GLENS FALLS, NY — Having not played in nearly two weeks, Keith Kinkaid returned to the Albany Devils line up with a 30-save performance in a 4-2 victory against the Adirondack Phantoms Friday at Glens Falls Civic Center.
“To his credit, we weren’t sure if he was going to play tonight,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “He looked better every day in practice and really sharp on Thursday. He really made our decision. I thought he looked good tonight. I thought he looked comfortable.”
Kinkaid’s last appearance came during a 3-0, shared shutout with Scott Wedgewood at Bridgeport on Mar. 8. Since then he had missed four games with a lower body injury. Against the Phantoms he made nine saves in the first, 14 in the second and seven in the third for his 19th win of the season.
Arguably his best save came during a left-to-right sliding denial of Bruno Gervais’ attempt while Albany killed a four minute, double minor penalty in the second period.
“I felt a little refreshed,” Kinkaid said. “I was a little tired because I had two weeks off. They got me ready this week and yesterday I felt really good in practice. I just try and get my team the best chance to win.”
Seconds prior to that save, Mike Sislo broke a 1-1 tie when he blocked a point shot, setting up a shorthanded breakaway opportunity. The third-year pro went five-hole for his career-high 14th goal of the season at 2:00.
Albany’s second shorthanded goal came at the bookend of the same period. Rod Pelley and Kelly Zajac generated an odd-man rush. Pelley fired a backhand over the left shoulder of Adirondack netminder Yann Danis with 41.5 seconds remaining in the second.
“Those were all pretty timely goals,” Kowalsky said. “We got into way to much penalty trouble tonight. Our [penalty kill] won us the game.”
Sislo added his second of the night with a turnaround shot from the slot at 5:14 of the third period.
Adirondack’s Matt Mangene cut into the Devils lead when he followed his own rebound at 10:52 to make it 4-2.
Albany and Adirondack had exchanged goals during the first 20:30. Stefan Matteau scored on Albany’s first shot at 8:32 of the first. Adirondack’s Kyle Flanagan tied the game 30 ticks into the second frame.
The Devils, who improved to 27-17-3-5 overall, is 6-4-1-0 against the Phantoms this season.
Next up, Albany hosts the Norfolk Admirals Saturday at Times Union Center. Puck drop is slated for 5 pm.