It’s probably not the way he envisioned it happening, but Anders Lindback got the W in his AHL debut, stopping 31 of 35 shots in the Admirals 5-4 win over the Houston Aeros Tuesday night.
All four games against the Aeors this year have been decided by one goal, and all four have been tied after two periods. The Admirals currently sport a record of 3-0-0-1 in the season series.
It was a game of runs, as the Admirals scored the first two, gave up the next four, and then scored the last three.
Andreas Thuresson reappeared and scored just 1:19 into the contest on a power play. A Blake Geoffrion shot went off the skates of Justin Falk, and Thuresson was able to sweep the puck throw Anton Khudobin’s five-hole.
About halfway through the period, Chris Mueller scored his 17th of the season, after Matt Halischuk created a turnover with a check on Patrick O’Sullivan at the Aeros blue line. The puck came to Mueller and his shot from the right faceoff circle was deflected by Jamie Fraser and over Khudobin’s left pad.
O’Sullivan responded with a power play goal on a slapshot 2:20 later, while Brett Palin was serving two minutes for yonking.
In the second period, the Admirals kept the penalty box seat warm with four minor penalties, but were able to kill all of them off.
The Aeros tied it up with 46 seconds left to go in the period, on a goal from Brandon Buck.
They scored two more times before the 3rd period was four minutes old, with an O’Sullivan breakaway goal, and a Warren Peters deflection of an O’Sullivan shot. The score was 4-2, with 16:02 left to play.
Brett Palin answered back 21 seconds after Peters’ goal, with a snap shot from the top of the left circle.
With O’Sullivan serving one of his three (dumb) penalties, Matt Halischuk buried a shot after a great keep-in at the point from Aaron Johnson.
And then after a great shift by the Halischuk – Mueller – Bourque line, Halischuk got the game winner at the 9:43 mark of the third. Bourque actually had a couple good chances including a wrap-around attempt, but Halischuk crashed the net, and lit the lamp.
We’re used to seeing some kind of a prevent defense late in the third period when nursing a lead, but the Admirals controlled much of the play down the stretch, with Geoffrion and Bourque among the players killing lots of time with some nice plays in the offensive zone, keeping Khudobin in the net, and the puck as far away from Lindback as possible.
Lindback was a bit rusty, but we’ll see if Coach Lambert goes back to him Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
And despite the team scoring five goals….Roman Josi didn’t figure into any of them on the scoresheet. So his points streak is done at 13 games, which is tied for the longest in the league this season. Here’s hoping he starts up a new one tomorrow night.
As for Jon Blum, he made his NHL debut in Columbus tonight. The Blue Jackets won 4-0 behind four 3rd period goals, and Blum had 19 shifts with a time on ice of 16:02, paired with Alexander Sulzer for most of the night. Blum was on the ice for the 3rd Columbus goal, and lost a battle in the corner that eventually led to the goal.