Power play gets a goal, but lets Devils down
The Albany Devils, who with Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to Providence are now 0-for-6 in shootouts, felt pretty good about the way things were going when
they had two shootout tallies through the first three rounds. They had no more than one in any five rounds of the five previous shootouts. But they ended up losing in the ninth round, 3-2.
They also must have felt a little better about Saturday's power play after scoring on their fourth advantage (counting the double-minor in the first period as two power plays ... during which they managed one shot on goal).
But Albany went 1-for-8 on the power play through the game, including one that started with less than 14 seconds left in regulation, spilling over into the overtime period. That gave Albany a four-on-three advantage for roughly 1:46.
"The one that bothered me was the four-on-three, not getting a quality look," Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. "We've got some shooters out there. You've got to at least get a couple shots on that with traffic in front. It's funny, because I talked this morning to the PP and said this is a game that could be determined by a power-play goal here or there. Sure enough, we got the one, but two would have won it for us, and we had the opportunity."
That failure on the power play gave the Bruins a little momentum. They create a few chances late in overtime that almost ended the game before the Zambonis came out for the shootout. The best chance came on a loose rebound near the right post, to goalie Jeff Frazee's left, that Carter Camper got a stick on, but he sent it wide right of the open net in front of him.
"I was hoping we'd get one on the power play. They [the Bruins] did a good job," Frazee said. "Their kill played well today."
"I think our team always gets some juice from big events," Providence coach Bruce Cassidy said. "When we score a goal, boy, it seems to spur us. We're that type of team. It goes the other way for us, too. When something bad happens, we have to really dig ourselves out of it quickly, because we tend to get down on ourselves. That's just the type of team [we are]. I think it has to do with youth. It's the way we are. But after that kill, we thought, 'Hey, we have a chance to win this thing.' It's a game we've been fighting to stay in and struggling to corral the puck a lot of the night. All of a sudden, two or three minutes [to go], let's go. Carter Camper could have put it away, [but] the puck bounced on him. He's usually pretty good at those. But he's been out, a little rusty. I think the next time he gets one of those, he'll settle it down, and he'll bury it.
"We spent a lot of time on the kill. I'll have to look at them to see if we deserved them all, because we're usually a pretty disciplined club that way. But anyway, our kill was good, and we needed to be good."
The power-play goal the Devils got in the second period was a beaut, though. From high on the left circle, left wing Joe Whitney threaded the needle that was defenseman Kevan Miller's legs to send the pass cleanly to Bobby Butler, who skated to the right post for a backdoor, game-tying goal.
"Larse [Adam Larsson] did a good job, we played catch to make it a two-on-one with that guy up top," Whitney said. "I kind of saw Butsy go backdoor out of the corner of my eye. I tried to put a little bit of flight under it and get it through some sticks and skates, and he made a good play on the back door to tuck that one in."