Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AHL Game 22: WBS 5, Albany 1

The Machine.Dustin Jeffrey and the Pens looked just about as good as they have all season and romped to a 5-1 victory over the Albany Devils. Hopefully I'm not wearing out the machine reference because its hard to find a better word to describe this team on days like this. They come off the block strong, take control of the game, and then there is little doubt from there as to who the winner is going to be. In fact, they just about were able to take the 3rd period off.

Dustin Jeffrey got the Pens on the board early when he took a pass from his favorite setup man Andrew Hutchinson and slung a shot past Dave Caruso for the 1-0 lead. It was a powerplay goal. The Devils were able to tie it up with a Michael Swift goal at the 8 minute mark, but that was the only one of the day that would get past John Curry. But Dustin Jeffrey would once again not let the game remain tied for long and he connected on another powerplay chance, this time from Brett Sterling.

A 2-1 lead at intermission is nice, but then the Pens put on a display of some real explosiveness. Back-to-back goals (sound familiar....) within 16 seconds of each other in the 2nd period stretched the lead from 2-1 to 4-1. Brett Sterling scored the first after tipping in a Geoff Walker shot, and Tim Wallace followed that up with a goal of his own. Albany was able to stop the bleeding a little when they pulled Caruso in favor of backup Jeff Frazee, but WBS still had one more score left in them. Robert Bortuzzo took a nice cross-ice pass and blasted a slapshot past Frazee midway through the 2nd, giving the Pens their 3rd powerplay goal of the game. Combine this with a perfect penalty killing unit and it would be a fair bet to say that special teams played a large role in the win.

Louis Robitaille was playing for the Devils, but it was his teammate Harry Young that drew a lot of attention from the Pens. Young dropped the gloves first with Kevin Veilleux at the end of the 1st, and then again with Ryan Craig midway through the 3rd after a Michael Swift boarding call. There were a few other skirmishes throughout the game, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of this hostility carry over when these 2 next face off next Sunday in Atlantic City. There is one potential spoiler to this great win, and it comes in the form of Andrew Hutchinson leaving the game after just 1 period. No update on what the injury is, or how severe. Binghamton comes to town on Friday.

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