Devils, Checkers Face Off Wednesday
DEVILS (2-1-0-0) vs. CHECKERS (1-4-0-0)
Times Union Center – Oct. 20, 2010 – 7:00 pm
The Series: Technically, these two organizations have never met considering the Checkers, who used to be the Albany River Rats, were sold and relocated to Charlotte. However, dating back to when the Devils were in Lowell and the Checkers were in Albany, the Checkers organization owns an 8-5-0-1 overall record. The two teams split their two-game series last year with the Devils dropping the first game, 5-4, in overtime on Nov. 6, but rebounding for a 3-2 win on Dec. 18.
The last time they met, the Devils received goals from Nick Palmieri, Ben Walter and Alexander Vasyunov, who scored the game-winner 11:43 into the third period. Despite being outshot, 36-27, the Devils relied on Mike McKenna to turn away 34 shots, including 15 in the third period, to earn the win. Zach Boychuk and Jamie McBain were the goal scorers for the River Rats.
Big Story: The game marks the first time the Checkers return to the Times Union Center since departing last spring for Charlotte. The AHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes, called the Capital Region home for four seasons. The Devils on the other hand have returned to Albany after departing for Lowell in 2006. On June 10, the team signed a long-term deal, keeping hockey in Albany.
Albany: The Devils have shared the wealth putting the puck in the back of the net. Entering Wednesday’s game only David McIntyre has more than one goal. He joined Stephen Gionta on the score sheet with a pair during opening night. Vladimir Zharkov registered a team-high three points during the two games last weekend. He netted his first goal of the season in a 3-2, shootout win against Hartford and followed with two helpers in a 4-3, overtime win at Adirondack.
Charlotte: The Checkers are looking to get back in the win column after going on a three game skid, including a pair of setbacks against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday (4-2) and Sunday (4-3). Jon Matsumoto leads the team with six points, including two goals and four assists, while Jerome Samson is first in goals with four. Goaltenders Mike Murphy and Justin Pogge have split time. Murphy is 1-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average, while Pogge is 0-2 with a 4.59 average.
Stat Pack: Harry Young made his pro debut and scored his first goal in the Devils win at Adirondack on Saturday, helping even the Times Warner Cable Cup series at 1-1. Young was one of five Devil players who have made their AHL debut this season Mark Fayne, Adam Henrique, Dan Kelly and Mattias Tedenby are the other.
Puck Drop: When Olivier Magnan got recalled to New Jersey on Monday, Albany lost its assistant captain. It is yet to be determined who will fill the void and wear the “A”.