ALBANY, NY – An Albany Devils comeback effort was squandered for the second time is as many nights as they suffered a 5-3 setback in a back-and-forth game against the Syracuse Crunch Monday at Times Union Center.
Steve Zalewski registered his second and third points in the last two games with a goal and an assist. Mike Sislo chipped in a goal and Jacob Josefson scored in his return to Albany. Defenseman Alexander Urbom had a pair of assists and Keith Kinkaid made 20 saves on 24 tries.
For Syracuse, which extended its winning streak to four games, Tyler Johnson netted a hat-trick and Dana Tyrell and Brett Connolly added goals. Between the pipes, Cedrick Desjardins stopped 23 shots on 26 attempts for his eighth win of the season and first with the Crunch.
Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead with tallies from Tyrell and Johnson 45 seconds apart in the first. Tyrell scored at 9:40 and Johnson found the back of the net at 10:14.
Albany cut the lead in half on the power play as Zalewski’s backhand feed found a crashing Sislo in tight at 14:32. However, Johnson restored the Crunch’s two-goal lead at 3:45 of the third redirecting a pass from J.T. Wyman.
Zalewski brought the Devils back within one, beating Desjardins low, glove-side at 7:26 of the third. After Johnson completed the hat trick at 14:27, Josefson’s wrist shot gave the Devils new life with 90 seconds to play after pulling Kinkaid for the extra man. After a flurry of chances in the final minute, Albany could not find the equalizer and Brett Connolly sealed the win for the Crunch with an empty-netter at 19:57.
– Steve Zalewski is now tied for second on the team with 27 points, backed by nine goals and 18 assists. He has three points (2g-1a) in the last two games.
– Alexander Urbom registered his second multi-point game of the season.
– Syracuse’s goaltender Riku Helenius was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 17. He did not play in tonight’s game.
Goaltenders: Keith Kinkaid, Jeff Frazee
Defensemen: Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Raman Hrabarenka, Dan Kelly, Corbin McPherson, Alexander Urbom
Forwards: Matt Anderson, Phil DeSimone, Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Joe Whitney, Chad Wiseman, Darcy Zajac, Steve Zalewski
The Devils travel to face the Binghamton Senators Sunday at 7:05 pm. Fans can follow the action on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio or online at ahllive.com.