ALBANY, NY — It’s great to be home. The Albany Devils began their home season with a strong 3-1 victory over the Portland Pirates at the Times Union Center on Saturday night.
The Devils dominated in shots, outshooting Portland 32-21 while Yann Danis stood tall in the Albany net.
Here are three takeaways from the Devils first home game:
• Similar Systems
This season, the Devils are hoping to have a similar style of play throughout the organization. The consistency helped Reid Boucher adjust to coming back to Albany. After starting the season with New Jersey, Boucher tallied his first goal of the season with a pretty backhand shot in the second period.
“It’s as smooth as it’s ever been,” said Head Coach Rick Koawalsky of players transitioning between Albany and New Jersey. “That was something that was mandated from the top down. We wanted to be as close to the same as we can. It’s been beneficial for us.”
“It’s very similar, just about everything is the same,” Boucher said of the team’s system.
• Generating Chances
On Saturday, the Devils generated six power-play chances. Although they only scored on one, they are pleased with how they were able to get the game in their favor.
“We had a couple good looks, but power plays aren’t about scoring all the time,” Boucher said. “It’s just keeping the momentum and keeping the ice tilted.”
“It doesn’t always have to score, it has to keep that momentum,” Kowalsky said. “I thought for the most part our power play got looks and we were able to capitalize on one.”
• Welcome back
After playing their first four games on the road, the Devils returned home to a great atmosphere from the home fans, and they played one of their best games of the season.
“It was a good crowd,” Kowalsky said. “This was arguably our best 60 minutes of the year so far.”
“It was good to come out the way we did, I think we had a good outing,” said defenseman Seth Helgeson.
“It was a playoff atmosphere early in the year, which was good,” Boucher said.