Notebook: Making A Charge

ALBANY, NY — Coming off back-to-back road wins last weekend against the Norfolk Admirals, the Albany Devils returned to the friendly confines of the Times Union Center Tuesday for practice. Four of the team’s remaining nine games take place on home ice, including Wednesday’s matchup against the first-place Manchester Monarchs.

Both the Devils and Monarchs have momentum heading into the midweek affair. In their last 10 outings, Albany is 6-2-1-1, while Manchester is 8-1-1-0.

“We have to be aware of their skill level and how they play, but we also don’t want to give them too much respect,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “It is important to be aggressive and take away time and space. We have to add the physical element and make life hard on them.”

Wednesday’s puck drop is at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Times Union Center box office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Fans can also buy tickets via charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.

Johnson Back in Albany

On Monday, New Jersey reassigned Ben Johnson to Albany from Orlando (ECHL). Johnson began the season in the AHL, appearing in 25 games and producing a goal and an assist.

He was reassigned to Orlando on Mar. 2 and played 12 games with the Solar Bears. During that time, he registered two goals and six assists.

“He’s been playing well and that’s what we want when these guys go down there,” Kowalsky said. “He’s been getting a lot of ice and he was in and out of the lineup and hadn’t played much before we sent him there so that’s the purpose and the thought process behind this.”

New Jersey selected Johnson 90th overall during the 2012 NHL Draft.

Strong Special Teams

After going 0-24 on the power play between Mar. 6-18, the Devils have seven man-advantage goals during the last four games. The team is 7-24 (29.2%) during that span.

“It’s a huge part of our game,” Kowalsky said. “I think our five-on-five play has improved and sometimes they coincide with each other. It’s a confidence thing and with some confidence on the power play our scoring will hopefully carry over and we can do more things offensively.”

On the other side, the penalty kill is 20-21 (95.2%) during the last five games and 35-37 (94.6%) during the last nine outings.

Practice: Rick Kowalsky

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