OT win keeps Norfolk atop East

The Norfolk Admirals squandered a two-goal lead in the third period, but Eric Nickulas salvaged a 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators with his goal 1:37 into overtime.

The Admirals keep their perch atop the East Division for another day. Their 73 points are one better than Philadelphia and two up on Binghamton.

After a scoreless first period, Norfolk struck first as rookie defenseman James Wisniewski scored on a power play 5:10 into the second.

The Admirals increased their lead to 2-0 with just 58 seconds remaining in the period thanks to another power-play goal, this time scored by Rene Bourque, whose 24 goals on the season are second only to the Senators’ Brandon Bochenski (25) among AHL rookies.

Greg Watson got Binghamton on the board 7:05 into the third period, and exactly three minutes later, Denis Hamel tied the score at 2-2.

Nickulas’s overtime goal, his seventh tally of the year, made a winner of Michael Leighton, who made 18 saves. Ray Emery stopped 21 shots in defeat.

Elsewhere on Wednesday: Joe Corvo scored twice, including a shorthanded marker with 16 seconds left in regulation, and Chicago went on to its fifth straight win, a 4-3 shootout decision over Utah… Carlo Colaiacovo scored 2:29 into overtime and Mikael Tellqvist made 46 saves as St. John’s beat Grand Rapids, 3-2… Jamie Lundmark had three goals and an assist during a four-goal third period as Hartford rallied past Manchester, 4-2… Dennis Seidenberg got the winner, his second goal of the night, 1:51 into OT as Philadelphia held off Bridgeport, 4-3… Chuck Kobasew, Craig MacDonald and Colin Forbes scored in the third period to lead Lowell past Albany, 4-1… Matt Foy and Ray Giroux scored and Mike Smith made 21 saves as Houston blanked San Antonio, 2-0.