ALBANY, NY — Scott Wedgewood made 23 saves for his second career shutout, helping the Albany Devils to a 2-0 victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday. Harri Pesonen and Rod Pelley both scored as the Devils improved to 31-20-3-7 overall and 17-7-2-0 at Times Union Center this season.
The Devils defense kept the Wolf Pack at bay for most of the night, limiting them to just four shots after 38 minutes.
“It shows what we’re capable of doing as far as playing defensively,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “When you have the puck and you play in the offensive zone, whether you get chances or not, it keeps a team from coming the other way.”
“It was good getting that work and a couple of power plays there,” Wedgewood said. “You know they are going to press late in a game like that, so we did a good job keeping everything in front and communicating. Obviously, the two points are a lot more important than the shutout to me.”
Offensively, Tim Sestito and David Wohlberg deserve as much praise for Pesonen and Pelley’s goal. Sestito ripped a turnaround shot in the high slot that hit Hartford netminder Dov Grumet-Morris‘ shoulder and hung on the goal line. Pesonen outraced everyone else for a tap in, game-winning goal at 7:05 of the second period.
“I tried to hit Sestito late and he was able to still grab the puck and take a shot,” Pesonen said of the play. “After shots, we try to get guys to the net and follow the rebounds. It’s hard to score five-on-five, so once we get shots we need guys to bang it in. We want to be aggressive and our path has to go straight to the net and it has been rewarding us lately.”
Albany’s second goal was a result of Wohlberg using a power move towards goal and the rebound kicked out to Pelley crashing the net at 13:49 of the third period.
Pesonen extended his goal scoring streak to three games and his point streak to four. Sestito now has five points (4g-1a) in six games. Pelley registered his 12th tally of the year and Wohlberg posted his third assist in as many games.
Albany, which is 5-2-0-1 against Hartford, went 3-3 on the penalty kill, including a full two minutes with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
The Devils remain at Times Union Center for a 5 pm outing against the Crunch Sunday. Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the game can be heard on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.
SPRINGFIELD, MA — Joe Whitney’s record-breaking night was spoiled during the Albany Devils 6-4 setback against the Springfield Falcons Friday at MassMutual Center. Whitney registered a first period goal for his 141st point in a Devils uniform, breaking Stephen Gionta’s franchise scoring record.
The Devils winger, who has a team-best 21 goals this season, has registered 62 goals and 80 assists in 197 career games. Gionta produced 58 goals and 82 assists in 371 games between 2006-13.
Harri Pesonen added to Albany’s lead with his 10th of the season at 18:50 of the first; Whitney registered the lone assist.
Springfield, which was 3-3 on the power play, outshot Albany, 28-23.
The Devils return to Times Union Center Saturday for a 5 pm outing against the Hartford Wolf Pack. As part of “Pucks ’N’ Paws” night. Fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to the game and portions of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Mohawk & Hudson Humane Society. Tickets are $13 for individuals and $5 for their dogs, with $5 being donated to the Humane Society. To participate in “Pucks ‘N’ Paws,” fans can purchase tickets by contacting the Devils Executive Office at (518) 433-8457 or by visiting thealbanydevils.com/paws.
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For the first time since Feb. 23, the Albany Devils return to Times Union Center. They host the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at 5 pm for the team’s annual “Pucks ‘N’ Paws” game. The Devils own a .625 winning percentage (16‐9‐2‐1) at home, outscoring opponents 86-70. Minus the three home games played at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, Albany is 16‐7‐2‐0 at Times Union Center, outscoring the competition 82‐61.
Harri Pesonen and David Wohlberg are finding their names on the scoresheet more frequently. Pesonen, who has 25 points (10g-15a) in 59 games, has two goals and an assist in the last three contests. Wohlberg, who has seven points (3g-4a) in 46 outings, has a goal and two helpers in the last five games.
Players To Watch
Devils vs. Wolf Pack Series
The Devils and Wolf Pack will meet for the 51st time on Saturday. The Devils are 27-17-2-4 all-time against the Wolf Pack, including a 14-8-1-2 home mark and a 13-9-1-2 road record. This season, Albany is 4-2-0-1 against Hartford.
Last time out, Albany erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie the game, but Hartford’s Ryan Bourque scored at 12:25 to give the Wolf Pack a 4-3 victory last Saturday at XL Center. Brandon Burlon, Mike Sislo and Joe Whitney scored for the Devils and Scott Wedgewood made 17 stops.
Saturday’s game will be the final regular season match between Albany and Hartford.
|Hartford Wolf Pack||60||26||28||0||6||58||0.483|
The AHL announced Friday the following scoring changes
March 7, 2014 at Portland
ALB #2 – Add assist to 14-Boucher… Goal now reads: Timmins (Boucher)
March 8, 2014 at Hartford
ALB #2 – Remove assist from 12-Sestito, add assist to 5-Larsson… Goal now reads: Sislo (Pesonen, Larsson)
March 9, 2014 at Worcester
WOR #1 – Remove ALB on-ice #6, add ALB on-ice #7
ALB #2 – Credit goal to 16-McKelvie instead of 25-Wohlberg, add assist to Wohlberg, remove assist from 33-McPherson… Goal now reads: McKelvie (Wohlberg, Pelley)
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Eight points separate the second-place Albany Devils and the first-place Springfield Falcons in the Northeast Division. The two teams meet Friday at MassMutual Center (7 pm) for what is considered a “four-point contest”. For the Devils, the outing marks the last of a five-game road trip and a six-game stink away from Times Union Center.
Players To Watch
Devils vs. Falcons Series
The Devils and Falcons are meeting for the 59th time. The Devils are 28-24-2-4 overall with a 13-11-2-3 home mark and a 15-13-0-1 road record. Albany is 6-4-1-1 during the last 12 meetings, including a 2-3-1-0 record this season.
During their last meeting, the Devils lost, 4-0, at MassMutual Center on Feb. 4. Alex Aleardi, Spencer Machacek, Frederic St. Denis and Jonathan Marchessault each scored for Springfield and former Devil Mike McKenna made 25 saves. For Albany, Scott Wedgewood made 27 saves.
Albany and Springfield will meet for the final time at Times Union Center on Apr. 19 – the last day of the regular season.
ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils haven’t had a game at Times Union Center in nearly three weeks and the team hasn’t had consecutive practices at the downtown facility since the beginning of January. On Wednesday and Thursday the team was on the home ice, preparing for games at Springfield Friday, against Hartford Saturday and against Syracuse Sunday.
Entering the weekend, the team is in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference — just two points out of fifth place. The Devils went 1-1-0-1 last weekend with a shootout win at Portland, a loss at Hartford and a shootout setback at Worcester. Albany, which claimed three-out-of-six points, outshot opponents, 112-65.
“I thought we outplayed all three teams,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “I think during the Portland game we gave up six chances. We gave up eight in Hartford and we gave up seven [at Worcester]. At the other side of that we were 14, 15 and 18 by our count as far as chances. We certainly did a lot of good things this past weekend. I told the guys sometimes the pucks just don’t go in.”
The Devils hope to continue their offensive success where they have a +16 goal differential. The plan for the upcoming games is not much different than what the team tried to accomplish on the road last weekend.
“Our message has been we’re not changing things,” Kowalsky said. “Bear down. We looked at some other options in the offensive zone as far as finding some guys when we get pucks at the blue line, but no, there isn’t much we can change.”
Friday’s contest at Springfield concludes a five-game road trip. Both Saturday and Sunday’s outings are slated for 5 pm puck drops.
• Both practices this week concluded with a shootout contest. Although the team has a good time with — what appears to be — a light-hearted drill at times, Kowalsky says he takes notice of how players perform.
“As a coach, you’re looking at what they do as a move and what their thought process is going out,” he said. “Especially, if they shoot multiple times. So I think its still beneficial, whether some of these guys will see the shootout or not remains to be seen.”
• Tim Sestito, who is the longest tenure player on the roster, is on a four game point streak with two goals and two assists. His line, which also consists of Mike Sislo and Harri Pesonen, registered seven points last week.
“He’s just playing smart, hard, simple hockey and not making a lot of mistakes.” Kowalsky said of Sestito. “He’s picked up his physical play and his energy a little bit here. I think that line’s been good for us. He’s made those two guys better. His responsible play and his veteran presence has certainly helped those guys.”
Reid Boucher, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac