In NHL/AHL Nightly Notables we begin in Pittsburgh where the parent club of the Albany Devils, the New Jersey Devils took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before the game newly retired and former Penguin, Devil and Utica Devils sniper Bill Guerin was honored.
The Devils got the scoring underway in the first as former Albany River Rats forward Brian Rolston beat Marc-Andre Fleury for his second of the year on the power-play. Jason Arnott picked up the primary assist, while former Albany Devils forward Mattias Tedenby notched his fourth assist and seventh point overall.
However it wasn’t enough to hold up for the Devils as Chris Kunitz recorded his eighth of the year to tie things in the first. Following that was a second period goal by Sidney Crosby, who assisted on Kunitz’s goal earlier. For Crosby the eventual deciding marker was his 24th on the campaign as the Pens iced away the Devs 2-1.
Other ice shavings of note from this game, Guerin’s old Utica teammate Marty Brodeur was back on the bench which means goalie Mike McKenna has been sent back down to Albany. Former River Rats grinder David Clarkson also dropped the gloves with Deryk Engelland.
In Toronto former Adirondack Red Wings forward Mike Knuble scored his fifth goal of the season on the power-play to put the Washington Capitals up 2-1 in the first. However the Maple Leafs rallied on the strength of three third period goals and won in a shooutout 5-4.
Down south in Atlanta, ex-River Rat spark plug Steve Sullivan notched his eighth of the year to put the Nashville Predators out front 2-0 in the first.
However another former Rat and now Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd helped Atlanta mount a comeback, tying things up at two in the third on the strength of his tenth goal of the season on the power-play. Atlanta capped off the comeback in OT on a goal by Atlanta’s young star defenseman Zach Bogosian, 3-2 was the final.
In hockey town the former parent club of the Adirondack Red Wings, the Detroit Red Wings played host to the San Jose Sharks. Former Adirondack wing Tomas Holmstrom got Detroit off on the right foot, giving the Red Wings an early one goal advantage with his eighth of the year on the power-play.
After a shorthanded goal by Joe Thornton tied things at 1-1, Holmstrom picked up his fifth assist of the year on Johan Franzen’s 12th goal on the power-play to put the Wings back on top 2-1. But three Sharks goals in the second and one tacked on in the third were just too much for the Red Wings as they fell 5-2.
Finally the only contest of the night in the AHL, where the Charlotte Checkers registered an AHL season high ten goals in a rout of the Syracuse Crunch 10-3. The game was such a blowout the Crunch changed goalies once and after two more shots and two more goals, replaced goalies again (not so you’d notice they actually used one in this game).
Former River Rats All-AHL standout Jerome Samson kick started the Checkers attack with his 14th goal, with Zack Fitzgerald and Chris Terry picking up the assists. After Syracuse tied the game at one on a Kyle Palmieri tally, the Checkers got right back at it.
In the second, former Rats sniper Zach Boychuk netted his tenth goal on the power-play from former Adirondack Phantom Jon Matsumoto and Terry, giving Charlotte a lead they’d never relinquish. Another ex-Rat named Zac also picked up his tenth of the year from Samson and Oscar Osala. Even ex-Rats enforcer Brad Herauf got into the action with his first on the year from Nick Dodge and Osala.
Herauf and defenseman Michal Jordan recorded assists on the next goal from newly acquired Brett Sutter. For Sutter the brother of former Rat and current Hurricane Brandon, it was his first in a Checkers uniform. Herauf got would pick himself up a Gordie Howe hat-trick with a third period scrap.
The goals kept coming in the second as Riley Nash scored on a pass from Terry. Another former Rat Osala scored his fifth from Jordan and Boychuk. Rats favorite pest Jacob Micflicker picked up his eleventh marker from Brett Bellemore and Osala. Finally the second period scoring was capped off by Nash’s second of the night from Samson and Boychuk. It was a crazy eight goal period for the artists formerly known as the River Rats in the second.
In the third Syracuse actually outscored Charlotte 2-1, with ex-Rat Stefan Chaput a hero on Sunday picking up a shorthanded goal, beating old teammate Mike Murphy who had 32 saves on the night, for his second. Meanwhile the Checkers capped off the scoring with a nice round number ten goal coming off the stick of Matsumoto for his fifth from Dodge and Brett Carson on the power-play.