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Devils Use Special Teams to Down Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse tied the score three times and briefly led in the second period, but Albany's special teams play proved to be too much.

The Devils went 4-for-5 with the man-advantage and added a shorthanded marker in the third, as Albany powered past the Syracuse Crunch, 7-6, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

While Crunch head coach Rob Zettler saw some things he liked, the overall game was frustrating.

"We have work to do," Zettler said of the Crunch, who sit in first place in the Northeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference. "We're not where we want to be in a lot of ways, but the bottom line is we continue to work hard and continue to compete. We just have to clean up some of the mess in front of our net and some of the discipline."

AHL Game Night: 2-27-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch cut their kicker after he misses the extra point?

ALB-7
SYR-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 7 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Shot his season save percentage all the way down to .896 in the process. Freshly signed Allen York stopped 4 in mop up duty in relief.

First Period
ALB Sislo, (15) (Hrabarenka, K. Zajac), 5:33 (PP)
ALB Timmins, (7) (Boucher, Scarlett), 10:22 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (14) (Marchessault, Koekkoek), 11:55
SYR Kunyk, (7) (Ashton, Gourde), 16:57 (PP)
ALB Sislo, (16) (Boucher, Helgeson), 17:17

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (20) (Ashton, Namestnikov), 2:58 (PP)
ALB K. Zajac, (3) (Helgeson, Sestito), 8:30 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (14) (Koekkoek, Vermin), 9:55
SYR Kunyk, (8) (Broll, Dodero), 10:33

Third Period
ALB Wohlberg, (5) (D. Zajac), 1:03 (SH)
ALB Matteau, (6) (K. Zajac, Hrabarenka), 3:20 (PP)
ALB D. Zajac, (5) (Helgeson, Wohlberg), 6:51
SYR Marchessault, (15) (Vermin, Dotchin), 9:45 (PP)

Cody Kunyk and Jonathan Marchessault were the game's second and third stars.

I'm trying to imagine what an ex-defenseman like Zettler is going through having given up 10 goals in one game and 7 in another over the last month or so. I suspect it makes him want to peel the paint off the walls with his fingernails. The good news was Syracuse actually got 3 PP goals, but they ultimately lost the game because they were -2 on special teams including surrendering a SH goal. 1/5 on the PK and giving up a SH goal is just awful. There's no sugar coating it.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-27-15 Blackhawks at Lightning

As close to perfect as it gets...

CHI-0
TB-4

Ben Bishop stopped all 26 shots he faced for the shutout and the win. He didn't face many quality chances, but he was solid as a rock when he did, including turning aside a breakaway bid by Saad. In a battle of two ex-Black Bears, it was Bishop who got him some #UofMaineJustice.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
8:27 TB Boyle (13), (Drouin)
17:53 TB Stamkos (33), (Garrison, Nesterov)

Third Period
7:37 TB Callahan (19), (Filppula, Johnson)(PP)
17:15 TB Stamkos (34), (Garrison, Hedman)(PP)

Bishop, Steven Stamkos, and Brian Boyle were the game's three stars.

That's probably the most complete game the Lightning have played all season. True, the Hawks played last night and the Lightning have just been relaxing at the crib since returning from their West Coast trip, but that was just a good old fashioned butt whipping. When you have that long of a layoff, maybe you worry about rust and your timing and passing being off, but that wasn't the case tonight. I thought the breakout was as crisp and efficient as it has been all season, and when the Lightning get out of their own end that cleanly and quickly and get to use their skating ability, they're more than a handful for the opposition. They built the 2 goal lead headed into the Third Period and then, my goodness, they finally figured out how to put a game away on the power play. Yes. That's how it's done.

Don't be coy, Rick Peckham. You know where the Dump Truck nickname came from.

Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was +2 in 14:21. It was a good recovery game after the debacle against the Avs. He got back to being smart with the puck and he was assertive when the times came to jump up and hold pucks in the offensive zone.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Extraliga Game Day: 2-27-15

Litvinov 5 vs. Sparta Praha 3
Jaroslav Janus, Sparta Praha, Loss, 26/31, 5.00 GAA, .839 sv%
Season totals (CZE): 4 GP, 1-3-0, 0 SO, 4.41 GAA, .856 sv%
Season totals (KHL): 25 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA, .891 sv%

Jaroslav Janus struggled in his 4th decision for Sparta Praha. His club fell 5-3 to Litvinov Undrafted 21 year old defenseman Tomas Pavelka had a pair of helpers in the match for Litvinov.

Liiga Game Day: 2-27-15

JYP 4 vs. HPK 1
Saku Salminen, HPK, DNP
Season totals: 32 GP, 3-4-7, E, 4 PIM

Undrafted 21 year old forward Markus Hannikainen had 2 goals and 3 points for JYP in their 4-1 thumping of HPK. Ex-Leafs player Darryl Boyce also had a goal in the match for JYP.

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