O’Brien, Devils Dominate Comets 5-1

ALBANY, NY — Backed by Jim O’Brien’s three-point performance, the Albany Devils defeated the Utica Comets, 5-1, Saturday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The win extended the Devils’ point streak to six games (5-0-0-1) with their 14th victory in the last 19 games (14-3-1-1).

O’Brien registered a pair of goals and an assist to extend his point streak to five games — five goals and five helpers. Nick Lappin and Blake Pietila also registered multiple points, registering a goal and an assist each. Lappin has three goals and an assist in five games since signing an ATO and Pietila has three tallies and three helpers in his last six games.

Matt Lorito also scored and goaltender Scott Wedgewood, who has helped the Devils to points in four consecutive starts, posted his ninth victory of the season. He made 21 stops.

The Devils had no problem taking control of the game game early. O’Brien connected with Lorito on a two-on-one at 7:58 of the first. O’Brien then pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone while shorthanded. He used his speed to create some separation and beat Richard Bachman far side at 16:12.

In the second, the Comets got on the board when Alex Friesen found a rebound in front, beating Wedgewood through the arms at 13:58. Albany answered right back with a power-play goal at 17:57. Raman Hrabarenka and Marc-Andre Gragnani helped setup Lappin for a one-timer in the slot to make it a 3-1 score.

O’Brien’s second tally came at 1:30 of the third period, scoring off the crossbar down the right side. Pietila added to the lead after finding a rebound in front at 7:09.

The second-place Devils improved to 38-15-8-1, while the third-place Comets moved to 31-22-6-3.

• The Essentials

Shots: Albany 32, Utica 22
Power Play: Albany 1-3, Utica 0-5
Three Stars: 1. Jim O’Brien (ALB), 2. Nick Lappin (ALB), 3. Scott Wedgewood (ALB)

• Next Up

The Devils are back at it Sunday with a 5 pm outing against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow the action online at ahllive.com or on the radio at 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.