Week 6 Recap: Turning a Corner?

No more 0 for November!  But there is still work to do to get back to that October magic.

11/12 vs. Syracuse: 3-2 L (SO)

The Devils made a brief return to home ice on Wednesday night, taking on old/new division rival Syracuse for the first time this season.  And things got going in a hurry, after a fight between Chris McKelvie and former River Rat Mike Angelidis just 42 seconds into the contest.  It appeared the home team gained momentum from that, as Scott Timmins would score 24 seconds later for a 1-0 lead.  Yanni Gourde would tie the game up unassisted over three minutes later.  A physical first period was capped off by a second fight between Darcy Zajac and Tanner Richard.  Second period saw the Crunch take the lead on a Joel Vermin goal…and another fight between rookie Ben Thomson and Jake Dotchin.  Tim Sestito would tie the game up early in the third, and the Devils had to battle through 2 questionable penalty kills (by questionable I mean why did the new referee in training call Timmins for boarding, but earlier a similar hit that nearly injured Sestito not get called?) just to get to the end of regulation…and the dreaded overtime.  Albany had a golden opportunity to finally win an overtime game for the first time in over two years when they had a full 4 on 3 power play (in reality Reid Boucher should have been awarded a penalty shot, but a holding penalty was the call), but could not capitalize.  It was on to the shootout, where after both teams scored in round 2 (Paul Thompson with the goal), Richard scores in round 3 and Reid Boucher missed to give Syracuse the extra point…and the winless streak continued on.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 23 of 25 shots in 67 minutes only to be tagged with the loss.  Thompson and Reece Scarlett each had helpers.  And as for the penalty kill?  A perfect 7 for 7.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Paul Thompson-Scott Timmins

Mike Sislo-Reid Boucher-Graham Black

Tim Sestito-Ben Thomson-Stefan Matteau

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Rod Pelley

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Cam Janssen, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Peter Harrold/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Dan Kelly, Joe Faust

11/14 at Portland: 4-0 W

The Devils headed northeast to Maine for a weekend 2 game set against the Pirates.  Scott Clemmensen drew the start in the first game, matching up against former Devil Mike McKenna.  The top line came through in the first to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, as Joe Whitney scored his 4th of the season.  Also of note from the first, Mark Fraser was the first Devil this year to get called for the new penalty of playing without a helmet.  After a rather uneventful second period, the Devils broke out in the third period.  Reid Boucher scored just his second of the year 35 seconds into the period to double the lead.  Tim Sestito would add his fourth midway through for a 3-0 lead.  Finally, to top it all off, Fraser would score his first since returning to the Devils with 1:01 remaining to seal the win, breaking a six game winless drought and the first November victory.  Clemmensen picked up his first A-Devil win, stopping all 31 shots for the shutout.  Sestito and Mike Sislo added two assists apiece, while the penalty kill survived a Koharski called game (this time Jamie) and went a perfect 7 for 7.

Highlights from AHL Live can be found here.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Tim Sestito-Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Graham Black-Ben Thomson

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Cam Janssen, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Peter Harrold, Joe Faust

11/15 at Portland: 2-0 L

No lineup changes for the rematch on Saturday, except in Portland’s net, as Louis Domingue drew the start against Clemmensen.  After a rather uneventful first period, the hosts broke through in the second period.  Just as the Devils were finishing off their fourth penalty kill of the game, Alex Bolduc scored to give Portland a 1-0 lead, their first goal in a franchise record 169:02.  A scary moment happened later in the period, as Paul Thompson ran full speed into Domingue, sending him and the net flying.  Domingue had to leave the game due to injury, bringing in Mike McKenna for relief, and Thompson was assessed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for interference.  Albany managed to kill off the major, but without their leading scorer they could not come up with any offense to tie things up.  Eric Selleck would add an empty net goal with 39 seconds left in the game to seal the combined shutout, the first against Albany this season.  Clemmensen stopped 22 of 23 shots in picking up a hard luck loss.

Highlights from AHL Live can be found here.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

Graham Black-Ben Thomson-Stefan Matteau

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Cam Janssen, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Peter Harrold, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: Before Saturday night, who was the last goaltender to shut the Devils out during regulation in the regular season?  The answer is coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

A few candidates, but give it to the rookie.  Ben Thomson, second period on Wednesday.

My Player of the Week:

A few strong individual game performances, such as a three point effort from Tim Sestito on Friday and a shutout by Scott Clemmensen.  But this week I salute the penalty kill, who recovered very nicely from last weekend’s disaster in Bridgeport with a perfect week.  20 for 20 over the three games, jumping from dead last in the league into the top 20.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (9)

Assists: Scott Timmins (9)

Points: 2 tied with 14

+/-: Paul Thompson (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Corbin McPherson (35)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (2)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.18)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.920)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 9 GP, 8 points, 7 G, 1 A, +1, 0 PIM

Maxime Clermont (Orlando): 4 GP, 2-2-0, 4.05 GAA, .867 Save Pct.

Injury Report: Kelly Zajac and Cam Janssen remain on the out indefinitely list.  Dan Kelly returned on Friday after missing 3 games due to illness.

This Week’s Schedule:

Bad news, the first 3 in 3 weekend of the season is upon us.  But the good news?  It’s near minimal travel.  Friday night the Penguins come in for their second and final visit of the season.  Saturday it’s west on Interstate 88 to Binghamton for the first matchup against the Senators.  Then a quick turnaround back home on Sunday for yet another visit from Bridgeport.

Pop Quiz Answer: Last person to shut out the Devils in the regular season without overtime or a shootout?  Martin Jones, who picked up a 19 save 3-0 whitewash in Manchester on February 9th.  If you’re going by overtime, Peter Mannino of Wilkes-Barre pulled it off on April 5.  And during the first round playoff loss Michael Hutchinson beat Keith Kinkaid 1-0 in St. John’s in Game 3 on April 30th, the first/last postseason shutout.

 

 

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