Starting to Rebound

Coming off a rough week, the Devils looked to rebound against three big opponents, with two sharing the top of the Eastern Conference standings.  And they did get back on track, with two big wins sandwiched between two rough days.  A little of everything during a very busy week:

1/7 vs. Springfield: 3-2 L

The marathon week began on a rare Tuesday game, with the second visit in four days from the first place Falcons.  Michael Chaput’s first shot of the game (and the Falcons) ended up in the net just three minutes in for a fast 1-0 lead.  Mattias Tedenby would tie the game at 1 with his first goal since returning to Albany.  Chaput would strike again on the tail end of a Albany 4 minute power play with a lucky bounce past Keith Kinkaid to put Springfield ahead 2-1…on the second Falcon shot of the game.  After Kinkaid finally got his first save of the game, Darryl Boyce would follow up with a power play goal for a 3-1 lead.  All that despite Albany outshooting the Falcons 11-6 in the first.  Kinkaid and the rest of the team settled down nicely after that, but former Devil goaltender (and reigning AHL goaltender of the month) Mike McKenna was on his game.  Tedenby would score his second late in the second to get to within 3-2, but that was all they could do.  After a shaky first period, Kinkaid ended up stopping 18 of 21 shots in a loss.  Kelly Zajac continued his strong play of late, adding two assists.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-Artem Demkov

Rod Pelley-Harri Pesonen-Chris McKelvie

Mike Hoeffel-David Wohlberg-Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Harry Young

Other pairings: Kelly/Hrabarenka; Helgeson/Scarlett

1/10 at Springfield: 3-0 W

With some extra defensive personnel, it was off to Western Massachusetts to complete the home and home/3 out of 4 game stretch.  This time around, Scott Wedgewood drew the starting assignment.  Rod Pelley would get the visitors on the board halfway through the first.  Not much happened till late in the second, when Joe Whitney would score his team leading 13th on a nice breakaway shot to double the lead.  Artem Demkov would add his 4th goal 6 minutes into the 3rd to make it a 3-0 lead.  And Wedgewood took care of the rest, stopping all 21 Falcon shots in picking up his first AHL shutout.  The Devils played a near flawless game, only taking one penalty all evening.  Four Devils, including Adam Larsson in his first appearance in Albany since last January, picked up assists.  Alexander Urbom finished with an even plus/minus in his first game.

Lines:

With the influx of defensemen now on the roster, it was back to an 11/7 lineup.  And apparently coach couldn’t decide who to keep together:

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Harri Pesonen

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Artem Demkov

McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel

Also: Matteau-Zajac-Pesonen; Tedenby-Pelley-McKelvie; McKelvie-Pelley-Wohlberg; Whitney-Timmins-Pesonen; Zajac-Demkov-Wohlberg; Pelley-McKelvie-Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Alexander Urbom/Adam Larsson

Burlon 7th D (?-just my guess), paired with Scarlett, McPherson

Also paired: Helgeson/Larsson; Urbom/Scarlett; Helgeson/Scarlett; Kelly/Urbom; Urbom/McPherson

Extras: Harry Young, Raman Hrabarenka

1/11 vs. Manchester: 5-2 W

Another home test awaited the Devils as the best team in the Eastern Conference, Manchester, came calling.  And Albany dodged a bullet as the Monarchs started Jean-Francois Berube over the recently demoted Martin Jones.  Maybe they should have.  Scott Timmins scored his 8th halfway through the first for a 1-0 lead.  Nick Shore would tie the game late in the period on a power play.  Then Albany took over in the second, outshooting the Monarchs 15-7 and scoring 3 times.  Kelly Zajac and Timmins scored 1:33 apart for a 3-1 lead.  Manchester would get back to within 3-2, but Joe Whitney would score on a power play late to boost the lead to 4-2.  Brandon Burlon would seal it with an empty netter late for the Devils second win in a row.  A much better outing for Keith Kinkaid this time around, as he stopped 21 of 23 shots for his 14th win.  Adam Larsson contributed 3 assists, while 4 others had one assist each.

Lines:

A little more manageable 11/7 lineup for this one:

Harri Pesonen-Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-Artem Demkov

McKelvie-Riley Boychuk-David Wohlberg

Also seen: Pesonen-Timmins-Matteau; Whitney-Timmins-Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Adam Larsson/Alexander Urbom

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Brandon Burlon (guessing 7th D again?)-with Larsson, McPherson

Also paired: Kelly/McPherson, Larsson/McPherson, Larsson/Kelly, Helgeson/Hrabarenka

Extras: Harry Young, Reece Scarlett

1/12 vs. Hershey (at Atlantic City): 4-1 L

It was off to Atlantic City to finish the weekend, as the Devils “hosted” the Bears at Boardwalk Hall.  And apparently the Devils forgot to pack the last two games’ effort in making the trip south.  Just 10 seconds after the Devils started off their second penalty kill of the game, Brandon Segal would give the Bears a 1-0 lead late in the first.  The Bears made it 2-0 just 1:09 into the second on a Casey Wellman goal.  Artem Demkov would score his 5th to bring the Devils to within 1.  But Jeff Taffe (on a power play) and Dustin Gazley would score 2:08 apart to extend the lead to 4-1, chasing Keith Kinkaid out of the net after two periods.  Scott Wedgewood would play the third and keep Hershey off the scoreboard.  Albany would outshoot the Bears 14-5 in the third, but were unable to get any past Bears netminder Riley Gill, who earned his first AHL victory.  Kinkaid stopped 12 of 16, while Wedgewood was a perfect 5 for 5.  Dan Kelly would get the lone assist.

Lines:

I was watching video from home, with the camera angle of someone drunk or with a short attention span, so I tried my best with the latest 11/7 lineup.

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Kelly Zajac-Artem Demkov-Mattias Tedenby

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Harri Pesonen

David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel-Whitney

Others: McKelvie-Pesonen-Hoeffel; Matteau-Pesonen-Zajac; Timmins-McKelvie-Matteau

Extra: Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Adam Larsson/Seth Helgeson

Raman Hrabarenka/Brandon Burlon

Corbin McPherson 7th-with Kelly, Larsson

Extras: Harry Young, Alexander Urbom

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Of course this happens on Kids in Free Day.  Nice throwdown by Stefan Matteau before the real fun got started, by the way.

My Player of the Week:

I’ll give the nod to Scott Wedgewood this week.  No goals allowed in 4 periods, including his first AHL shutout on Friday against a very good Springfield club.  And helped stop the bleeding in Atlantic City, albeit too little too late.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (14)

Assists: Joe Whitney (20)

Points: Joe Whitney (34)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (56)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (14)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.18)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.915)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals had a 3 in 3 weekend of their own, all against Reading.  And it was the Royals coming out on top, sweeping the 2 home/1 away game series to put Elmira’s record on the season at 10-19-2-2.  Maxime Clermont made two appearances, the first in relief on Friday night, going a perfect 14 for 14.  He made the start on Saturday, stopping 25 of 29 in a 4-2 defeat.  He now stands at 4-9-0 with a 3.31 GAA.

Notes:

With all the player transactions covered earlier in the week, on to the injury report, just two names long: Tim Sestito (I believe upper body), who did board the bus to Atlantic City but did not play, and Darcy Zajac, still out long term.

This Week’s Schedule:

An all road three in three weekend coming up as the Devils begin a 4 game road swing.  Friday night Albany travels west to Utica for their third matchup of the season against the Comets.  Saturday night it’s back to Adirondack for Time Warner Cable Cup Game #8 against the Phantoms.  Then they travel south to Hershey for another Sunday afternoon tilt against the Bears.

Friday night also marks the official halfway point of the season.  I will have a first half numbers post up sometime on Saturday.

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