All Or Nothing At All…

The Devils had their work cut out for them if there was any chance of breaking their current 4 game losing streak.  They had to travel to a place where the franchise had only won once in a six year span, then host a hot team and a division rival less than 24 hours later.  They were able to break the streak in surprising fashion, only to sink right back to where they started.  Recapping a quick week:

11/8 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 6-5 W

The weekend began with a trip southwest to Wilkes-Barre to take on the Penguins, in a building the Devils have only won 1 game in, during the 2011-12 season.  The Penguins came into the night with just one regulation loss, while Albany looked to get out of a recent offensive slump.  So who goes out in the first period and drops 3 goals on 10 shots?  The Devils.  It all started five minutes into the game, while on the first power play chance of the day…Reid Boucher would score his 4th of the season with just 1 second left on the power play for the 1-0 advantage.  Rostislav Olesz, in his Albany debut, would then add an unassisted goal under 3 minutes later for a 2-0 lead.  But the Penguins would cut the lead in half on a Harry Zolnierczyk goal.  40 seconds later Mike Sislo would get the 2 goal lead back.  The pattern of goals continued into the second period, as Scott Harrington scored on a power play to put the lead back to one.  But Sislo would get a short handed goal, his second goal of the game (assisted by Olesz) to put the lead back to 4-2.  But the Penguins responded again, as Tom Kostopoulos (remember him, Devils fans?) scored less than a minute later during the same power play to go to a 4-3 game.  Kelly Zajac would put the lead back up to 2 with his first goal of the season, resulting in a 5-3 Devil lead heading into the third.  Things got a little nerve wracking in the early part of the third period.  The Penguins first switched goaltenders, Jeff Deslauriers went in to replace Peter Mannino.  Then they proceeded to rally to tie the game at 5 on goals 46 seconds apart by Mike Carman and Chris Conner.  But it was Sislo who would score the game winner and complete his first career hat trick on a power play for the 6-5 final.  Keith Kinkaid was a little shaky in net in his first start since returning from being the doorman in New Jersey for two weeks, but got the job done in earning the win, stopping 28 of 33 Penguin shots.  Six different Devils had one assist, and it was a very good night for special teams: 2 for 6 on the power play, and 6 for 8 on the penalty kill, including killing off 2 separate 5 on 3 situations.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau

Scott Timmins-Rostislav Olesz-Joe Whitney

Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo-Reid Boucher

Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel-Harri Pesonen

Extra: Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Reece Scarlett/Dan Kelly

Raman Hrabarenka/Seth Helgeson

11/9 vs. Adirondack: 2-0 L

To finish out the weekend, the Devils returned home to play host to their neighbors to the north, the Phantoms.  This game was pretty much over in the first period, as a red hot Adirondack team (they had won 5 in a row coming in) got all the offense they would need against Scott Wedgewood.    Rob Bordson and Ben Holmstrom scored 4:20 apart for the 2-0 lead.  After that, it was all goaltending and lack of…and bad…calls from the referee.  He would miss blatant calls on Adirondack, but all a Devil had to do was breathe on a Phantom and they would end up in the box.  There were two different scrums in front of the net, and both times only one Devil would get called.  The other story of the night had to be Yann Danis, who stopped everything that came in his path.  He even stopped a Chris McKelvie penalty shot attempt late in the third period to preserve the shutout, the second for the Devils in the month of November.  Wedgewood had a hard luck night in net, stopping 23 of 25 Phantom shots.  And an okay night for special teams: 0 for 4 on the power play, but a perfect 6 for 6 penalty kill.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Rostislav Olesz-Tim Sestito

Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo-Reid Boucher

Stefan Matteau-Rod Pelley-Harri Pesonen

Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel-Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Raman Hrabarenka

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Two different bouts to choose from, both from Friday night.  But when Tim Sestito is involved…

My Player of the Week:

With all the offense coming on Friday, it was a pretty easy choice.  First career hat trick while scoring goals in three different situations?  Mike Sislo gets the nod.

Team Leaders:

Goals: 2 players tied with 5

Assists: Scott Timmins (8)

Points: Scott Timmins (13)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (28)

Plus/Minus: Scott Timmins (+4)

Wins: 2 tied at 3

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.57)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.895)

Elmira Update:

For those that are still with the Jackals: They just completed a 1-2 road trip through Florida, losing one to the Orlando Solar Bears and splitting two games with the Florida Everblades.  Maxime Clermont returned to the team in time to start in Orlando and take the loss, stopping 41 of 45 shots.  Alexandre Carrier was held scoreless, while Harry Young is apparently out with an upper body injury.

Notes:

Roster moves were covered earlier in the week…but there are a few injury updates:

-Stefan Matteau returned to the lineup Friday night after sitting out last Saturday’s game in Adirondack.

-Scott Timmins apparently injured his knee Friday night in Wilkes-Barre and sat out Saturday’s game.

-Darcy Zajac and David Wohlberg remain out, no updates on returns.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games coming up this week.  Monday afternoon the Devils host a special Veterans Day matinee against Bridgeport.  Then they hit the road for two games: Friday night in Hartford and Saturday night in Syracuse.

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