Devils Hit The Road Before Holiday
by Kevin Zalaznik // 12.18.2012 // Feature
5 Thinks To Know About This Week
1 – The Albany Devils have earned at least one point in each game in December. The team began the month by tying a franchise record with five consecutive wins before losing in a shootout last Saturday. The Devils have moved into third place in the Northeast Division and are tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 9-8-0-6 record (24 pts.), including a 5-3-0-2 road mark.
2 – On Monday, the American Hockey League announced that Bobby Butler had been selected the CCM/AHL Player of the Week. In three games, he scored six goals and tallied an assist for seven points and posted a plus-5 rating. Last Wednesday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, he tied franchise records with four goals and five points. He added to his totals with goals at the Connecticut Whale Friday and against the Providence Bruins Saturday.
3 – The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are 2-5-1-2 in their last 10 games, including a 3-1 loss against the Devils on Dec. 8 at Times Union Center. Bridgeport is second in the Northeast Division and tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 12-11-1-2 showing (27 pts.). The Sound Tigers are 6-3-0-1 at Webster Bank Arena.
4 – The Norfolk Admirals, who are 4-5-1-0 in their last 10, have earned at least one point in their last three contests, going 2-0-1-0. They are fifth in the East Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference with an 11-12-1-0 mark (23 pts.). The Admirals are 6-6-1-0 at Norfolk Scope Arena.
5 – All three games this week can be heard on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio. Each game features 10 minute pre- and post-game shows. Additionally, fans can follow along with free audio and pay-per-view video at ahllive.com.
• Albany’s five-game winning streak, which was spoiled Saturday in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Providence Bruins, is tied for the longest in club history. The team also won five in a row three other times: Nov. 21-29, 2008, Nov. 7-14, 2009 and Mar. 9-16, 2011.
• The Devils, who are 6-2-0-1 within their division, are 5-2-0-1 when leading after one and 7-0-0-1 when leading after two.
• Albany’s penalty kill unit ranks sixth in the league with an 86.4 percentage, allowing 16 goals on 118 attemps. The Devils have also registered four shorthanded goals, which ranks tied for third.
• Bobby Butler joined Matt Halischuk and David Clarkson as the only players in team history to register five points in a game when he posted four goals and an assist against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wednesday. Halischuk and Clarkson both registered four goals and an assist. Halischuk’s performance came against Worcester on Oct. 11, 2008, while Clarkson’s was against Philadelphia on Jan. 12, 2007.
Butlers’ performance Wednesday featured the Devils first hat trick since Joe Whitney potted three at the Springfield Falcons on Jan. 21, 2012. Also, it was Albany’s first four goal performance and hat trick at home since Chad Wiseman accomplished the feat on March 9, 2011 against Bridgeport.
With additional tallies Friday and Saturday, Butler is riding a six game point streak, which includes seven goals and three assists. His scoring streak is tied for third longest in franchise history behind Michael Swift’s 10 games (7g-5a) between Dec. 11-Jan. 7, 2011 and Niclas Bergfors eight games (5g-5a) between Feb. 14-27, 2009.
• With wins against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday and at the Connecticut Whale Friday, Keith Kinkaid extended his winning streak to five games. During the stretch, he has posted a 1.80 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. Kinkaid is a win away from tying the AHL Devils record of six consecutive wins, which was accomplished by Jeff Frazee between Nov. 21-Dec. 5, 2008 and Mike McKenna between Mar. 5-19, 2011.
• With a three point night Wednesday, Steve Zalewski reached the 200 career point plateau. Now in his sixth full season, he has accumulated 201 points behind 73 goals and 128 assists in 331 games. This season, Zalewski has registered nine points with two goals and seven assists.
• Jacob Josefson increased his team lead with 16 points thanks to four assists during the last three contests. For the season, he has registered eight goals and eight assists in 23 games.
• Joe Whitney moved into third on the team with a three point week. He registered a pair of assists Wednesday and added a helper Saturday. This year, he has posted 13 points with four goals and nine assists.
• Adam Larsson, who is the only defenseman to appear in all 23 games, continues to lead the blueliners with 12 points, including two goals and a team-high 10 assists.
• On Friday, Albany Devils General Manager Chris Lamoriello issed a statement indicating that Matt Corrente underwent successful shoulder surgery and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.