TROY, NY – The Albany Devils lead the league in a don’t-know-what-to-make-of-it stat: most penalty shots. After 26 games, the team has been awarded five of the one-on-one opportunities. Harri Pesonen even had two in the same game.
“Shootouts and penalty shots if they come in a game, they are kind of fast,” Pesonen said. “You have to go with the feeling and see what the goalie does — just trust your instincts.”
The Devils are 2-5 during penalty shots this season. Tim Sestito scored on Oct. 14 against Adirondack and Artem Demkov found the back of the net, most recently, against Bridgeport on Dec. 13. Pesonen missed both his tries on Oct. 25 against Hartford and Chris McKelvie couldn’t convert on Nov. 9 against Adirondack.
In a similar situation, Albany has had success in the shootouts this season. The team is 3-1, scoring on 5-16 chances.
“There really is no good answer for success,” said Mike Sislo, who has eight career shootout goals. “Sometimes for shootouts its just a feel thing. You want a quick shot or a quick move to get the goalie to act one way or the other. So far it’s been going good.”
The Devils last shootout, a 3-2 win, came at Binghamton on Dec. 7. The last penalty shot, as mentioned, was against Bridgeport on Dec. 13. This weekend, the Devils meet both opponents — at Binghamton Saturday (7:05 pm) and at Bridgeport Sunday (3:00 pm).