Playoff Bound After 3-0 Victory
ALBANY, NY — With a 3-0 victory Tuesday against the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Albany Devils have secured a berth in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs. Max Novak had a goal and an assist and Yann Danis made 24 saves for his seventh shutout of the season.
The Devils, who will make their second Calder Cup Playoff appearance in three years, tied a franchise record with their 40th win. With nine games remaining, they stand at 40-17-8-2. The team last hit the 40-win mark during the 2013-14 season, finishing 40-23-5-8. The Wolf Pack, who are on the outside looking in the playoff picture, move to 36-29-3-0.
For Danis, the victory was his 27th of the season and he is just one win shy of tying Jeff Frazee (2008-09) for the franchise record for wins in a season. Additionally, his seven shutouts are the second most in the AHL this season.
Offensively, Reece Scarlett joined Novak with a multiple-point effort. He had a pair of assists. Brian O’Neill and Paul Thompson were responsible for the team’s other goals. Marc-Andre Gragnani registered his 27th assist — most among Devils’ defensemen — and Jim O’Brien tallied his 14th point in the last 10 games with a helper.
Novak’s third goal of the season and first since Dec. 6 came on a deflection at 4:41 of the first period. All five Albany skaters touched the puck on the play. O’Neill skated the puck into the zone and left it for Matt Lorito, who hit Scarlett at the right point. He made a pass along the blueline to Gragnani, who sent a wrister towards Novak’s stick.
The same line struck again at 13:58 of the second, but this time Novak made the pass to Scarlett at the point and his shot redirected off O’Neill in front.
The Devils, who improved to 30-1-3-0 when leading after two periods, extended their lead in the third. O’Brien unselfishly set up Thompson on a 2-on-0 at 10:38.
Albany welcomed two new faces to the lineup as Trevor Mingoia and Kevin Rooney — both out of Providence College — made their AHL debuts. Mingoia signed his ATO on Monday, while Rooney signed his Tuesday morning.
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The Devils hit the road on Friday at Binghamton (7:05 pm) before a pair of home games on Saturday and Sunday against Springfield and Binghamton. Fans can follow the action online at ahllive.com or on the radio at 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.