ALBANY, NY — The Albany Devils fell behind, 3-1, but battled back to tie the game before falling, 5-3, to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Saturday at Times Union Center.
Here are the three takeaways from the weekend finale:
Third Period Battle
After two periods the Devils found themselves in a 3-1 hole. They were behind in shots 21-17 and not consistently controlling the puck and generating chances. However, for the second straight game everything changed in the third. Reid Boucher scored an early goal and then assisted on Paul Thompson’s tally to tie the game.
“We finally took over and started getting pucks in and playing in the O-Zone,” Boucher said.
“We haven’t been down too much this season this far in the third,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “When we needed to we stepped it up. Every line was committed to being hard on pucks and getting in on fore checks.”
Big Time Fight
After the night’s first goal the Devils looked like they needed something and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond delivered. He and Tom Sestito dropped the gloves at 3:42 of the second period off the face-off. Both men threw big punches with Leblond eventually looking like the winner. The fight fired up the crowd and the Devils as they saw a huge boost of momentum.
“They had scored, anytime you have a guy like him that is respected by his teammates and goes out and does the job, we had front row seats it was right in front of the bench, it gives us a boost,“ Kowalsky said. “We scored a goal right after that.”
The Devils entered the night without a regulation loss in the month of November and The Penguins came into the game with a 12-2-0-0 mark. Against the league’s best the Devils fared fairly well. Despite being short on the bench, the Devils mounted a comeback and showed they can match up against the first-place Penguins.
“When we’re playing our best there are some similarities there,” Kowalsky said. “I’m proud of how the guys fought through tonight and it gives us an idea of potentially we could stand in the league.”