MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — The Grizzlies and Admirals squared off for a crucial West Division showdown with the Admirals getting outstanding goaltending from Jan Lasak who was just sent down earlier in the day from Nashville.
The Grizzlies played without Jim Montgomery and Greg Hawgood, and the Admirals were able to prevail 3-1 in front of 5,349 fans.
The teams played a pretty solid first period keeping the checking tight and the chances minimal. The lone goal of the frame came on a play that saw Utah goaltender Mike Smith misplay a dump in by Milwaukee. Smith couldn't control the puck and quickly tried to recover shoving it along the boards but Wyatt Smith was in the way as he cut the clearing attempt off and shot it into an empty net. For Smith, it was his 16th goal of the season and it gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead after one period.
Milwaukee started the scoring in the second period at the 2:58 mark as Darren Haydar took a shot and crashed the net kicking the puck past Smith giving the Admirals a 2-0 lead. The goal was Haydar's 24th on the season. Utah got on the board a few minutes later on the power play when Eric Landry moved the puck to Barrett Heisten who beat Jan Lasak up high for his seventh goal of the season pulling the Grizzlies to within a goal at 2-1. The Grizzlies had five power play opportunities through two periods capitalizing on one of them.
Mike Smith kept his team in the game in the third period robbing Cameron Mann on two separate occasions. Jan Lasak stopped David Gosselin on a shorthanded breakaway chance as well keeping the game 2-1. The Grizzlies kept the pressure on throughout the third period but failed to beat Lasak who finished the game with 25 saves. Milwaukee's Jason Beckett would finish the night off with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining. Smith finished the game with 26 saves in the loss.
The Admirals would outshot the Grizzlies 29-26 in the game.