Preview: Devils at Crunch, 7 PM
SYRACUSE, NY – The Albany Devils have points in 15 of their last 18 games, including 13 wins. They will try and move closer to a Calder Cup Playoff berth Friday with a 7 pm contest against the Syracuse Crunch at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
The Devils are second in the North Division and the Eastern Conference at 39-16-8-1 (.680). The Crunch are tied for fourth in the division and tied for ninth in the conference at 28-25-10-3 (.523).
What To Watch For
• Albany: The Devils continue to make due with a depleted lineup. After Blake Pietila was the latest player recalled by New Jersey, Albany signed defenseman Mathieu Brodeur and forwards Alexandre Carrier and Justin Crandall to PTOs. Currently, the Devils have five players on tryout contracts: Brodeur (PTO), Carrier (PTO), Crandall (PTO), Paul Geiger (ATO), Gunnar Hughes (PTO), Nick Lappin (ATO). Three of Albany’s top four leading scorers against Syracuse this season are in the NHL: Mike Sislo (2g-6a), Joseph Blandisi (3g-2a) and Reid Boucher (2g-3a). Matt Lorito is the active leader with a goal and four helpers.
• Syracuse: The Crunch are riding a three-game winning streak, including a 3-1 victory at Utica Wednesday. During their recent run, Jeff Tambellini and Yanni Gourde have led the way with five points each. Both players have two goals and three helpers. Overall, Tanner Richard leads the team with 49 points, backed by 10 goals and 39 assists in 61 outings.
Devils vs. Crunch Series
• All-Time: Friday’s game will be the 47th all-time meeting between the two franchises. The Devils are 20-20-2-4 overall with an 8-12-1-3 home mark and a 12-8-1-1 road record. This season, Albany is 4-0-0-0.
• Last Meeting: The Devils had and lost three leads, but pulled out a come-from-behind victory with less than eight minutes remaining, defeating the Crunch, 6-4, on Jan. 8 at Times Union Center. Five different Devils registered multiple points. Mike Sislo had two goals and an assist and Joseph Blandisi had three helpers. Matt Lorito had the game-winning goal and an assist and Reid Boucher had a tally and a helper. Reece Scarlett contributed a pair of assists. Yann Danis made 19 saves.