Norfolk 3, Adirondack 0 3/20
The Norfolk Admirals bombarded Munroe with 48 shots on goal - one of the highest totals in the AHL this season - and scored on three of them to secure a 3-0 shutout win Wednesday night at Scope Arena.
It was the fifth time in 31 appearances Munroe faced 40 or more shots, and Adirondack is 1-4 in those games.
The Phantoms fell to 25-33-2-3, and were blanked for the sixth time this season. Frederik Andersen, a 6-foot-4 rookie from Denmark, made 32 saves to bounce back from his 4-1 loss to Adirondack on Tuesday.
In that game, Adirondack built a 2-0, second-period lead by being credited with 20 of the first 31 shots.
They had a nearly polar opposite start Wednesday, and were outshot 21-8 in the game’s first 20 minutes.
That was enough time for the Admirals to build their own 2-0 lead, which they held for most of regulation.
Kyle Wilson opened the scoring 6:05 after puck drop by converting Ryan Parent’s behind-the-back pass, and Devante Smith-Pelly added an insurance goal when his shot found its way behind Munroe at 12:52.
Rookie defenseman Sami Vatanen added a four-on-four goal in the third period to put Norfolk up 3-0.
Former Phantoms forward Patrick Maroon had two assists for the Admirals, who improved to 30-28-4-1.
In a strange coincidence, both of the other AHL games played Wednesday resulted in shutout victories for the home team. Adirondack’s loss was the most lopsided, in terms of both final score and shot differential.
They had seen a slight offensive uptick in their past six games, averaging three goals per game as opposed to the 2.38 they had been averaging, but their struggles to score returned Wednesday.
With 146 goals through 63 games, not including the four they received for winning four shootouts, the Phantoms are on pace for the lowest-scoring season in the franchise’s 17-year history.
The team would have to average more than three goals per game in its final 13 outings to avoid that dubious distinction.
The Phantoms can finish the season with no more than 81 points, and that is assuming they go 13-0, but two Eastern Conference teams have already hit that plateau, and six more teams can reach it by April 6.