Admirals Blank B-Sens 4-0
Playoff lives still hang in the balance
Michael Leighton stopped 44 shots to lead the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-0 win over the Binghamton Senators Friday night in front of 4,587 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Sens and the Admirals are now tied for fourth place in the East Division with 79 points with both teams playing their final regular season game tomorrow night.
Mikhail Yakubov netted what proved to be the only goal the Admirals would need at of the opening period after the Sens killed off a Brian McGrattan roughing penalty.
Yakubov sent a floater from the blueline over the glove hand of Ray Emery (40 saves) for a 1-0 lead that held up until a half minute remained and Emery on the bench for the extra attacker.
Quintin Laing and Shawn Thornton tallied empty net markers twenty-three seconds apart to seal the Admiralsí 35th win of the season.
The Sens dominated the opening five minutes of the game, but were held off the board by Leighton while his teammates gained their bearings. After being outshot 4-1 to open the game, the Admirals turned the tables in convincing fashion to post a 22-9 advantage after twenty minutes. Lackadaisical outlet passes turned into shots and Emery was sharp in holding the Admirals to just one goal.
Following penalties to Ajay Baines (slashing) and Marty Wilford (holding the stick) eight minutes into the second period to give the Sens a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:50, the Sens managed four shots on goal, but could not net the equalizer.
The third period featured twenty-two Binghamton shots, tying a franchise record, and much frustration as Leighton stole the show in keeping Norfolk in the hunt for home ice for the qualifying round of the playoffs that kick off the Calder Cup playoffs next week.
Binghamton outshot Norfolk on the night 44-43.
While the Admirals travel to Hershey for a faceoff, the Sens host the Rochester Americans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena at Preceding the Sens-Amerks tilt, the Sens will host a block party at the Arena from Inside the Arena beginning at , itís Fan Appreciation Night with prizes to be awarded all night to those in attendance and on the concourse, the 2004 Binghamton Mets baseball team will be available for photos and autographs.
A limited number of tickets are still available for tomorrow nightís season finale and can be purchased on-line at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the Sens Hotline at 722-SENS (7367) beginning at Saturday morning.
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