Rinkside Roundup takes us to sunny Florida, where the Panthers won their third straight behind 33 saves by one-time Albany River Rats netminder Scott Clemmensen 3-2 in OT over the New Jersey Devils. Nick Palmieri who got his start with the Albany Devils this season, got the scoring underway with his second on the year, putting home a rebound. Former Rat Travis Zajac (17) and A-Dev Anssi Salmela (2) got the helpers on the goal.
With the Devils down 2-1 in the third another old Rat David Clarkson stuffed home his eighth from another A-Dev Tim Sestito (2) to tie things at 2-2. However in the extra session Dmitry Kulikov waltzed right in and beat Martin Brodeur for the winner. Clemmensen evens his record to 5-5-1 on the year.
Down in Carolina the Hurricanes took care of the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Former Albany River Rats defenseman Jamie McBain posted his second goal of the year on the power-play for Carolina in the second.
Local action saw John Tavares with his second career hat-trick and 18th goal of the year (how is this guy not an All-Star?) and Rick DiPietro made 40 saves to power the New York Islanders to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Matt Moulson also had three helpers for the Isles.
Up in Montreal a three goal first was all the Canadiens needed to hold off the New York Rangers in a battle of Original Six foes, 3-2.
Afternoon action in Boston saw the Pittsburgh Penguins edge the Bruins 3-2.
Former Adirondack Red Wing Kris Draper scored his fourth goal of the season and added an assist as Detroit topped Columbus 6-5 in OT.
Former Albany River Rat Andrew Ladd was the lone bright spot on a rough night for the Atlanta Thrashers in their 6-1 loss at the hands of the Dallas Stars. Ladd is putting together a nice season, now with 16 markers.
Around the “A”
Forty games down, forty to go and it’s now four wins in a row for the Albany Devils. With a pair of goals in each period Albany showed lots of muscle and a nice six-pack in their 6-3 win over the Springfield Falcons. The Devils have now won as many games at home in the first month of 2011 as they did in all of 2010.
In the first the Devils were able to short circut the Falcons power-play with two shorthanded tallies. Michael Swift registered his team leading 16th of the year from Chad Wiseman as Springfield netminder David LeNeveu mis-played the puck behind the boards. Then it was Brad Mills cashing in on a breakaway for his fifth on the campaign.
The second period saw its share of scraps with Harry Young and Jonathan Siglet doing battle before a faceoff. There were also other fights involving Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Tom Sestito and Louis Robitaille slamming Dane Byers to the ice.
As play resumed the Devils tripled their lead with Adam Henrique streaking in for his tenth from Jacob Josefson.
Soon after Springfield would get on the board as David Savard ripped one over Mike McKenna’s right shoulder to get the Falcons on the board. The Falcons got their second on the night as one-time Albany River Rat Ben Guite stuffed home a loose puck in the crease.
Albany would strike back with under a minute to go in the frame on the power-play as Henrique posted his second of the second and eleventh of the year, re-directing a Chad Wiseman drive to the back of the twine, Josefson was also credited with a secondary assist, his second of the period as well.
Moving ahead to the third Chris D’Alvise corralled the puck in front and put it past McKenna, pulling the Falcons to within one again.
However McKenna who to use a use a baseball term “pitched to the scoreboard” and held down the fort with 24 saves while picking up an assist. Matt Anderson also recorded his 15th of the year on a bang-bang pass from Alexander Vasyunov who threaded the Falcons defense for a 5-3 insurance goal. Alexander Urbom added a secondary assist on Anderson’s goal and salted the game away with a bomb down the length of the rink into an empty net for his first career AHL goal from McKenna and a 6-3 Albany win.
With their schedule half in the books, an improving Albany squad now stands at 17-20-0-3 (37 points) only eight points behind the Worcester Sharks for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
In Glens Falls the Adirondack Phantoms were doubled up by the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins 4-2. Greg Moore and Danny Syvret scored for Adirondack and former Rats keeper Michael Leighton made 27 stops in the loss.
Former Rats Captain Keith Aucoin notched his eleventh goal of the year on the power-play and a shootout tally as the Hershey Bears were downed by the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2. Ex-Rats and Phantoms goaltender John Grahame made 32 saves and picked up the shootout win.
Dan DaSilva scored his eighth of the year on the power-play in the first to give the Worcester Sharks a 2-1 lead on the Portland Pirates. However Portland went on to score six unanswered goals, including five in the third as the Pirates drilled the Sharks 8-3.
One-time Albany River Rat Mike Angelidis registered his 14th goal of the year and ex-Rat Michael Vernace added an assist as the Norfolk Admirals and their 51 shots edged the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2.
One-time Adirondack Phantom Patrick Maroon’s goal on the power-play with less than a minute remaining in regulation helped the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 win over the Rochester Americans.