In Rinkside Rewind lots of local pucks flying around the NHL and AHL on Tuesday night. Starting in Boston where a hat-trick by Patrice Bergeron and 31 saves by All-Star goaltender Tim Thomas led the Bruins to a 6-0 blanking of the Ottawa Senators. The B’s maintain their Northeast Division lead with 53 points on the season.
Original Six action in New York saw the Montreal Canadiens edge the Rangers 2-1. Benoit Pouliot put away his ninth for the winner. Brandon Dubinsky’s 17th was the Blueshirts lone tally.
The Philadelphia Flyers were aided by a four point night from ex-Sabre Danny Briere in their 5-2 beatdown of Buffalo. Former Albany River Rat Cody McCormick posted his fifth goal of the year and added a helper for the Sabres.
On the Island the Vancouver Canucks were pushed to the limit by the New York Islanders, but increased their NHL leading point total to 62 in a 4-3 shootout win. Former Isles keeper Roberto Luongo made 38 stops for the Canucks, while Kevin Poulin made an impressive 48 saves of his own in a losing effort for New York.
In other shootout action the Carolina Hurricanes upended the Calgary Flames 6-5. Former Albany River Rat Brendan Morrison notched his 16th assist for the Flames in the loss.
Down in Florida former Adirondack Red Wing Mike Knuble recorded his tenth goal of the season for Washington but the Panthers prevailed in OT over the Capitals 4-3.
Out in San Jose the Sharks got two goals from Patrick Marleau but the Toronto Maple Leafs got two from Clarke MacArthur as they scored four goals in the third for their fourth straight victory. The win also gave Coach Ron Wilson his 600th as an NHL bench boss.
Around the “A”
After having his ten-game point streak snapped Saturday night against Syracuse and being snubbed by the AHL in All-Star voting, Albany Devils forward Michael Swift would not be denied during a Tuesday tilt in Worcester. Speaking of denials, Devils netminder Mike McKenna turned aside all 32 shots sent his way for Albany’s second straight win.
Midway through the first Swift got the Devils on the board with the only goal they’d need, his 14th on the year with Chad Wiseman adding the helper.
Albany also boasted a robust penalty kill, going six for six, due in large part to the backstopping of McKenna.
In the third Swift registered an empty net score from Brad Mills for his 15th on the season to ice the 2-0 victory away for Albany.
The win for the Devils is their second straight and and second of the year at the DCU Center. Albany now has ten road wins on the season and improves to 15-20-0-3 (33 points) overall and jumps the Syracuse Crunch for sixth place in the East Division. Albany now trails Worcester by only ten points in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Down in Norfolk the Charlotte Checkers held off the Admirals 2-1. Former Albany River Rat Oscar Osala posted his ninth of the year from Brett Sutter and Chris Terry to put the Checkers out front 1-0. In the third another former Rat Nicolas Blanchard notched his third of the year from Jerome Samson and Cedric McNicoll for the eventual winner. Additionally picking up the win was ex-Rats netminder Justin Pogge, making 33 saves in all.
Finally an upset of sorts in Portland where the Binghamton Senators rocked the Pirates 5-2. B-Sens AHL All-Star Cory Locke posted two goals including the winner and added two assists. Locke now has 15 goals on the season.