All Over The Map

How to describe the Devils this weekend: blowing a lead and taking a point in their second home, followed by a dominating performance on real home ice, then getting blown out the following afternoon?  The late season habits of the past are creeping in, and it’s resulting in being on the outside looking in yet again.  Recapping a 1-1-0-1 weekend:

2/14 vs. Hershey: 3-2 L (SO)

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than taking the second trip of the season to Atlantic City to take on the suddenly resurgent Bears?  Albany thought they had a goal early on, but the referee waved it off.  But Reid Boucher would make sure the next goal counted, scoring his 12th just 8 seconds into a power play for a 1-0 lead.  Matt Watkins would tie the game for the visitors just before time expired in the first.  Stefan Matteau would score his 9th late in the second period to put the Devils up 2-1 and in seemingly good position to hold on for the win.  Well, not so fast.  Michael Latta would retie the game halfway through the third period.  Despite a late flurry of shots by Albany as regulation was coming to an end, nothing across.  It was on to overtime where neither team could get anything across (Albany did outshoot Hershey 3-1).  On to the dreaded shootout, where Albany fell behind early when Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby and Boucher could not score.  Scott Wedgewood gave up goals in rounds 1 and 2, but stopped Ryan Potulny and Dustin Gazley to keep the Devils in it.  Matteau would connect in the fourth round, but Scott Timmins could not extend the bonus round any further, and the Bears gained the extra point.  A very good night for Wedgewood otherwise in net, as he stopped 20 of 22 shots in 65 minutes.  Timmins added two assists, while two other Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mike Hoeffel-Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Joe Whitney (travel), Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Brandon Burlon/Reece Scarlett

Extras: Alexander Urbom, Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Gelinas (cannot play due to Olympic rules), Jon Merrill

2/15 vs. Adirondack: 4-1 W

Finally, back on real home ice for the first time since the end of January, the Devils played host to the Phantoms for the last time this season.  Adirondack would score just two minutes into the game, while the Devils were in midst of a line change.  But Tim Sestito would quickly tie the game up just over two and a half minutes later.  Second period the Devils would take over the game and not look back.  Rod Pelley broke the tie with his 10th of the season, then Mattias Tedenby would add an insurance goal just over two minutes later.  Joe Whitney would add the exclamation point with 1:58 remaining, just as Phantoms goaltender Yann Danis was exiting the net for a sixth attacker and just couldn’t get back in time.  A very strong performance from Scott Wedgewood, who didn’t have much to stop all afternoon, only having to stop 15 of 16 shots in picking up his 8th win of the season.  Four different Devils each added an assist.

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Mike Hoeffel-David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extras: Raman Hrabarenka, Alexander Urbom, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill

2/16 at Bridgeport: 7-3 L

The Devils finished the weekend with their last trip of the season to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.  In a bit of a surprise, Scott Wedgewood drew the start for the third straight day.  And…it didn’t go so well.  Former River Rat Matt Pistilli and Aaron Ness would score 54 seconds apart for a 2-0 Sound Tigers lead.  Ryan Strome would make it a 3-0 lead with under 7 minutes to go in the period.  Raman Hrabarenka, in his first appearance since January 26th, scored his second of the season to get the Devils on the board.  It didn’t get much better for Wedgewood in the second period, as Johan Sundstrom and Andrew Clark would score 16 seconds apart to put Bridgeport up 5-1.  That was when Johan Hedberg would step in and take over in the net for his first game action since April with New Jersey.  And he stopped the bleeding, going 6 for 6 for the remainder of the second.  Joe Whitney would add his 19th goal to get back to within 3.  But the Sound Tigers were not finished going into the third, as Anders Lee would score to put Bridgeport up 6-2.  Less than 3 minutes later, while on a Albany power play, Scooter Vaughan would add a shorthanded goal to make it 7-2.  Hrabarenka would then score his second of the day while still on the power play 14 seconds later to make it a real football score, 7-3.  After a promising start to his weekend, Wedgewood couldn’t keep it up today, stopping just 6 of 11 shots before getting the hook after 22:19.  For someone who hasn’t played in 9 months, Moose did pretty well, stopping 11 of 13.  Three Devils had assists, and Brandon Burlon was the only defenseman to not have a negative plus/minus rating (he finished a +1; Dan Kelly and Adam Larsson were both -4).

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby

Harri Pesonen-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Extras: Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Alexander Urbom, Corbin McPherson

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Stay tuned to this space, as I am waiting on video for the one fight of the weekend.

My Player of the Week:

Got to give it to Joe Whitney this week.  Representing Albany at the AHL All Star Classic well (2 assists in the win over Farjestad), then having an epic time in returning to the States in time for the season to resume, and getting two goals and an assist in two games upon his return.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (19)

Assists: Joe Whitney (22)

Points: Joe Whitney (41)

+/-: Scott Timmins/Corbin McPherson (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (74)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (18)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.30)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.914)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals went 1-1-0-1 on the week, moving their record to 19-23-2-4.  Artem Demkov was the only Devil prospect to get on the board, scoring on Saturday in a shootout loss to Wheeling.

Notes:

A few to add to the walking wounded: Chris McKelvie (lower body) sat out Saturday and Sunday.  Cam Janssen missed the weekend with a mystery injury.  Alexander Urbom has the flu but was in the building on Saturday, he too sat out the weekend.  Darcy Zajac, as mentioned earlier this week, is back skating, but no timetable for his return.

This Week’s Schedule:

Another 3 in 3 weekend, but this schedule is a little easier than the week before.  Friday night Albany travels to Adirondack for a rematch against the Phantoms.  Saturday afternoon they host Norfolk (and it’s Darcy Zajac Bobblehead Day…I think he beat Travis in that category!), followed by a visit from Utica on Sunday afternoon.

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