Preview: Devils at Crunch, 7 PM
SYRACUSE, NY – The Albany Devils are trying to fine-tune their game during the last nine days of the regular season. They will be at work Friday when they travel to face the Syracuse Crunch at 7 pm at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
The Devils, who have already secured a spot in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, are second in the Eastern Conference and second in the North Division at 42-18-8-2 (.671). The Crunch are on the verge of being eliminated form postseason consideration and sit in 10th in the conference and fourth in the division at 31-27-10-3 (.528).
What To Watch For
• Albany: The Devils are coming off two wins during last week’s three-in-three weekend. Marc-Andre Gragnani led the way with four points, including his first goal of the season on Sunday. He ranks fifth on the team and first among blueliners with 31 points, producing a goal and 30 helpers. Another defenseman, Seth Helgeson, is expected to make his return to the lineup for the first time since Mar. 5. He missed 13 games after being recalled by New Jersey on Mar. 8. In the AHL this season, he has two goals, five assists and a +12 rating.
• Syracuse: The Crunch are 6-3-1-0 during their last 10 outings and are coming off a 7-3 victory at Utica Sunday. Joel Vermin led the way with two goals and a +3 rating and Mathew Peca notched three helpers and a +3 showing. This season, Tanner Richard leads the team with 51 points, including 10 tallies and a team-high 41 assists. Jeff Tambellini is second with 45 points, backed by a club-best 26 goals and 19 helpers.
Devils vs. Crunch Series
• All-Time: Friday’s game will be the 48th all-time meeting between the two franchises. The Devils are 20-21-2-4 overall with an 8-12-1-3 home mark and a 12-9-1-1 road record. This season, Albany is 4-1-0-0.
• Last Meeting: Yann Danis made 17 saves and Ben Johnson scored, but the Devils lost, 3-1, to the Crunch on Mar. 25 at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Dylan Blugus, Ryan Martindale and Jonathan Drouin each scored for Syracuse. Netminder Kristers Gudlevskis made 29 of 30 saves.