Devils Fight Back To Extend Winning Streak

HARTFORD, CT – After finding themselves trailing early, the Albany Devils mounted a comeback to dismantle the Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-3, Saturday at XL Center. Matt Lorito scored twice and Reid Boucher had a goal and an assist.

Netminder Scott Wedgewood extended his winning streak to three games with his fourth victory of the season. He made 30 stops, including 17 in the first period.

Corey Tropp also scored and Joseph Blandisi registered a pair of helpers as the Devils moved their winning streak to four games. They improve to 20-8-3-0. The Wolf Pack’s winning streak ended at two games; they move to 14-17-2-0.

Chad Nehring, Ryan Bourque and Marek Hrivik each scored for Hartford. Goaltender Jeff Malcolm suffered his second loss of the season. He had 28 stops.

HIGHLIGHTS & GAME NOTES

• Lorito registered his first multi-goal game and seventh multi-point performance of the season. He entered the contest tied for second in the AHL with 15 power-play points and increased his total with a man-up tally. In 29 outings, Lorito has a team-high 25 points (7g-18a).

• Boucher’s goal and an assist produced his seventh multi-point game of the year. He registered his 12th goal of the season and extended his point streak to three games (2g-2a). He has nine points (3g-6a) in the last 10 outings. Boucher is tied for second on the team with 23 points (12g-11a) in 25.

• Tropp tallied his eighth goal of the campaign, giving him three points (2g-1a) in the last four outings. In 31 games, he has 20 points (8g-12a), which ranks fourth on the team.

• With two assists, Blandisi posted his fourth multi-point game of the year. He is fifth on the team with 19 points (7g-12a) in 23 contests.

• Wedgewood improved to 4-1-0. During his current three-game winning streak he has posted a 1.67 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage, stopping 81 of 86 shots.

• With an assist, Jim O’Brien extended his point streak to four games (3g-2a), giving him nine points (5g-4a) in as many games.

• Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, Dan Kelly and Brandon Burlon each had assists. Gragnani has 15 points (all assists) in 24 contests and Kelly has eight points (1g-7a) in 28 outings. Burlon has 13 points (3g-10a) in 28 games.

TURNING POINT

Tropp and Lorito scored within three and a half minutes of each other during the third period to break the 2-2 tie and give the Devils some breathing room. Lorito’s tally, which came at 8:27, would be the game-winning goal as Hrivik pulled Hartford within one with just 7:17 remaining in the regulation.

HOW IT PLAYED OUT

The Wolf Pack jumped out to a 2-0 advantage before the midway point of the first period, capitalizing twice on a four-minute power play. First, Nehring found a loose puck in front of the net and chipped a shot into the upper-right corner at 11:21.

Less than two minutes later, Bourque added to the lead with a shot from the right hash mark at 12:42.

Albany responded near the end of the period with the game’s third power-play goal. Lorito’s initial shot was stopped, but he followed his own rebound, sneaking the puck over the goal line. The play was reviewed as the officials tried to determine if the puck crossed the line. After a length deliberation and video review, the call on the ice – a good goal – stood at 15:42.

In the second, the Devils found the equalizer in the closing minutes of the period. O’Brien set a pass from near the left post to a wide open Boucher in the slot. He snapped a shot into a gaping net at 16:42.

Tropp gave Albany the lead at 5:04 of the third. Boucher made a pass to Tropp just over the blueline. He turned on the jets, outpacing a Wolf Pack defenseman and then went shortside on Malcolm for the power-play tally.

Lorito scored on a similar shot minutes later after Blandisi set him up for a wrister from the left hash mark.

Hartford, which didn’t have a shot on goal until less than 10 minutes remaining in the third, made it a one-goal game when Hrivik scored from the left post at 12:43.

THE ESSENTIALS

Shots: Albany 32, Hartford 33
Power Play: Albany 2-5, Hartford 2-3
Three Stars: 1. Matt Lorito (ALB), 2. Joseph Blandisi (ALB), 3. Chad Nehring (HFD)

NEXT UP

Albany returns home Friday with a 7 pm outing against division rival the Syracuse Crunch.

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