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Devils strike back, force Game 7

Backs to the wall after back-to-back blowout losses at home, the Albany Devils bounced back in impressive fashion on Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 win over the Toronto Marlies in Game 6 of the North Division Finals at Ricoh Coliseum.

Game 7 of the series will be Monday night at Ricoh, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Scott Wedgewood, from nearby Etobicoke, Ont., made 34 saves as the Devils prevailed with a makeshift lineup that was missing offensive threats Mike Sislo, Jim O’Brien, Pavel Zacha and Brian O’Neill, all injured over the course of the series. Reid Boucher, Nick Lappin and Corbin McPherson had a goal and an assist apiece for the Devils in Game 6.

Vojtech Mozik’s pass hit a Toronto skate in front and went right to Boucher at the side of the net, where he buried his fourth goal of the playoffs at the 4:24 mark to open the scoring.

Albany then made it 2-0 just 49 seconds later as Rod Pelley won a faceoff back to the right point and McPherson blasted a shot past Antoine Bibeau at 5:13.

Toronto trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with 9:15 to play in the second period when Stuart Percy picked up a rebound behind the Devils net and found Kasperi Kapanen, who knocked in his second goal of the playoffs from in close.

But Lappin restored Albany’s two-goal lead with 5:18 remaining in the period with his fourth goal of the series. Toronto was unable to clear its defensive zone and Matt Lorito found Lappin, who put a shot past Bibeau to make it 3-1.

Wedgewood made a big save on Mark Arcobello with just under 12 minutes left in the third period, and the Devils extended the lead to 4-1 at the 8:56 mark as McPherson’s shot caromed off the end boards and went to Graham Black, who knocked it in from the side of the net for his second goal of the playoffs.

Toronto pulled Bibeau (23 saves) for an extra attacker with more than six minutes remaining and worked a full power play skating with a 6-on-4 advantage, but Wedgewood and the Devils sealed the victory.

Toronto, 6-for-14 on the power play in their wins in Games 4 and 5, went 0-for-5 with the man advantage in Game 6. Albany was 0-for-3.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7) 
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N2-Albany Devils
Game 1 – Wed., May 4 – Albany 2, TORONTO 1
Game 2 – Fri., May 6 – TORONTO 5, Albany 3
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., May 10 – Toronto 7, ALBANY 2
Game 5 – Thu., May 12 – Toronto 5, ALBANY 1
Game 6 – Sat., May 14 – Albany 4, TORONTO 1
Game 7 – Mon., May 16 – Albany at Toronto, 7:30