The Weekly Primer, Issue 25

Quick Hits:

-The Devils begin the week with a record of 38-16-8-1, 85 points, and a .675 point percentage.  They remain stuck in second place in the North Division, 12 points behind first place Toronto and 13 points ahead of third place Utica.

-Playoff update: the magic number for Albany to clinch a spot is now down to 7.  If everything goes according to plan, they can clinch by the end of the week, becoming the second AHL team to punch their playoff ticket, joining the Marlies, who clinched on Saturday.  If the playoffs began today, Utica would be the first round opponent.

-The number of callups in New Jersey decreased to six on Monday, as Brian O’Neill was returned after not suiting up for either game over the weekend.  But with two forwards out due to injury/illness, Gunnar Hughes was summoned from Adirondack on a PTO.  He started the year in Albany’s training camp before signing with the Thunder.  In 58 games he has 20 points (11 G, 9 A).

Tuesday, 3/22 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 2.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 23-32-3-5, 54 points, .429 pct, 8th place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Alex Grant, 40 points (11 G, 29 A); Greg Carey, 39 points (25 G, 14 A); Craig Cunningham, 36 points (18 G, 18 A); Niklas Treutle, 11-15-5, 2.93 GAA; Marek Langhamer, 6-6-2, 3.46 GAA

Notes: The Falcons have won 3 of their last 10 (3-6-0-1); defenseman Philip Samuelsson was sent down by Arizona on Monday; this is the start of a 7 game road swing for Springfield, with stops in Portland (for 2), Wilkes-Barre, Utica, back to Albany, and then on to Bridgeport; since the last matchup nearly a month ago, the Falcons lost their leading scorer Dustin Jeffrey in a trade with the Penguins, receiving forward Matia Marcantuoni.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Friday, 3/25 @ Syracuse

Where: Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 4-0.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 27-25-10-3, 67 points, .515 pct, 5th place in North Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Tanner Richard, 48 points (10 G, 38 A); Jeff Tambellini, 42 points (24 G, 18 A); Anthony DeAngelo, 41 points (6 G, 35 A); Kristers Gudlevskis, 11-10-6, 2.99 GAA; Adam Wilcox, 9-10-6, 3.27 GAA

Notes: The Crunch begin the week winners of two straight after sweeping St. John’s on home ice last weekend; they will play 7 of their final 11 games on home ice, with three trips east to Utica and one trip to Lehigh Valley mixed in; former River Rat and captain Mike Angelidis is done for the season due to injury; since returning to the Crunch on March 11th, Jonathan Drouin has 5 goals in 6 games.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @Allovimo, @CrunchSyracuse

Saturday, 3/26 @ Hershey

Where: Giant Center, Hershey, PA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 35-18-4-7, 81 points, .633 pct, 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Chris Bourque, 68 points (26 G, 42 A); Riley Barber, 47 points (22 G, 25 A); Travis Boyd, 45 points (18 G, 27 A); Dan Ellis, 22-9-4, 2.34 GAA; Justin Peters, 13-8-7, 3.21 GAA

Notes: The Bears are coming off a home and home sweep against Wilkes-Barre over the weekend, pushing them out of the division lead; they travel to Lehigh Valley and Utica this week before coming home on Saturday; forward Chris Bourque continues to lead the league in scoring, sitting 5 points ahead of T.J. Brennan and Seth Griffith; since the last time the two teams faced each other, Scott Gomez moved on to Ottawa after picking up 24 points in 18 games, and Washington acquired the other Bourque, Ryan, from the Rangers.

Listen: AHL Live, Fox Sports 1460

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheHersheyBears, @ChocHockey, @ScottStuccio

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