Devils Erupt In Third Period, Down Comets

ALBANY, NY — A three-goal third period propelled the second-place Albany Devils to a 4-3 victory against the third-place Utica Comets Saturday in front of 5,528 fans at Times Union Center. Jim O’Brien led the charge with a pair of tallies, Ben Thomson netted the eventual game-winner and Nick Lappin scored his first career goal.

The Devils, who are 11-0-2-0 all-time against the Comets, extended their winning streak to three games to improve to 36-15-8-0. Utica, which lost for the first time in regulation in franchise history when leading after two periods (72-0-4-0), moved to 30-21-5-3.

Scott Wedgewood returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a shoulder injury sustained on Jan. 27. He made 16 stops to improve to 7-2-2.

Albany found itself trailing early when Chris Higgins scored just 1:15 into the game. O’Brien tied the score with his first tally at 13:00 of the second, but Taylor Fedun answered three minutes and 52 seconds later, sending the Devils to the locker down 2-1 after two.

The Devils took control in the third. Lappin found a loose puck near the left post at 4:45 and O’Brien scored a go-ahead tally after Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond teed a pass up for him in the slot at 6:38.

Thomson made it a 4-2 score when he found the puck in a scramble in front at 9:07. The Devils’ three goals spanned four minutes and 22 seconds. The Comets did pull within one thanks to Darren Archibald’s extra-attacker tally with 1:22 remaining in regulation.

• The Essentials

Shots: Albany 31, Utica 19
Power Play: Albany 0-3, Utica 0-2
Three Stars: 1. Jim O’Brien (ALB), Ben Thomson (ALB), Darren Archibald (UTI)

• Next Up

The Devils turn their focus to the first-place Toronto Marlies Sunday for a 3 pm start at Times Union Center. The first 3,000 fans to arrive will receive a Devils Team Poster. Fans are encouraged to stay after the game for a postgame autograph session and a postgame skate.