The Checkers lost a 3-1 lead in the first period and also lost star goaltender Michael Leighton to injury during a disappointing 6-3 loss in Milwaukee on Friday.
Valentin Zykov, Andrew Poturalski and Phil Di Giuseppe scored for Charlotte, which saw its three-game win streak come to an end despite the impressive opening frame that contained two power-play goals. Leighton, who had allowed just three total goals over the course of a personal three-game win streak, stopped 15 of 16 shots in 26:57 of game action.
The first and second halves of the game could not have been more different, with the Checkers storming out of the gates with Zykov’s goal just 1:21 into the contest and tacking on a pair of power-play strikes after the Admirals’ Vladislav Kamenev surprised Leighton with a short-side backhander.
The third period was tightly played until the Admirals’ tying goal with under five minutes remaining, which came on a beautifully-executed, three-on-two rush finished by Kevin Fiala. From there, Milwaukee would get a winner off the stick of Justin Kirkland, who fired a perfectly-placed shot from the left circle off the rush, and two empty-net tallies to seal the victory.
When everything was said and done, the Admirals had scored four times in the last 4:27 of the contest.
Charlotte will have little time to dwell on the defeat as they continue a three-games-in-three-nights set with a Saturday night matchup in Rockford and a Sunday afternoon rematch against the Admirals.