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Sens Zeroed Out Of The Playoffs
Leighton leads Admirals sweep

Michael Leighton turned aside 18 shots in leading the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-0 win Friday night over the Binghamton Senators in front of 3,494 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena to sweep the best-of 3 East Division qualifying series two games to none.

For Leighton, it was his third consecutive shutout of the Sens in eight days on Arena ice spanning back to closing weekend of the regular season.  He has not surrendered a goal in Binghamton in the last 202:28 dating to back to a second period marker by Chris Kelly in a 6-3 Sens’ win January 17th.

The blanking marks the Admirals’ fifth win via shutout in eight all-time visits to Binghamton.

Johnathan Aitken gave Leighton all of the offense he would need just thirteen seconds into the game.

The Sens won the opening draw, but were subsequently whistled for icing nine seconds in with the ensuing faceoff to the right of Ray Emery (30 saves).

Ajay Baines won the draw and it was relayed back to point man Aitken.  His low drive through a screen beat Emery for an ominous marker as the club that has scored first in each of the 14 all-time meetings went on to victory.

Friday would not see that trend come to a halt and the grip around the Sens’ neck was tightened with Yorick Treille’s rebound goal at 18:57 to put the Admirals in command 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

Binghamton managed a franchise playoff low two shots on goal in the opening frame.

The Sens came out of the break with energy that wasn’t evident in the first twenty minutes, but the offensive chances continued to be few and far between and the eight second period shots Binghamton put on goal were handled flawlessly by Leighton.

After a scoreless middle frame, Treille delivered the clinching blow 5:58 into the third period as he gathered in a deflected puck just outside the Sens blue line and unleashed a rocket that beat Emery high on the glove side for the game’s final goal.

The series sweep sends the Admirals onto the East Division semifinals and a date with division champion Philadelphia in a series that will begin Wednesday night at Wachovia Center, the home of the Flyers.

Following an 8-6 run through last year’s playoffs and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals, the two losses this spring levels the franchise’s all-time mark at 8-8 in post season play.

 


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