NORFOLK (6) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (3)
NORFOLK, VA - David Bolland had a three-point night and several franchise records were met or surpassed as the Norfolk Admirals (34-10-4-1) defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (29-12-2-3) 6-3 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope.
The Penguins opened scoring less than five minutes into the game while shorthanded. Tom Gilbert scored from in close by batting the puck out of mid-air and past Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford at 4:25.
The Admirals pulled even seven minutes later on a power play. David Bolland sent a pass from behind the net to Jonas Nordqvist at the right post. Nordqvist fired a shot on goal, collected his own rebound and spotted Colin Fraser at the top of the goalmouth for an easy tap-in at 11:07.
The Norfolk lead grew to two goals four minutes later. While falling down, Adam Burish centered the puck toward the slot where it was collected by Bryan Bickell. Bickell sent a wrist shot past Wilkes-Barre goalie Andrew Penner at 15:28.
Danny Richmond and Bolland combined for a highlight reel goal midway through the second period to make the score 3-1 in favor of Norfolk. Richmond entered the attacking zone with the puck at the edge of the right circle with Bolland to his right along the dasher boards. They crossed paths at the bottom of the right circle with Richmond dropping a pass behind himself to Bolland. Bolland skated to the slot and sent a wrister past Penner stick-side at 8:49 of the second period.
Dustin Byfuglien gave the Admirals a three-goal lead eight minutes later. His shot from the left wing made its way past Penner at 16:53 of the second stanza.
Burish made it 5-1 Norfolk midway through the final frame with a shorthanded marker. He skated in on new goaltender Devan Dubnyk with a half-step advantage on a Penguins defender. Burish slid the puck through Dubnyk's pads with the defender draped around him at 11:38.
Wilkes-Barre received third period goals by Daniel Carcillo at 12:47 and Jonathan Filewich at 15:59 sandwiched around a sixth Norfolk tally by Captain Craig MacDonald at 13:33 to close out scoring.
Crawford (34 shots, 31 saves) earned his franchise record-tying 27th victory of the season, equaling Michael Leighton's 27-win season in 2001-02. Penner (18 shots, 14 saves in 40 minutes) was saddled with the loss. Dubnyk (7 shots, 5 saves in 20 minutes) did not factor into the decision.
The Admirals were 2-6 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-9.
Several franchise records were met or surpassed tonight in addition to Crawford's win total. Martin St. Pierre picked up his 51st assist of the campaign to move one helper past his own record from last season. Norfolk won its twelfth consecutive home game to stretch their franchise record home winning streak. The Admirals also got their 24th win at Scope, matching their franchise record set in their inaugural AHL campaign in 2000-01.
The Admirals face off against the Philadelphia Phantoms tomorrow night at Scope with a 7:15 p.m. faceoff. During the game, the Admirals will honor another STIHL Hometown Hero.
1. David Bolland - NOR
2. Colin Fraser - NOR
3. Adam Burish - NOR