Norfolk Admirals #25 Tyler Johnson, Connecticut at Norfolk, 2012 AHL Eastern Conference Final. Taken by John Wright on May 2, 2012
The Norfolk Admirals won Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup against the Connecticut Whale 4-1.
The first period was almost everything that a playoff game should've been. It was fast, intense, hard-fought, and Norfolk carried the play, despite being outshot 13-12. The only real blot on the whole period were Alexandre Picard's three penalties.
The Admirals goals in the first period were scored by by Alex Killorn and Mike Kostka. Killorn was, by far, the best skater on the ice for the Admirals, ending the night with seven shots on goal. Dustin Tokarski, the Norfolk goalie of record, was outstanding as well.
It was 2-0 for the Admirals going into the second, and the team sat back a bit. They had the lead, and they were just trying to keep it, not add to it. There were a number of penalties, however - mostly they were in the second half of the second period. Tyler Johnson scored his first playoff goal.
This game had its moments of ugliness, and they started even before the puck dropped. During warmups, Pierre-Cedric Labrie had to be dragged away from a conversation with two Whale players. From that, it was probably not completely unreasonable to expect things to get out of hand at some point. It definitely set the tone for the rest of the game.
In the third period, it almost did. There were a number of penalties - including an ejection from Connecticut for abuse of official. The on-ice officials cracked down before the game got completely out of control. There were three penalties after that, but the game wasn't nearly as chippy as it had been before.
Cory Conacher scored the last goal for Norfolk, which was also his first playoff goal. Concacher, if you may recall, was the leading goal scorer for all of the AHL. So both Johnson and Concacher finally got on the board in playoffs, and both with power play goals.
The Norfolk Admirals play Game 3 tomorrow, 6 May. They're in Hartford for Games 3 & 4, but will play Game 5 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Game time is at 7 pm Eastern.