Devils Excelling Five-On-Five
ALBANY, NY – With the second-best points percentage in the AHL, it’s not surprising the Albany Devils have been able to put some winning streaks together during the first 51 games. They are currently on a five-game run entering Wednesday’s outing against the St. John’s IceCaps at Times Union Center.
Albany’s current stretch is its third longest of the season and the longest active streak in the AHL. The team won seven consecutive games between Nov. 25 and Dec. 11 and six straight between Dec. 26 and Jan. 9.
During the other streaks listed above, the Devils relied heavily on their power play. Their man-advantage unit operated at 29.6 percent during the seven game run and 29.2 percentage during the six game span. In its last five games, Albany has converted on just 8.3 percent.
“We maybe haven’t played our best hockey and found ways to win,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky after Tuesday’s skate at Knickerbacker Ice Arena. “In the last three games, we’ve had to come from behind. If you look at this weekend, even the Bridgeport game was a sloppy game. There is always room for improvement. It’s no question scoring some goals five-on-five is key for us. You don’t want to be a one trick pony with your offense. The power play, we would like to do better now. We could probably have some more comfortable leads or wins in these situations.”
Mike Sislo, who enters Wednesday’s game on a league-high seven game goal streak, indicated that as the playoffs draw near games will become tighter defensively.
“The scores have been lower lately and I think that’s how it’s going to be the rest of the way,” Sislo said. “Teams are playing hard and making a push for the playoffs. We have to scratch and claw for as many goals as possible. They are going to be hard to come by.”
Albany has been middle of the pack as far scoring this season. Currently, they rank 18th, averaging 2.80 goals per game. Defensively, however, the team is second with a 2.20 goals against average.