matt Anderson scored with 26 seconds left in the final frame with an assist to Mike Sislo, but it was the only goal Albany would muster in the game.
Jeff Frazee (3-4-3) stopped 28 of 30 shots in the setback.
Norfolk was 2-for-9 on the power play. Albany was 0-for-10.
The same teams face off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. 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. Igor Bobkov – NOR
2. Devante Smith-Pelly – NOR
3. Patrick Maroon – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk improved to 5-2-1-0 in its eight December games … The Admirals have allowed only 16 goals in seven games in December (2.29 goals against per game) … Norfolk has killed 46 of 50 opponent power plays in December (92.0%) … The Admirals scored multiple power play goals in a game for the first time since November 12th at Albany, ending a stretch of 13 games without multiple power play goals scored … Tonight was just the third of Norfolk's 26 games in 2012-13 where the team recorded multiple power play goals … Did not play: Mat Clark, John Mitchell, Matt Smaby, Frederik Andersen.