Preview: Devils at Comets, 7 PM
UTICA, NY – Looking for a bounce-back win, the Albany Devils travel to face the Utica Comets Saturday at 7 pm. The Devils had their eight-game point streak snapped during a 5-2 setback Friday at Providence. Now they face a Comets team, which ended a seven-game winless streak Friday at Syracuse, 3-1.
Albany remains second in the North Division and third in the Eastern Conference at 23-9-4-0 (.694), while Utica is fourth in the division and tied for seventh in the conference at 17-15-3-3 (.526).
What To Watch For
• Albany: The Devils were playing with the bare minimum during their game against Providence. Recent recalls by New Jersey had depleted their lineup and Max Novak, who is recovering from a broken hand, was inserted into Friday’s game about a week before planned. Albany will receive reinforcements for the Utica came as Marc-Andre Gragnani and Jim O’Brien are back from their stint in the NHL. Gragnani leads all Devils defenseman with 15 points – all assists – and O’Brien has 12 points (7g-5a) in 17 outings.
• Utica: Hunter Shinkaruk has been Utica’s top scorer for much of the season, producing 30 points with 15 goals and 15 assists in 32 contests. Behind him is Brendan Gaunce, who has 20 points backed by 10 goals and 10 helpers. Coming off a 26-save performance Friday, Joe Cannata is 10-8-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
Devils vs. Comets Series
• All-Time: The Devils and Comets are set to faceoff for their 10th all-time meetings. Albany is 9-0-0-0 with five wins at Times Union Center and four at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
• Last Meeting: The Devils dominance against the Comets continued on Dec. 31 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Jim O’Brien, Reid Boucher, Graham Black and Paul Thompson each scored in a 4-1 win. The Devils improved to 9-0-0-0 all-time against their in-state rival. In goal, Scott Wedgewood made 24 stops.