Game 1: Devils at Marlies, 7:30 PM
TORONTO — The Albany Devils and Toronto Marlies open the North Division Final Wednesday with a 7:30 pm contest at Ricoh Coliseum. The series pits the league’s second-best defense against the top-ranked offense. Albany finished second with a 2.20 goals-against average, while Toronto was first with 3.87 goals-for-per-game. Of the 46 players who have dressed for both teams this postseason, 37 have NHL experience and 34 have played in an NHL game this season.
The Devils finished second in the conference and in the division at 46-20-8-2 (.671). The Marlies were first in the league, conference and division at 54-16-5-1 (.750). Albany went 19-13-5-1 on the road during the regular season, while Toronto was 27-9-2-0 at home.
What To Watch For
• Albany: Blake Pietila, who was injured during the final regular season game, made a major impact in his lone appearance during the first round. After missing the first three games, Pietila registered two goals and two assists in the Devils’ Game 4 victory. The 23-year-old, who played seven games with New Jersey, appeared in 58 regular season games for Albany. He registered 17 points, including 10 goals and seven helpers.
• Toronto: The Marlies advanced to the second round after defeating Bridgeport in three games. Defenseman Connor Carrick led the team during the series with seven points (3g-4a) and a +6 rating. Connor Brown and Josh Leivo were second with three points each. Brown had three goals and Leivo had three helpers.
Devils vs. Marlies Series
• All-Time: The Devils and Marlies have met eight times during the regular season and Albany is 2-3-3-0 all-time against Toronto. The Devils are 1-1-2-0 at Times Union Center and 1-2-1 at Ricoh Coliseum. During the regular season, the Devils were 2-2-2-0.
• Last Meeting: The Marlies used a pair of power-play goals to slide past the Devils, 3-0, on Apr. 10 at Times Union Center. Toronto’s Antoine Bibeau stopped all 35 shots he faced, while Scott Wedgewood made 15 stops. Both of Toronto’s man-up tallies came during the second period. Eric Faille scored on a backhand that hit the crossbar and then inched over the line at 8:42. Richard Clune’s redirect in front made it a 2-0 score at 19:56. Zach Hyman finished the scoring with an empty-net goal at 17:53 of the third period.