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Butler scores four to lead Devils

( — As the Albany Devils go, so goes Bobby Butler.

With a 6-3 victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wednesday at Times Union Center, the Devils are riding a four-game winning streak. Butler extended his point streak also to four games by tying franchise records with four goals and five points.

Butler joins Matt Halischuk and David Clarkson as the only AHL Devils to produce five points in a game. Like Butler, Halischuk and Clarkson both registered four goals and an assist. Halischuk’s performance came against Worcester on Oct. 11, 2008, while Clarkson’s was against Philadelphia on Jan. 12, 2007.

Additionally, Butler notched the team’s first hat trick since Joe Whitney potted three at Springfield on Jan. 21, 2012. Also, it was Albany’s first four-goal performance and hat trick at home since Chad Wiseman accomplished the feat on Mar. 9, 2011, against Bridgeport.

Butler, who entered the night with a goal and three points in the previous three outings, scored at 17:42 of the first, 1:48 and 8:03 of the second – shorthanded – and at 5:35 of the third.

The win pulls the Devils to .500 for the first time this season with an 8-8-0-5 mark, while the Penguins go to 13-8-1-1.

Steve Zalewski, Harri Pesonen, Jacob Josefson and Whitney also registered multiple points. Zalewski had a goal and two assists, while Pesonen netted a goal and assisted on Zalewski’s tally. Josefson and Whitney both had two assists.

In goal, Keith Kinkaid moved his winning streak to four games and he is now 5-5-3 on the season. He turned aside 24 shots.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton received goals from Riley Holzapfel, Brian Dumoulin and Jayson Megna. Between the pipes, Brad Theissen made 24 stops.

Holzapfel opened the scoring at 11:28 of the first and the Devils responded with three straight tallies. Butler evened the score, 1-1, and Pesonen gave Albany the lead from Josefson at 1:03 of the second.

Dumoulin’s goal was sandwiched by Butler’s second and third tallies and Megna pulled his team within one at 15:40 of the second.

In the third, the Devils put the game out of reach with goals from Zalewski at 2:59 and Butler at 5:35.

Butler is the first AHL player to score four goals in a game this season, and the second (after Portland’s Rob Klinkhammer) with a five-point night.