ALBANY, NY — Harri Pesonen connected with Tim Sestito midway through the third period for the game-winning goal in the Albany Devils 2-1 victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday at Times Union Center. The win improves the Devils to 24-14-3-3, while the Sound Tigers go to 18-23-1-4.
The winner came at 8:13 after Rod Pelley moved the puck to Pesonen at the right half wall. The winger’s pass first found an opening and then found Sestito cutting to the net for a one-timer.
“It was a good change by that whole line ahead of us,” Sestito said when asked to describe the goal. “We got fresh guys out there and I came off the bench late. Pesonen and Pelley made an exchange and I just tried to get lost behind them. Pesonen made a great pass, a rocket, on an angle towards the net and it went in.
“I saw he saw me, but I didn’t think he was going to get the pass through. Pelley was coming down the slot and he was pretty open too. All their guys ended up looking at them and Pesonen turned his wrist and fired one through to me and I put it in.”
The first two goals of the game came near the end of the first period. Kelly Zajac and Mattias Tedenby setup Reid Boucher for a wrister at 13:37. Bridgeport responded moments later with a power-play goal by Alan Quine at 15:14.
“Whitney, Boucher, Timmins, Tedenby, Zajac: those guys have to understand they’re going to get keyed on,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “Not every night is going to go their way, but you have to continue to play the right way away from the puck.”
In a rebound effort, Keith Kinkaid made 27 saves for his 17th win of the season. His performance marked the 11th time the Devils netminder allowed one or fewer goals this season.
“I think the puck was hitting me tonight,” Kinkaid said. “The past few games it hasn’t been hitting me. It’s the ups and downs of the season and it’s hitting me now. We played a great team game. We look like we’re back to where we were in the beginning of the season.”
At the other end, Anders Nilsson made 20 saves in his 21st appearance of the season.
The Devils, who held the Sound Tigers without a shot for the first 13:04, ended up trailing in the shot total: 28-22.
Next up, Albany heads to face the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at XL Center. Fans can follow the 7 pm game online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the contest will air on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.