ALBANY, NY — A well-rounded offensive attack, backed by 23 saves from Scott Wedgewood lifted the Albany Devils to a 4-3 victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday at Times Union Center. The win improves the Devils to 5-1-0-1 — the best start in franchise history.
After exchanging goals in the first period, the Devils, who have a point in six-straight games, exploded for three goals in the second period. Stefan Matteau netted his first goal of the season at 4:04 and Jon Merrill followed with a power-play tally at 7:44. Scott Timmins capped the scoring at 13:36.
“The second period was our best and a real strong period,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “You go through those stages in games, momentum, surge, whatever it was. We certainly felt it on the bench and it was good to see. You get one line buzzing, you get another line buzzing, next thing you know you draw a couple penalties and you get momentum off the power play and you score a goal.”
Timmins’ goal extended his point streak to seven games, tying him with Matt Halischuk (Feb. 14-27, 2009) for third longest span in team history.
“As a group I thought we got off to, not the start we wanted, a little slow, but we certainly came out and corrected that in the second,” Kowalsky said. “It was good to get some help from some other guys, no question about it. We’re going to need that moving forward.”
In the defensive zone, Albany allowed more than two goals for just the second time this season. Despite allowing a rare third goal, Albany’s defense played a part in the offense.
“We don’t really give the opposition much when they come into our zone,” Timmins said. “We’ve been frustrating a lot of teams. I think if we keep doing that and the way we’re going, we’re doing alright.”
Hartford received goals from Ryan Bourque at 9:27 of the first and third period goals from Andrew Rowe at 6:56 and Aaron Johnson at 19:47. Jeff Malcolm, who was chased after two periods, made 19 saves and Scott Stajcer had six stops.
Albany went 1-3 on the power play, 5-6 on the penalty kill and owned a 29-26 shot advantage.
The Devils return to action Saturday with a 5 pm contest against the Portland Pirates.