A depleted Albany Devils lineup got some reinforcements on Wednesday night. With defensemen Matt Taormina and Alexander Urbom called up to the New Jersey Devils, Albany got veteran Jay Leach back on the blue line. Also surprisingly playing for Albany was Nick Palmieri, who’d scored just days earlier against the Montreal Canadiens.
Yet it would be the Syracuse Crunch, playing without recently recalled Kyle Palmieri, cashing in late during this one.
Midway through the first, Devils forward Joe Whitney took a foolish offensive zone penalty, blatantly hooking Crunch netminder Ilro Tarkko. Then ‘Cuse would take advantage, as Jean-Francoise Jacques netted his seventh to put the Crunch in the driver seat 1-0.
Both clubs took a plethora of shots but seemed to go through the motions.
That is until the third. For Albany it was Vladimir Zharkov streaking in down the right side of the blue line and whizzing one past Tarkko from the right circle to tie it. For Zharkov, the goal was his second on the campaign. Shortly thereafter, the Devils would strike again. This time it was Steve Zalewski making a nice little move in front for his seventh, giving Albany its first lead at 2-1.
It would be a short-lived lead as the Crunch kept the pressure on and Peter Holland beat Jeff Frazee for his eighth of the year, knotting it up at two.
As the contest moved to the extra session, it appeared to be heading for a shootout. However, with 0.4 ticks on the clock, Nick Bonino tickled the twine for his tenth and the 3-2 winner.
With the victory, Syracuse improves to 12-10-2-1 (27 points). Meanwhile Albany, which has now recorded a point in ten straight home games, moves to 12-10-3-1 (28 points).
In other AHL action, an Atlantic Division tilt saw the Manchester Monarchs edge the Portland Pirates 2-1.
Over in the Western Conference, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Rockford IceHogs 5-4 in a shootout. Finally also victorious in a shootout were the Lake Erie Monsters, 2-1 over the Hamilton Bulldogs.