Devils Enter Break After 4-1 Loss At Bridgeport

ALBANY, NY — Dan Kelly’s goal with less than five minutes remaining wasn’t enough of a spark as the Albany Devils lost, 4-1, against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday at Webster Bank Arena. The tally, which was Kelly’s career-high tying third of the season, spoiled Jean-Francois Berube’s shutout bid. The Sound Tigers’ netminder made his fifth appearance of the season and registered his fourth victory.

Offensively, Mike Halmo tallied a hat trick and Carter Verhaeghe also scored as the Sound Tigers (23-19-2-1) won for the fourth consecutive game. The Devils (24-12-7-0) had its two-game point streak halted.

Albany rookie Ken Appleby made his AHL debut after being reassigned by the New Jersey Devils from the Adirondack Thunder (ECHL) Thursday. The transaction took place a day after Scott Wedgewood injured his right shoulder in a 3-2 overtime win against Hershey. Appleby entered the contest having posted a 14-8-2 record in the ECHL with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

On Saturday, the 20-year-old made 17 stops, including eight in the first, five in the second and four in the third.

The Sound Tigers were able to get to Appleby early. Halmo scored at 10:33 of the first period and Verhaeghe followed with a backdoor play at 19:30. Halmo made it a 3-0 game at 6:16 of the second.

Kelly’s goal came at 15:41 of the third. He unloaded a slapper from the left point. His shot shattered a defenders stick before finding the back of the net.

Halmo completed the hat trick into the empty net with 1:07 remaining in regulation.

Albany wasn’t without their chances – particularly on the power play. The team entered the contest with the second best power-play percentage in the AHL (23.1 percent), but Bridgeport and Berube kept them off the board on all eight man-up advantages.

• The Essentials

Shots: Albany 25, Bridgeport 21
Power Play: Albany 0-8, Bridgeport 0-4
Three Stars: 1. Mike Halmo (BRI), 2. Jean-Francois Berube (BRI), 3. Kane Lafranchise (BRI)

• Next Up

After the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic, the Devils return to action Friday with a 7:05 pm road game against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.