Devils Take Care of Business, Stay Alive
ALBANY, NY — Just about everything that needed to happen for the Albany Devils Friday night to keep their playoff hopes alive did: 1.) Scott Clemmensen backstopped the team to a 4-0 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena. 2.) The Springfield Falcons lost, 4-3, in a shootout at the St. John’s IceCaps. 3.) The Portland Pirates fell, 3-2, in regulations at the Manchester Monarchs.
With one game remaining, the Devils can still earn a 2015 Calder Cup Playoff berth. They are tied for ninth with the Pirates with 83 points. The Falcons currently occupy the final playoff spot with 84 points. Albany and Springfield have one game remaining, while Portland still has two left.
The Devils must win against the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at Times Union Center and the Falcons must lose (regulation or overtime) against the IceCaps. Additionally, the Pirates must fail to gain two points during their games against the Providence Bruins Saturday or the Worcester Sharks Sunday.
Friday’s win against the Penguins was the Devils ninth in their last 12 games. They improve to 36-28-5-6, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goes to 43-24-3-4.
Clemmensen was steady throughout the game, making five saves in the first, 10 in the second and seven in the third. Six of his 11 wins this season have come since Mar. 13.
Offensively, the Devils continued to score in waves. They have 10 goals in their last two outings and nine tallies during the last four periods of play. Darcy Zajac and Joe Whitney both had a goal and an assist. Stefan Matteau and Brandon Burlon also scored.
Matteau and Whitney opened the scoring 2:28 apart. Matteau netted the game-winner at 15:20 and Whitney followed at 17:48 of the first period. After weathering the Penguins second period push, Burlon scored at 3:29 of the third and Zajac followed at 5:35.
Albany owned a 26-22 shot advantage.
Matt Lorito, who was coming off a five-point performance that tied a franchise record, missed the game with an illness … Joe Whitney registered his 57th and 58th points of the season. He is tied for second on the team’s single-season points with Ben Walter (2009-10). Petr Vrana’s 61 points in 2007-08 ranks first.
The regular season comes to an end when the Devils host the Wolf Pack Saturday at 5 pm at Times Union Center. The game is part of “Fan Appreciation Night” and all patrons will have a chance to win some great prizes.