Corrente earns a star
Had to give a little mention to Albany defenseman Matt Corrente, who was coming back from his one-game suspension for an instigating call in the last five minutes of last Saturday's loss in Glens Falls. Corrente was a plus-two in Saturday's 2-1 win over Adirondack and had a good eye to get Joe Whitney out on a rush in the second period, setting up the first goal.
Corrente entered with a minus-two in his six games so far this season. Coming out of a game with a plus-two, a game in which his team scored just twice, and for a team that has been so hard-up for goals this season is the mark of a really good night.
Just in case you haven't read anything else on the Devils in the last couple days, they've scored just 17 goals in 10 games.
Corrente helped set up No. 16 for a 1-0 lead at 13:44 in the second period on Saturday. He sent a slick pass from the right circle of his own zone out and across the ice to Whitney, who was looking to get the transition game going along the left side. Whitney skated into the attacking zone and was patient enough to see Bobby Butler come in on the right side, where he took Whitney's pass and shot from the right circle, beating Adirondack goalie Scott Munroe to the top left corner of the goal.
"Getting the assist is a bonus, but getting the puck out is the key for us D," Corrente said. "We want to get it out, get it going up, and if we get, chance to move up with the play and create offense right away."
Corrente was probably the most noticeably reliable defenseman for Albany on the night, and it earned him the second star of the game (not chosen by the assembled media, but still a good indication of who played well). Devils' goalie Jeff Frazee took the first star for an outstanding performance holding the Phantoms at bay, and Butler was given the third star.
As good as it was for Butler to get his first goal of the season, I think I would have given the third star to Munroe, who made 29 saves on 31 shots to give the Phantoms a chance. That, and I'm not a fan of one team getting all three stars in a one-goal game.
Devils' defenseman Eric Gelinas, who took a puck to the chin in the preseason and has not played since, was seen leaving the dressing room with a few teammates after the game. He had been in Newark working back from his injury and had not yet made an appearance in Albany. ...
Albany started the forward line of Tim Sestito-Steve Zalewski-Darcy Zajac, but those three ended up on three different lines as the period progressed. Here's the lines: Joe Whitney-Adam Henrique-Bobby Butler, Sestito-Jacob Josefson-Matt Anderson, Chad Wiseman-Zalewski-Scott Parse, Chris McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Zajac.
It's not something that came up in the postgame interview with Albany coach Rick Kowalsky, as the focus was on the stellar game of Jeff Frazee in goal and the way the specialty teams played, but it was likely just an insurance policy against the Phantoms starting line of Zac Rinaldo-Brayden Schenn-Harry Zolnierczyk in case they felt like starting the game with a fistful of penalties. ...
Chris McKelvie was playing for the first time this season. There was no indication Harri Pesonen was anything but a healthy scratch, and Kowalsky probably wanted to get McKelvie into a game. The only guy in Albany who is healthy and still unused is Harry Young, who has made the transition from defenseman to left wing. ...
Albany will host the Norfolk Admirals on Monday at 2 p.m. This team, when these players were in Syracuse last season, were as much a reason as any that the Devils missed the playoffs. Down the stretch, the Crunch owned the Devils, and their wins over Albany did so much to remove the Devils from playoff position and lifted Syracuse to a berth in their place.