ALBANY 2, WORCESTER 0
Goaltender Mike McKenna posted a 32-save shutout and Albany scored once apiece in the first and third periods en route to a 2-0 road win over Worcester on Tuesday at the DCU Center. The Devils improved to 10-7-0-1 in away contests this season, compared with a 5-13-0-2 mark on home ice.
Michael Swift provided both goals for the Devils, his 14th and 15th markers of the season. The third-year pro, who posted a career-best 24 goals in 2009-10, has now erupted for nine goals in his last 11 contests, including at least one in eight of those 11 games.
Swift put Albany on top 1-0 midway through the opening period, with the lone assist going to Chad Wiseman, and then sealed the victory with a shorthanded, empty-net tally in the closing seconds after the Devils had nursed the one-goal advantage through much of the game.
Albany outshot Worcester 9-2 in the opening period, but McKenna then had to make 30 of his 32 shots over the final two frames as the Sharks held a 30-17 shots advantage the rest of the way.
McKenna (5-7-0) earned his first shutout of the campaign, and coupled with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Syracuse, he has backstopped the Devils to their first two-game winning streak since they beat Rochester and Adirondack on Dec. 4-5.
The Sharks were blanked for the second time in a four-game span and fell to 3-6-1-1 in their last 11 contests.
BINGHAMTON 5, PORTLAND 2
Corey Locked extended his league-leading point total with two goals and two assists to lead Binghamton to a 5-2 road victory over Portland on Tuesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Named to his fourth straight AHL All-Star Classic earlier in the day, Locke now boasts 55 points (15-40-55) in 38 games this season and holds a 10-point edge on Hamilton’s David Desharnais and a 13-point bulge on Oklahoma City’s Alexandre Giroux for the league lead.
Senators forward Mike Hoffman began the night’s scoring just 1:44 after the opening face-off, the only goal in which Locke was not involved. Locke earned a helper on a goal by Ryan Keller nearly 11 minutes later, but Portland then drew even prior to intermission on markers by Mark Mancari and Brian Roloff.
Locke put Binghamton on top to stay only 19 seconds into the second period. He then helped out on Andre Benoit’s insurance goal late in the third frame before adding an empty-net marker with a minute left to play.
Goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 25 of 27 shots between the pipes for the Senators, who extended their season-high winning streak to four games and moved to 20-16-2-2 overall.
Portland’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
CHARLOTTE 2, NORFOLK 1
The road team continued its dominance in the season series between Charlotte and Norfolk as the Checkers eked out a 2-1 win over the host Admirals on Tuesday at the Scope.
Nicolas Blanchard scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal when he gave Charlotte a 2-0 advantage at 10:49 of the third period, with assists going to 2011 AHL All-Star Jerome Samson and Cedric McNicoll.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot put the Admirals on the board just over four minutes later – his 10th marker of the year – but Norfolk could get no closer and dropped to 1-4-2-1 in its last eight contests.
Oskar Osala netted a first-period goal for the Checkers, who improved to 5-0-0-0 in Norfolk this season. In turn, Charlotte has lost both of Norfolk’s visits to Time Warner Cable Arena thus far.
Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge turned aside 33 of 34 shots in the victory, which lifted Charlotte (22-13-1-4) two points up on Norfolk (19-10-7-2) for second place in the East Division, although the Admirals still hold two games in hand.