Norfolk needs to start defending its home ice better.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the overtime loss. He, like the rest of the Admirals, has struggled mightily to protect third period leads.
NOR Wright, (7) (Fornataro, Wishart), 2:38
NOR Harju, (14) (Durno, Wishart), 5:04
ALB Swift, (7) (Davis), 12:55
ALB Eckford, (2) (Anderson, Gionta), 2:45
NOR Berry, (9) (Durno), 15:56
ALB Anderson, (11) (Gionta, Wiseman), 17:57
ALB Zharkov, (7) (McIntyre), 2:19
Newly minted captain Chris Durno was the game's third star. Durno's +15 rating is tied for fifth in the league, two pluses back of AHL co-leader Radko Gudas.
Even despite his time up with the big club, Johan Harju still is tied for seventh in the league in goals at 14, three back of Max Pacioretty's mark.
Ty Wishart has points in 4 straight games after having earned just 2 points in his previous 13 games.
Norfolk sits six points back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for first in the East Division. Count the number of leads they've blown, though: 10/29 and 10/30 against Portland, 11/5 against Charlotte, 11/12 against Adirondack, 11/13 against Bridgeport, 11/24 against Charlotte, and tonight, 12/17 against Albany. That's up to eight points that Norfolk has left on the ice in games where they've held leads in the third period. If Norfolk protected those leads, they'd have the best record in the AHL right now.
The other trend that continues to be a concern is the disparity between Norfolk's road winning percentage (.737) and its home winning percentage (.600). A .600 winning percentage isn't bad, mind you, but when you compare it with the Penguins' .750 mark at home or their .846 mark on the road, it's clear that there needs to be improvement if the Admirals expect to win the division. It's even more important when one considers the Admirals have 30 home games left on their schedule and just 21 on the road. They have to start protecting their home ice better. With the travel other teams have to do to get to Norfolk and the intimidating crowd at Scope, Norfolk should be much better than it has been at home.
Box score from TheAHL.com.