Late Goals End Devils Point Streak
PROVIDENCE, RI – Back-to-back goals 35 seconds apart late in the third period helped the Providence Bruins down the Albany Devils, 5-2, Friday at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The setback ended Albany’s eight-game point streak (7-0-1-0) as the team lost for the first time in regulation since Dec. 19 at Rochester.
Prior to the game, the New Jersey Devils recalled forwards Reid Boucher and Brian O’Neill and returned defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani and forward Jim O’Brien to Albany. While Boucher and O’Neill made their way west to join the NHL team, Gragnani and O’Brien were unable to make it in time for the game. That left Head Coach Rick Kowalsky one healthy body short of a 20-man lineup. Max Novak, who was pegged to return from a broken hand next week, filled the void and played significant minutes.
The Devils did, however, strike first. Helgeson sent a point shot up and over a mass in front of the net at 13:33 of the first. The goal, which was assisted by Lorito and Vojtech Mozik, was Helgeson’s second of the season – both coming during the last four games.
In the second period, Providence’s Chris Casto took advantage as the Devils were caught with tired legs after killing a penalty. His tying goal came at 12:36.
The Bruins took their first lead of the game at 2:28 thanks to Noel Acciari, but Lorito responded just 27 seconds later. Dan Kelly made a brilliant breakout play and found Corey Tropp. Tropp hit Lorito in the neutral zone and Lorito finished up high at 2:55. The goal – his 10th of the season – was his 11th point (5g-6a) in the last nine contests.
Providence recaptured the lead and netted the game-winning goal after the Devils were called for too many men on the ice. Leading scorer Alexander Khokhlachev slipped in a shot in front at 15:11. Brandon DeFazio added to the lead on a breakaway at 16:24 and Seth Griffith sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 19:00.
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Albany is back in action Saturday with a 7:00 pm start against the Utica Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The game will be streamed at ahllive.com and broadcasted on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.