If they only had a goalie. With Brad Mills, Jacob Josefson and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond all back in the lineup the Albany Devils as constituted looked as soild as they have all season. However despite out-gunning the Charlotte Checkers throughout, the Albany Devils find themselves still searching for win number one in 2011.
Charlotte got started early on a giveaway behind the net as one former Albany River Rat found another when Nick Dodge found Nicolas Blanchard for his second of the year and a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the second Michael Swift sent the crowd into a frenzy scoring his 13th goal of the year on a penalty shot. The goal for Swift extended his franchise and current league best point streak to ten, making his case for a spot on the AHL All-Star team.
However late in the second the Checkers got another cheap goal past Jeff Frazee as former Rat Chris Terry slid a loose puck into the net for his 17th from Casey Borer and Oscar Osala for the 2-1 edge. Certainly the Devils deserved better as they recorded as many shots in the second as the Checkers had totaled through two. With Marty Brodeur on his last legs the organization might want to find a competent goaltender at the AHL level to groom, because the duo they have trotted out all season have not played up to par.
Early in the third yet another ex-Rat Jerome Samson beat Frazee with a howitzer for his AHL leading 20th on the year and 100th on his career, putting the Checkers up 3-1.
The Devils did strike back quickly after when Matt Anderson stepped up to beat Justin Pogge for his 12th on the year from Jacob Josefson and Tyler Eckford, cutting the lead to one.
Albany kept grinding and grinding but just couldn’t connect to tie things up. Charlotte got an empty netter from Brett Sutter to ice away the 4-2 victory.
One has to give a lot of credit to the Devils who skated hard against a team light years away from them in the standings, especially given how they played Wednesday night. They hope to get off the schneid Saturday night against Syracuse.
Additionally in a classy move the Albany Devils are allowing those fans who had tickets and either did or did not make it to Friday night’s game to attend next Friday’s game against the Binghamton Senators for free.