Devils Still Alive
Worcester, MA — The Albany Devils defeated the Worcester Sharks, 3-2, Sunday at DCU Center and kept their hopes of a playoff berth alive, thanks to the regulation win and the Portland Pirates loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Devils improve to 34-28-5-6 (79 pts.) and trail the Pirates and Springfield Falcons by four points with three games remaining.
The Devils trailed by one after the Sharks netted a late first period power-play goal, ending a perfect 30 for 30 streak over seven-plus games for Albany’s penalty kill. With 48 seconds remaining, Worcester winger Danill Tarasov found a pass down low and beat Scott Wedgewood short side from a tough angle to make the score 1-0.
Reid Boucher netted a power-play goal midway through the second period to tie the game at 1-1. His blast from the top of the right circle beat Worcester netminder Aaron Dell. Matt Lorito and Raman Hrabarenka picked up the helpers on Boucher’s 14th of the season.
The Devils doubled their lead with another power-play goal at 7:32 in the third period. Paul Thompson netted his team-leading 33rd goal and passed Chris Minard (2006-07), setting a new franchise record for goals in a season. The right-winger is second in the league in goals, one behind Grand Rapids Teemu Pulkkinen.
Stefan Matteau gave Albany some much needed insurance with an empty-net goal at 18:46, but the Sharks still had some life in them coming within one with 23.3 seconds left on the clock.
Wedgewood picked up his 13th win of the season, stopping 26 shots faced. Albany owned a 30-28 shot advantage.
Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau returned to the Devils lineup after being recalled by New Jersey on March 21 … Paul Thompson set the franchise record for goals in a season, previously held by Chris Minard (2006-07), with 33 … Raman Hrabarenka has two points (1g-1a) since being returned by New Jersey on Friday… Joe Whitney tallied his 33rd assist and is tied with Thompson for first on the team with 53 points.
The Devils return to Times Union Center Wednesday against the Syracuse Crunch. Tickets for the 7 pm game can be purchased at the Times Union Center box office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Fans can also buy tickets via charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com. Those not at the game can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com.