ALBANY, NY — The Albany Devils and the Binghamton Senators went the distance Sunday at Times Union Center. They actually went just as far as possible with the game being decided in the fifth round of the shootout. In the end, captain Rod Pelley was the only player to find the back of the net, helping the Devils to a 3-2 victory.
“He has scored in practice,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “He has consistently had some success in practice and that was the decision there. We try to use that a little bit as a gauge, but I think these things, they can go either way.”
For Pelley, it was his first shootout attempt of the season.
“We practice shootouts in practice and I just scored a couple times on the same move,” Pelley said. “Maybe just looking to change it up, throw a little wrinkle in there. I was watching the goalie the first three shooters and if I did get called I knew what I was going to do. It happened to just work out tonight.”
Netminder Scott Wedgewood, who made 23 saves during regulation and overtime, was a perfect five-for-five in the shootout. After Pelley’s goal, he stonewalled Derek Grant for his 14th win of the season and fifth in his last six starts.
“Pelley made a great move putting us up one,” Wedgewood said when asked about the fifth round. “[Grant] came in and I just kind of held my ground as much as I could. Once he made a move to the inside, I kind of took it away from him and he went back. It’s just a desperate kind of split as far as you can go and reach back for your post. I couldn’t really keep my eye on him, but I just led with my leg and he ran out of room.”
The shootout win was the Devils first at Times Union Center since Mar. 10, 2013 (3-2 vs. Adirondack). They improve to 35-21-4-8 overall and move into sixth-place in the Eastern Conference with 82 points. Binghamton goes to 40-21-1-5 and remains third in the conference with 86 points.
Albany erased two Binghamton leads during regulation. Matt Puempel opened the scoring off a Devils miscue at 5:51 of the first and the Devils responded, taking advantage of a four minute power play in the second period. Alexander Urbom and Scott Timmins setup Reid Boucher, who ripped a wrister past an unsuspecting Scott Greenham at 9:13.
The game remained tied until Alex Grant’s blast beat a screened Wedgewood at 17:03 of the same period.
Albany, who stayed out of the penalty box the entire game, owned a 27-25 shot advantage and went 1-3 on the power play. The team went 1-1-0-1 during its three-in-three weekend.
“It is really nice to pick up two points heading into another long week,” Pelley said. “Obviously there are things we’re going to work on and drill away at, but it’s nice to get three-of-six points. We’re just going to keep heading in the right direction.”
The Devils return to action with the first of three consecutive road games. The team travels to face the Syracuse Crunch Friday at 7 pm at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Fans can follow the action at 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.