Jason Missiaen stopped 37 of 40 Albany Devils shots Thursday night at the XL Center, but the Devils came away with a 4-3 shootout win over the Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack, who were outshot 41-15 in the game, got a goal and an assist from Jason Lepine, and goals from Tyler Gjurich and Bretton Stamler. Artem Demkov had a goal and an assist for the Devils, and Reid Boucher and Darcy Zajac also scored.
Hartford got the jump only two minutes into the game, with Gjurich beating Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood (12 saves) to the glove side on a rip into the top corner.
That was the only goal of the first period, and the second period started off with an early goal from Albany only one minute in, scored by Boucher. Boucher received a great pass in the middle of the ice from Demkov and placed a quick snapshot just out of Missiaen's reach on the stick side.
The tie held until, with only 1:20 remaining in the second period, Seth Helgeson sent a sharp pass to the middle of the ice that was deflected past Missiaen by Zajac. Only 14 seconds later, the Devils struck again with a great individual play by Demkov, who deked Missiaen and finished on the stick side right in front of goal. The period ended with the Devils holding a 3-1 lead.
In the third period, it was the Hartford power play that got the Wolf Pack back in the game. Stamler cut the lead to 3-2 at 4:45, slotting home a low, driving snapshot by Wedgewood on the stick side.
With 9:41 to go in the third, the Wolf Pack drew even on a power play goal from Lepine. The puck was deflected by Wedgewood after a Brandon Hynes shot, but fell right to the backhand of Lepine, who placed his shot just above Wedgewood's blocker on the stick side.
With 32 seconds left in the third period, the Devils went on a 5 on 3 power play after two penalties on the Wolf Pack. Missiaen staved off several attempts and the Wolf Pack escaped the third period in a 3-3 tie, but went into overtime still down two men.
The overtime saw power play opportunities both ways, with each team getting time on their offensive ends, but neither could capitalize and, ultimately, the game would be decided in the shootout.
Hynes and Ryan Bourque scored for the Wolf Pack in the shootout, but Boucher, Demkov and Dmitry Goldenkov all beat Missiaen for Albany, with Goldenkov’s score on the Devils’ fifth attempt deciding the issue.
The Wolf Pack are now 1-0-0-1 in two preseason games, and return to preseason action Friday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield against the Falcons. That game faces off at 7:00.
The team takes a break from the preseason schedule this Saturday, September 28, but the entire presea-son roster will be participating in a “meet-and-greet” event at Blue Back square in West Hartford that evening. From 6:00-8:00 PM, fans can enjoy autographs, games, prizes, inflatables, live music and more at Blue Back Square, which is located at 65 Memorial Rd. in West Hartford Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The Wolf Pack then wraps up the preseason this Sunday, September 29, welcoming the Falcons to the International Skating Center of Connecticut, 1375 Hopmeadow Rd. in Simsbury, for a 2:00 PM matinee. The admission charge for the International Skating Center of Connecticut game will be $5, with proceeds benefitting inner-city hockey programs for Hartford-area youngsters.
The Wolf Pack open their 2013-14 regular season Saturday, October 5 at the XL Center against the Norfolk Admirals. Faceoff for that game is 7:00, and the full 2013-14 Wolf Pack regular season schedule can be viewed at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. To speak with a representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.
Albany Devils 4 (SO) at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - XL Center
Albany 0 3 0 0 - 4
Hartford 1 0 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Gjurich 2 (Lepine), 2:00. Penalties-Noreau Hfd (closing hand on puck), 8:59; Thomson Alb (fighting), 13:29; Dodero Hfd (fighting), 13:29.
2nd Period-2, Albany, Boucher 1 (Demkov, Whitney), 1:00. 3, Albany, Zajac 3 (Helgeson, Scarlett), 18:40. 4, Albany, Demkov 1 18:54. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (slashing), 11:39; McKelvie Alb (fighting), 16:45; Stamler Hfd (fighting), 16:45; Wohlberg Alb (cross-checking), 18:03; Carroll Hfd (high-sticking), 18:03.
3rd Period-5, Hartford, Stamler 1 (Dupont, O'Donnell), 4:45 (PP). 6, Hartford, Lepine 1 (Hynes, Bourque), 10:19 (PP). Penalties-Carrier Alb (roughing, fighting), 3:29; Carroll Hfd (fighting), 3:29; Helgeson Alb (high-sticking), 6:04; Nicholls Hfd (tripping), 6:48; Wohlberg Alb (hooking), 9:51; Dupont Hfd (holding), 15:57; served by Hfd (bench minor - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:27; O'Donnell Hfd (roughing), 19:27.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Demkov Alb (hooking), 1:25.
Shootout - Albany 3 (Boucher G, Demkov G, Whitney NG, Wohlberg NG, Goldenkov G), Hartford 2 (Hynes G, St. Croix NG, Bourque G, O'Donnell NG, Gjurich NG).
Shots on Goal-Albany 11-18-9-2-1-41. Hartford 3-0-9-3-0-15.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 6; Hartford 2 / 4.
Goalies-Albany, Wedgewood 1-0-0 (15 shots-12 saves). Hartford, Missiaen 1-2-1 (40 shots-37 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).