ALBANY, NY — Special teams powered the Albany Devils to a 4-2 victory against the St. John’s IceCaps during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Times Union Center. More than 8,000 fans witnessed the Devils net three power-play goals and stave off a minute and 24 second 5-on-3 penalty kill during the third period to tie the series, 1-1.
“It’s important, but it’s something we’ve addressed before and I think this time of year it’s just about taking advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky when asked about the special teams. “We had a lot tonight and some of them were sloppy, but we got three power-play goals. In these types of games you’re certainly going to end up on the right side of it most nights.”
Mattias Tedenby and Kelly Zajac led Albany with two points each. Tedenby had the game-winning goal and posted an assist, while Zajac helped setup the tying goal and the winner. Reid Boucher and Scott Timmins netted the team’s first and fourth goals, respectively.
In goal, Keith Kinkaid made 30 saves, including 20 in the third period.
“I thought he got better as the game went on,” Kowalsky said. “When we really needed him, he rose to the challenge and in the third period he was unbelievable.”
St. John’s Brenden Kichton netted both of his team’s goals. He opened the scoring at 10:10 of the first and tied the game, 2-2, at 5:11 of the second period.
Boucher got Albany on the board at 11:09 of the first and Stefan Matteau gave the home team the advantage heading into the intermission, netting a power-play goal at 16:56.
In the second and after Kichton’s second tally, Tedenby netted the winner with a wrister from below the left face-off circle.
“I kind of gave Tedenby a heads up that I saw their defenseman was so far back,” Zajac said. “Obviously, it was a power play, so it was 5-on-4 and I just pushed it forward. All of their guys went forward except for that defenseman because he was so far back. It just made an easy play towards Tedenby and he put it in.”
Timmins added the insurance goal on the power play, redirecting Mike Sislo’s bid at 10:01 of the third.
The Devils, who owned a 34-32 shot advantage, went 3-9 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill.
The series now shifts to Mile One Centre for the duration. Wednesday’s Game 3 is slated for 6 pm (ET). Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com.
It’s easy to point at scoring as the deciding factor, but the Albany Devils secured their 4-2 victory by killing off a minute and 24 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey during the third period. St. John’s threw everything at the Devils net. The penalty kill unit, backed stopped by Keith Kinkaid, protected Albany’s two-goal advantage.