Five Things To Know About This Week
1 – The Albany Devils prepare for back-to-back divisional games this weekend. They host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday at 5 pm and then travel to the Connecticut Whale Sunday at 3 pm. Albany, which has played the fewest games in the AHL (18), is fifth in the Northeast Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference with a 5-8-0-5 record (15pts.). The team is 2-5-0-3 at home and 3-3-0-2 on the road. Bridgeport is second in the division and ninth in the conference with a 10-9-0-1 mark (21 pts.), including a 5-6-0-0 road record. Connecticut is third in the division and tied for 10th in the conference with a 9-9-2-0 record (20 pts.), including a 3-5-1-0 home mark.
2 – Coming off a 3-2 win at the Adirondack Phantoms Saturday, the Devils are 3-2-0-1 against divisional opponents this season.
3 – The Devils and Sound Tigers are meeting for the first of six contests. Albany is 12-16-3-5 against Bridgeport all-time and in 2011-12 the Devils posted a 2-4-0-0 record. Ten of the Devils 12 wins all-time against the Sound Tigers have come on home ice, going 10-5-1-2.
4 – Saturday’s game will be the third of six meetings between the Devils and the Whale. Connecticut claimed a 5-2 win on Oct. 24 and a 2-1 shootout victory on Nov. 2. Both outings were at Times Union Center. The Devils are 19-16-2-3 all-time against the Whale and 9-8-1-1 at XL Center.
5 – The Devils have signed center Stephen Gionta to an AHL contract. The announcement was made Monday by Albany General Manager Chris Lamoriello. Gionta, 29, is the AHL Devils all-time leader for points (135), goals (56), assists (79), shots (815) and games played (360). He served as team captain for four of the last five seasons. In 2011-12, he appeared in 56 games, producing 16 points with six goals and 10 assists before being recalled by the New Jersey Devils on April 5. He scored his first NHL goal on April 7 against the Ottawa Senators. Gionta was a member of the 2012 Eastern Conference Championship team, playing in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He registered seven points with three goals and four assists.
• The Devils announced last Wednesday that center Adam Henrique is expected to miss four to six weeks after a procedure to repair the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) in his left thumb. He suffered the injury during the Nov. 25 game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Atlantic City, NJ.
• Adam Larsson has six points, including two goals and four assists, in the last eight games. For the season, he ranks second on the team with 10 points with two goals and a team-high eight assists.
• Jacob Josefson continues to lead the team for points (12), goals (8), power-play goals (2) and shorthanded goals (2). Additionally, he ranks second with a plus-6 rating.
• Keith Kinkaid turned aside a career-high 44 shots at Adirondack Saturday. His previous personal best was 37, which he accomplished four times: Nov. 9, 2012 at Providence, Mar. 17, 2012 at Hershey, Mar. 9, 2012 at Syracuse and Feb. 12, 2012 at Providence.
• Jeff Frazee has allowed just one goal in a game four times this season: Oct. 26 vs. Adirondack, Nov. 2 vs. Connecticut, Nov. 10 vs. Adirondack and Nov. 30 vs. St. John’s. He is 3-3-0-2 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.
• Mattias Tedenby netted the game-winning goal at Adirondack Saturday. He is third on the team with four goals and tied for fifth with seven points. He has goals in two of the last three outings.
• Matt Anderson, who is second on the team with 10 points, leads the team with a plus-8 rating.
• Tim Sestito has three points in the last fiving contests. He registered a season-high two assists at Rochester on Nov. 23 and posted a helper at Adirondack Saturday. He is tied for fifth on the team with seven points and tied for second with six assists.
• Bobby Butler has three points in as many games. He tallied a goal and an assist against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Nov. 25 and had an assist at Adirondack Saturday. In 17 games, he has six points with three goals and three assists.