KellyZajac

Notebook: Devils Get Healthy Down The Middle

TROY, NY

Part of Tuesday’s Albany Devils practice was spent working on a three-on-two drill with the forwards starting at the red line and the defensemen at the defensive-zone face-off dots. The Devils are trying to generate more offense this weekend, coming off a pair of 4-1 setbacks last weekend.

“We address it, but we don’t want to structure the entire practice around it,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “I think it’s more about guys bearing down on their chances. We have emphasized today and will all week about getting to the net and getting pucks there.”

Albany’s success this season has come when producing three goals — 18 of the team’s 22 victories have come when scoring three or more goals. But recent injuries have paid a toll on the Devils upfront – particularly down the middle.

With Graham Black, Rod Pelley, Scott Timmins and Kelly Zajac out of the lineup last week, Chris McKelvie — a left-winger — centered the fourth line.

Black and Zajac were back on the ice for Tuesday’s skate. Black joined Alexandre Carrier, Cam Janssen and Ben Johnson in blue jerseys. Zajac was in red along with Joe Whitney and Mike Sislo.

Rod Pelley will join the team tomorrow,” Kowalsky said. “Kelly Zajac is cleared and had been skating. He certainly should be available for a couple games depending on how he feels this weekend and Graham Black will see how the week goes. There have been four centers that have been in and out.”

The Devils have had some time to rest their ailments. Thanks to the schedule, the Devils did not have games last Saturday and Sunday and will go a week between games. The team appears to welcome the break in the schedule.

Kowalsky said: “This is a good week. We were able to do a little bit of conditioning, which is good because we haven’t had much time in the gym because of the amount of games we’ve had.

“We were able to give the players some rest, do some off-ice conditioning and still have three full days of practice. I think the biggest thing is getting guys healthy and we are looking at maybe 2-3 guys back by the weekend, which is a huge boost for the team.”

Points To Be Had

As the April regular-season deadline gets closer and closer, the standings get more important. The Devils will try and take advantage of three conference games this weekend. They host Hershey on Friday before a home-and-home series against Hartford Saturday and Sunday.

Eight points separate Albany from Hershey and five points are between Albany and Hartford.

“I feel that Friday’s game is so important and we need to play the right way,” Kowalsky said. “Getting some bodies back in the lineup will certainly give us a boost. We need to take advantage of our home ice this weekend. We’re chasing some top teams in the standings and, from weekend to weekend, you want to make sure you’re making up ground and not losing it. ”

The Devils are 0-1-1-0 against the Bears this season and 2-2-0-1 against the Wolf Pack.

Broadcast Information

All three games this week can be streamed online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the contests will be available on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.


College-Night

SEFCU College Nights

The Albany Devils and SEFCU have once again partnered for “SEFCU College Nights” at Times Union Center. All students receive a $10 ticket at the arena’s Box Office for all Devils Friday home games and for the Wednesday, Nov. 26 contest. Students who take advantage of the promotion will also receive a $1 voucher for a hot dog or soda.

Additionally, “Happy Hour” will be held during these games. Adults, 21-years-or-older, can purchase $2 domestic drafts between 6-7 pm on the arena’s concourse.

SEFCU College Night Schedule

Date Opponent (NHL Affiliate) Time
Nov. 21 vs. WB/Scranton (PIT) 7 pm
Nov. 26 vs. Hartford (NYR) 7pm
Jan. 2 vs. Syracuse (TBL) 7 pm
Jan. 9 vs. Hershey (WAS) 7 pm
Jan. 30 vs. St. John’s (WPG) 7 pm
Feb. 13 vs. Hershey (WAS) 7 pm
Mar. 13 vs. Worcester (SJS) 7 pm
Wedgewood-WTWF

What To Watch For: Feb. 9-15

Times Union Center Sendoff

The Albany Devils have only two home games this month and both take place this week. The team hosts the Hershey Bears Friday at 7 pm and the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at 3 pm. The Devils are 13-7-2-3 at home this season.

Road Ready

The Devils travel to face the Wolf Pack Saturday at XL Center for the first game in the weekend home-and-home series. Albany, which is 2-2-0-1 against Hartford this season, trails the Wolf Pack in the Northeast Division standings by five points.

Where They Stand

Entering the week, Albany is fifth in the Northeast Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference at 22-17-4-5 (53 pts.). Hershey is first in the East Division and third in the conference at 27-13-5-2 (61 pts.) and Hartford is third in the Northeast and fifth in the conference at 26-14-4-2 (58 pts.).

Friday Is For Students

SEFCU College Night returns for Friday’s game with $10 student tickets and vouchers for $1 hot dogs or sodas. Additionally, Happy Hour for all adults (21-or-older) is between 6-7 pm with $2 domestic drafts.

Pennant Giveaway

The first 1,500 fans to arrive at Times Union Center Sunday will receive a Devils pennant. Tickets for the contest can be purchased at the Times Union Center box office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Fans can also buy tickets via charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.

OnDeck | Feb. 13-15

The Devils are set to play their only two home games of the month this week. 

Friday, Feb. 13 | 7 PM

Hershey Bears vs. Albany Devils
Times Union Center
SEFCU College Night

Saturday, Feb. 14 | 7:30 PM

Albany Devils vs. Hartford Wolf Pack
XL Center
AHLLive.com | 104.5 “The Team”

Sunday, Feb. 15 | 3 PM

Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Albany Devils
Times Union Center
Albany Devils Pennant Giveaway (First 1,500)

 

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