In what may have been the final game in Albany for some members of the Albany Devils, they gave the season high home standing crowd of 7,321, something to remember. So far the A-Devils are keeping good on their New Year’s resolution of not losing at the Times Union Center, downing the Worcester Sharks 4-1, for their third home win in a row.
While there is a chance that some future New Jersey Devils could suit up in Atlantic City on Sunday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, unless they’re dropped off in Newark after the game, odds are that the NHL club is going to want to maximize on practice time with abbreviated camps. For the second consecutive contest, Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson were scratches for Albany.
Although the Sharks were also without some potential call-ups to the San Jose Sharks, including Nick Petrecki, Tim Kennedy and James Sheppard, they were able to jump out to an early advantage. Midway through the first frame, Freddie Hamilton found the back of the twine, putting a rebound off a Danlil Tarasov shot by Keith Kinkaid for his sixth of the season.
Yet much like they did the night prior at Manchester, Albany would knot it up within the last minute. Tying it in the same fashion he did against the Monarchs, former Shark Steve Zalewski jammed the puck past Alex Stalock for his sixth and second in as many days.
As the game moved to the second, Albany continued to pick up the momentum. With the puck in the Worcester zone and Albany on the power play, a big hit by Harri Pesonen, freed up the puck for Mattias Tedenby. Then in a “give-and-go” of sorts, Tedenby fed the puck out to Adam Larsson, who threw the puck on net, where the darting Tedenby buried the loose biscuit to give the Devils their first lead of the evening. It was Tedenby’s ninth marker of the year and his fourth straight contest with a goal.
Albany wasn’t done in the second and added another late tally. Off a nice drop pass from Zalewski, defenceman Eric Gelinas, calling for the puck, made good and smashed one past the stick side of a sprawling Stalock. The goal was the third on the campaign for Gelinas, increasing the Albany lead to 3-1 through two.
In the third, the Devils would add one more for good measure. Gelinas intercepted the puck at center ice and carried it into the Sharks zone. Then off a deflection, Tedenby corralled the puck and sent the saucer to the stick of Darcy Zajac, who redirected it home for his fourth of the season.
That plus 16 saves by Kinkaid and a penalty kill that was a perfect five-for-five, sealed off a 4-1 victory for the Devils. It was their fourth win in five games and improved Albany’s record to 14-12-1-6 (35 points) on the season. Albany also out-shot Worcester 28-17, as the Sharks record now stands at 19-14-1-2 (41 points).
Michael Gwizdala covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Michael is also an Associate Producer at WNYT NewsChannel 13. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.