Starting off in Rinkside Roundup from Minnesota where former Adirondack Red Wings Kris Draper and Tomas Holmstrom capped off the scoring for Detroit in the second in a 4-1 win over the Wild. For Draper it was his first tally of the season to put the Wings up 3-0 and Holmstrom’s tenth coming on the power-play made it a quartet of goals for the team from Hockey Town.
Down in snowy Raleigh (no that wasn’t a typo) former Albany River Rats defenseman Jay Harrison notched his fourth assist on Carolina’s second goal but the Hurricanes came up short against the Washington Capitals 3-2. Alexander Ovechkin’s 13th goal of the year in the second was the difference maker.
Locally the New York Islanders showed a lot of fight and smoked the Montereal Canadiens 4-1. The same could not be said across the river as the New Jersey Devils were smoked by the Toronto Maple Leafs by that same final of 4-1. Former Albany Devils defenseman Mark Fayne recorded his first career NHL assist in the loss for New Jersey.
Sidney Crosby extended his points scoring streak to 24 and became the first player to 30 goals on the season but his Pittsburgh Penguins were downed by the Ottawa Senators 3-1.
Around the “A” in Springfield the Falcons took care of the Providence Bruins 5-2. Former Albany River Rats Steven Goertzen and Falcons Captain Ben Guite scored their third and fourth goals respectively for Springy. In a losing effort for Providence, ex-Rat and RPI Captain Kirk MacDonald posted his fifth goal on the year.
It was close but no cigar for the Albany Devils in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, as they fell to the Penguins in a wild shootout loss 5-4. The valiant effort gave the Devils their first point of the season against the league’s top team. However it was also the first post-regulation loss for Albany this year.
Jumping out first were the Devils on Nick Palmieri’s sixth goal of the season. After the Pens bounced back, the Devils re-gained the advantage on Rob Davidson’s first marker on the season from Vladimir Zharkov and Stephen Gionta. Following Davidson’s goal the Pens were able to send the game to the locker room knotted at 2-2.
During the second a power-play goal by Michael Swift, his third in the last three and ninth of the year from Adam Henrique and Chad Wiseman, was sandwiched by two Wilkes-Barre goals and the Pens were up 4-3 going into the third frame.
Mid-way through the third Dan Kelly found the back of the net for his first of 2010 from Darcy Zajac and the game was squared at 4-4 into OT.
Ultimately the game came down to a shootout where Chad Wiseman was the lone scorer for Albany and after missing their initial shot the Pens got three straight from Nick Johnson, Keven Veileux and Brett Sterling to seal the deal.
Albany’s record now stands at 12-17-0-1 (25 points), one behind the Syracuse Crunch for sixth in the East Division.
In Empire State Cup action: Jacob Markstrom’s 43 saves for the Amerks helped Rochester to a 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch. A four goal first, including two from Zack Smith led the onslaught of the Phantoms 7-1. Former Albany River Rats defenseman David Hale picked up his second of the year. The lone Phantoms goal was recorded by Ben Holmstrom, his seventh from Zac Rinaldo and Erik Gustafsson.
Former Albany River Rats Captain Keith Aucion scored his eighth goal of the season, which proved to be the third period difference maker as the Hershey Bears knocked off the Norfolk Admirals 3-1.