Portland Comes To Town- Plunders Devils In Shootout
In the AHL you play your eastern conference foes like 20x a season so it seems. rare is the matc hup against the western conference. Such rarity came to Albany Saturday night and beat the Devils in a huge game 5-4 in a shoot out.
With 10 games left in the regular season the odds are looking dimmer and dimmer for an Albany playoff appearance, however not impossible. The devils find themselves in 11th place in the east. The top 8 teams in each conference make the post season.
This was a painful loss. The Devils led 4-2 late in the 2nd period and looked as if they would be headed for a 2nd straight home ice victory. 2 goals by Mike Sislo, added in with Reid Boucher getting a goal and an assist, and Joe Whitney's 25th goal of the year had the Devils feeling good with 20 minutes left. that feeling didn't last.
Portland's Andy Miele tied the game with 5:48 left in regulation. neither team scored in the 5 minute OT which set up the Pirates shoot out victory. The Pirates out shot the Devils badly, 43-24. Jeff Frazee was in net for Albany.
Here is the precarious playoff position the Devils find themselves in. They have 68 points for 11th in the east. At 10 is Manchester with 69 points. Right above that is Norfolk with 71 points. Currently holding the 8th and final spot is Hershey with 73 points. The Bears lost in Albany Friday night, snapping a 6 game Devils slide. The Devils do have a game in hand on all those 3 teams mentioned.
Of their last 10 games all but 1 are against eastern foes. Only 2 are against non playoff teams including a game left with Norfolk. The other match against a non playoff club is against Adirondack.
Next up on the schedule is a Tuesday night contest at Springfield. Good news for Albany in the remaining sked is this- of the remaining games only 3 are on the road. Albany finishes the season with 5 straight games at the Times Union Center.