In NHL/AHL Nightly Notables we start with a matinee from “The City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia. That’s where the top two parent clubs of the Adirondack Phantoms and Albany Devils went to battle.
Early in the first Ilya Kovalchuk got the New Jersey Devils on the board on the power-play. Former Albany River Rats forward Patrik Elias picked up the secondary assist, his 14th and it was a 1-0. Devils lead. After the Philadelphia Flyers tied things at 1-1, ex-Rat Travis Zajac notched his third goal of the season to put the Devils back on top 2-1. Ex-Rats defenseman Colin White picked up the secondary assist his second.
Though after that it was rough sledding as the Flyers netted three goals in a row to go up 4-2. Elias was able to get the Devils closer on the power-play late with his 5th marker on the season to make it 4-3. Zajac also picked up an assist, his ninth. However the Devils simply ran out of time from there and the Flyers added an empty netter to win 5-3.
Along with Elias, Zajac and White, David Clarkson, Stephen Gionta and Brian Rolston were among the other former Albany River Rats to suit up for New Jersey. While Gionta, Olivier Magnan, Mark Fayne and Mattias Tedenby were among four Albany Devils players who have suited up at the Times Union Center this season.
In Columbus, former Rats forward Michael Rupp scored the second of four straight first period goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins blasted the Blue Jackets 7-2. Rupp, also a former Blue Jacket, picked up his second on the season. In addition Rupp got into a fight with Jared Boll.
In an original six match-up from Toronto, ex-Rat defenseman Johnny Boychuk picked up his fifth assist for the B’s, but the Maple Leafs prevailed in a shootout 3-2 over the Boston Bruins.
On the Beltway ex-Rat Andrew Ladd, now Atlanta Thrashers Captain, helped salt away the Washington Capitals 3-1 with a goal and an assist on the night. The now Atlanta Thrasher tallied his ninth on the season with a power-play goal early in the third to put Atlanta up 3-1. Ladd’s early assist on Rich Peverly’s goal was his 19th, good enough to keep him tied for the team lead with Dustin Byfuglien.
Down south in Nashville, ex-Rat Steve Sullivan capped off the Predators scoring with an empty netter, his seventh on the year. Meanwhile scoring for Carolina in the 5-2 loss was ex-Rat Jiri Tlusty with his second on the year in the second period and Brandon Sutter notched his seventh assist on the year in the first.
Out in the desert former Albany River Rats netminder Scott Clemmensen had a monster night, stopping 40 of 41 shots. From there Clemmensen carried the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Through seven games Clemmensen is 2-4 with a GAA of 2.79 and a .910 save percentage.
Meanwhile in American Hockey League action: Former RPI standout Jerry D’Amigo picked up an assist as the Toronto Marlies blanked the Abbotsford Heat 2-0.
In Wilkes-Barre Scranton, ex-Rats goalie made 26 saves in his return for the Adirondack Phantoms, but it wasn’t enough to hold up as the Penguins became the first AHL club to win 20 games by a final of 3-2.
In Portland, coming off a huge five point night on Friday, ex-Rat and current Norfolk Admirals forward Mike Angelidis scored his eighth goal of the season, which proved to be the winner. The final was 4-3 Admirals over the Pirates.
Finally rounding things out in Rochester, for the second time in as many weeks Albany Devils goalie Jeff Frazee blanked the Americans in a 2-0 contest. Scoring for Albany were Louis Robitaille with his first on the year for the winner and Adam Henrique added an empty netter for good measure.