NOTE: With the next two games against the same opponent, I will do this the same way I did the Charlotte pregamers…regular one today, followed by recap and short preview tomorrow.
What you need to know before the Devils and Phantoms square off at Times Union Center:
-Season: This is the 7th of 12 meetings between the two teams in the 2nd annual Time Warner Cable Cup, with both teams holding on to 3 wins apiece. Last meeting was on February 20th in Albany, a 4-3 Devils shootout win. They meet in Glens Falls on March 7th and 11th, then don’t meet again until March 29th in Albany, followed by two more matchups in the North Country on April 1st and 6th.
-Standings: The Phantoms begin the day in 7th place in the East Division, with a record of 20-31-3-6 and 49 points, 1 point behind 6th place Albany and 2 ahead of 8th place Syracuse. The Devils check in with a record of 23-33-1-3 and 50 points, 21 points behind 5th place Binghamton.
-Scoring: Adirondack is lead in scoring by veteran Denis Hamel (18 G, 17 A) and rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson (5 G, 30 A) with 35 points apiece, followed by defenseman Danny Syvret with 29 points (9 G, 20 A). Former River Rat Michael Leighton and Johan Backlund continue to split duties in net, Backlund with 7 wins and Leighton with 6 since coming down from the Flyers. On the home side, Matt Anderson continues to lead all Devil skaters with 44 points (19 G, 25 A), followed by Adam Henrique with 38 points (20 G, 18 A). Jeff Frazee has received a lot of ice time since returning from injury, including a hard luck loss to Norfolk on Friday night. With a 3 in 3 weekend I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike McKenna get the nod in at least one of the weekend games.
-Miscellaneous: If you were looking forward to seeing a brother vs. brother matchup with Tim (Albany) and Tom (Adirondack) Sestito, well…you’ll have to wait a little while longer. Due to a death in their family, neither brother will play this weekend. Condolences do go out to them. On a happier note, there is a giveaway to mention…first 4000 through the door get a team poster, which from what I saw isn’t a traditional team photo, just a collage of action shots. And if you order a ticket online, there’s a special $12 price. I believe you have to go through the Devils site (thealbanydevils.com) to take advantage of that.
Game time: 5 PM. Of course I will be on hand with the usual…