Aeros return to action with shutout

Mike Smith made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season, Stephane Veilleux extended his goal scoring streak to three games and Kirby Law tallied a goal and an assist as the Houston Aeros returned from a 13-day break with a workmanlike 2-0 win over the Norfolk Admirals at Toyota Center on Thursday night.

The Aeros improved to 2-2-1-0 on a season-long eight-game homestand that continues Saturday versus Norfolk.

Michael Leighton turned aside 32 shots for Norfolk, which fell to 1-5-0-0 in its last six. The Admirals were beginning a four-game Texas road trip.

Veilleux nearly scored with 6:30 remaining in the first, but his shot hit off the post. He avenged that miss with his team-best 10th of the season with 3:13 left. The goal was Veilleux’s fourth in the last three games.

The Admirals swung the momentum in their way in the second, outshooting Houston 14-3, but couldn’t get on the board.

Smith, who snapped a career-long-tying three-game losing streak, stopped all 13 shots sent his way in the third, and 27 total over the final 40 minutes.

Law gave him all the insurance he’d need with 4:36 left in the game, with his sixth of the season.

Houston had been off since Dec. 3, and hadn’t won since Nov. 28.