Playing With The Lead

McKelvie,-Chris;-Wohlberg,-David

TROY, NY — Nineteen times the Albany Devils have carried a lead into the third period and only once … just once, have they not skated away with two points. Entering Friday’s matchup against the Utica Comets, the second-place Devils are 18-0-0-1 when leading after two periods.

The team’s ability to close dates back to last season when it went 20-1-0-3 in those games.

“I think it’s the style of play we play,” said assistant captain Chris McKelvie. “We kind of lock it down and I think we play a fast, smart, pretty physical game. It certainly helps in the third period, especially, when you have the lead.”

Albany has established its leads by outscoring opponents 38-31 in the first and 41-33 in the second period. The team has closed out games by besting the competition 31-25 in the final frame.

Defenseman Brandon Burlon indicated there is a time when the team switches from “attack” to “defend.”

“In the third period if you have a comfortable lead, you don’t want to take any chances or forfeit it in anyway,” he said. “You are always trying to protect it. You aren’t just run and gun; attack, attack, attack. It’s part of being a hockey player and reading the game and knowing the score.”

The Devils resume preparation for the upcoming three-in-three weekend with a morning skate Friday at Knickerbacker Ice Arena.

• With 37 games under his belt this season, McKelvie is already having a record season. He has his career-high marks with six goals, seven assists and 37 points.

“My role is to have really good energy for the team with good consistent minutes and provide good penalty killing,” McKelvie said. “When you pay attention to details it helps create some offense.”

• While Albany practiced, New Jersey announced that Mike Sislo was returned on loan to the AHL Devils. Sislo, who was recalled on Jan. 3 and made his NHL debut that same day, ranks tied for third on Albany with 20 points, backed by nine goals and 11 assists.

Interviews

Roster

Goaltenders
Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen
Brandon Burlon, Seth Helgeson, Raman Hrabarenka, Dan Kelly, Adam Larsson, Corbin McPherson, Reece Scarlett, Alexander Urbom, Harry Young

Forwards
Riley Boychuk, Artem Demkov, Mike Hoeffel, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Kelly Zajac

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