Syracuse, NY — Evan Rankin netted the game-winning goal at 8:21 of the third period, helping the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 victory against the Albany Devils Friday at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The teams were tied 1-1 after two period and Rankin followed up on his own rebound to end a three-game losing streak against Albany.
With the loss and a Providence (83 pts) shootout win, the Devils move to seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 35-22-4-8 record (82 pts.). Albany also lost ground on fifth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (86 pts), which won against Bridgeport.
Harri Pesonen scored the Devils goal, which opened the scoring at 11:30 of the second period. Entering the slot, he fired a shot wide right, but the puck deflected off the end board and popped back in front where he buried his 13th goal of the season. Alexander Urbom and goaltender Scott Wedgewood were credited with the assists.
Syracuse tied the game when Cedric Paquette scored off a rebound with 2:02 remaining in the second period.
Wedgewood finished with 23 saves for just his second loss in his last seven starts. Entering the night, he had a 1.32 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage in his last seven games.
At the other end, Kristers Gudlevskis made 16 saves for his 17th win of the season.
The Devils, who are 3-2-0-0 against the Crunch this season, went 1-3 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill.
Next up, the Devils will try and close the gap between the Penguins with a 7:05 pm start at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game is available online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the game can be heard on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.