Late Goal Gives Devils 4-3 Victory

ALBANY, NY – As they have done for most the first 10 games of the regular season, the Albany Devils relied on their power-play unit to lead them to victory. The team scored twice on the man advantage en route to a 4-3 win against the Syracuse Crunch Friday at War Memorial Arena.

Although the special teams made a major impact (the penalty kill went 7-8), the game-winning goal came while playing 5-on-5. Rookie Ryan Kujawinski won a battle between the face-off circles and fired a shot past Syracuse netminder Kristers Gudlevskis with just 5:22 remaining in regulation.

Albany led three different times during the contest, including at the final horn, giving them their fifth win of the season (5-3-2-0). Syracuse (4-4-0-1) had their two-game winning streak and their three-game point streak halted.

Joseph Blandisi registered a pair of power-play goals setup by Matt Lorito and Mike Sislo. Ben Thomson also found the back of the net. In goal, Yann Danis earned his fifth win of the season, extending his regulation unbeaten streak to seven starts (5-0-2). He made 27 stops.

Syracuse’s Yanni Gourde, Nikita Nesterov and Jonathan Marchessault each scored. Gudlevskis, who had 21 saves, suffered his first loss of the year.

Thomson, who netted his first goal last Saturday, opened the scoring late in the first. Reece Scarlett found Thomson down the right wing and he fired a wrister past Gudlevskis at 16:40.

The three-headed attack of Blandisi-Lorito-Sislo extended Albany’s lead on the power play at 1:41, but Syracuse responded with two consecutive goals. Gourde scored on a breakaway at 11:41 and Nesterov found the back of the net on the power play at 17:45.

Early in the third, Sislo found Lorito near the left side of the crease. He sent a pass to Blandisi alone in front and buried his opportunity to give the Devils a 3-2 lead at 4:03. Blandisi has eight points in the last five games (3g-5a), while Mike Sislo extended his point streak to six games (4g-5a). Lorito moved his totals to (2g-6a) in the last five outings.

Syracuse was able to pull even at 8:21 when Marchessault scored from a bad angle, but Kujawinski’s second tally of the season sealed the Devils victory.

Albany continues their five-game road trip with a 7:30 pm outing against the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at XL Center. Fans can follow the action online at or over the airwaves at 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.