ALBANY 2, ROCHESTER 0
Jeff Frazee made 24 stops for this second shutout of the season – both at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester – as the Albany Devils took a 2-0 decision from the Americans on Saturday night.
Frazee, who blanked the Amerks on the Devils’ last trip to Rochester with 34 saves in a 4-0 win on Nov. 20, earned his seventh career AHL shutout and his seventh victory of the 2010-11 season. He was tested 10 times in the first, eight in the second and six in the third.
Along with the Devils’ defense, Frazee denied Rochester’s power play on all four chances. After giving up eight power-play goals in four games, Albany hasn’t allowed a man-up goal in two games (eight attempts).
Offensively, Louis Robitaille scored the game-winning goal with 3:36 remaining in the second period. The play began when Nathan Perkovich exited the defensive end by winning a battle on the left halfway. Michael Swift received the puck and dished to Robitaille in the neutral zone. Skating down the right side, Robitaille found a seam through the body of Amerks’ netminder Jacob Markstrom for his first goal since Nov. 18, 2009.
Adam Henrique sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 20 seconds remaining, his seventh goal of the season.
Rochester, which was coming off a 6-5 win against Syracuse on Friday, received a 21-save performance from Markstrom.
In its 11th road game, Albany improved to 7-4-0-0 away from the Times Union Center. Fourteen of the team’s 22 points towards the standings have come on the road.
The Devils finish their three-game weekend with a contest against Adirondack at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sunday afternoon.
TORONTO 2, ABBOTSFORD 0
(CP) – Despite not seeing game action in three weeks, James Reimer looked as sharp as ever Saturday.
The Toronto netminder made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Marlies continued their winning ways with a 2-0 victory over the Abbotsford Heat at Ricoh Coliseum.
Reimer was solid in picking up his sixth win, despite making his first start for the Marlies since Nov. 13. He had been backing up Jonas Gustavsson with the Toronto Maple Leafs because of J-S Giguere’s injured groin.
“Honestly, I thought there was going to be some (rust),”’ Reimer said. “I don’t know if I got a shot in the first eight minutes. But I was able to stay in there, felt the first couple and the team took it from there.”
Marlies coach Dallas Eakins gave Reimer the start after Jussi Rynnas played in Friday’s 6-4 win over the Heat and said he was concerned with the long layoff.
The low-scoring affair was in stark contrast to Friday night’s shootout. The Heat scored four goals with the man-advantage in that game, but the Marlies held its power-play unit off the scoresheet Saturday in five opportunities.
After a scoreless first period, the Marlies got things going early in the second. Crabb picked up his 10th of the season at 2:10 when he banged in a rebound past Irving during a scramble around the Heat goal. Mitchell made it 2-0 at 7:31 of the third when his shot dribbled past Irving, who was out of position after giving up a juicy rebound.
The Marlies have now won five in a row.
The Heat (12-11-3) lost its fourth in a row and dropped four points behind the second-place Marlies (14-8-3) in the North Division.
CHICAGO 2, HAMILTON 1
The Hamilton Bulldogs were defeated by the Chicago Wolves, 2-1, on Saturday at Copps Coliseum.
The Wolves took a 1-0 lead at 3:26 of the second stanza with a power-play goal. Fredrik Pettersson fired a shot on net that bounced off the post and out to Jason Krog. Krog proceeded to flip the puck over Hamilton starting goaltender Curtis Sanford.
Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 at 18:26. Spencer Machacek received the puck from Mike Siklenka before sending a shot towards the net. The puck deflected off the skate of Jared Ross and past Sanford.
The Bulldogs scored their goal at 3:06 of the final frame. Max Pacioretty collected the puck before circling around the left side of the net and firing a backhand shot towards the net. The puck slid underneath the pads of Mannino. Pacioretty, the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for November, now has 10-4-14 in his last nine games.
Mannino made 33 saves for his sixth win in his last seven decisions. Sanford stopped 26 saves but took the loss despite allowing two goals or fewer for the 10th time in 11 starts this season.
SAN ANTONIO 6, GRAND RAPIDS 3
Petr Prucha and Oliver Ekman-Larsson both began the season with the parent Phoenix Coyotes, but both scored twice for San Antonio on Saturday night to help the Rampage to a 6-3 win in Grand Rapids.
Andrew Ebbett, who has played six games himself with the Coyotes this year, added a goal and two assists and Brett MacLean notched a goal and an assist for San Antonio, which was 3-for-6 on the power play for the night.
Prucha scored once shorthanded and once on the power play for the Rampage. Ekman-Larsson, the sixth overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, netted his first two professional goals, including the one that put San Antonio ahead to stay at 3-2 late in the second period.
Al Montoya (7-3-0) made 20 saves in the win.
CONNECTICUT 4, WORCESTER 3 (SO)
Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist in regulation and added a goal in the shootout as Connecticut rallied past Worcester, 4-3, at the XL Center on Saturday.
The Whale erased three separate one-goal deficits in the spirited duel that featured a combined 138 minutes in penalties – including 124 in the second period alone.
The win gave Connecticut points in six consecutive games (4-0-0-2), including a 4-0-0-1 mark under the “Whale” name.
HERSHEY 4, BINGHAMTON 0
Braden Holtby stopped all 26 shots he faced for his second shutout in eight days as Hershey defeated Binghamton, 4-0, at Giant Center on Saturday.
The Bears have won three of four from the Senators this season, outscoring Binghamton by a 21-8 margin.
Maxime Lacroix had a goal and an assist for Hershey, and Francois Bouchard, Jay Beagle and Ashton Rome also scored as the Bears won for the second straight night and the fifth time in their last seven outings.
Robin Lehner made 34 saves for the Senators, who have totaled five goals during their four-game losing streak.
MANCHESTER 7, SPRINGFIELD 2
Manchester rebounded from a 7-2 loss to Norfolk on Friday night by turning the tables on Springfield, defeating the Falcons by the same 7-2 score at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday.
Marc-Andre Cliche had two goals and two assists to pace the Monarchs’ offense, which has now scored 27 goals in their last five games. Andrei Loktionov chipped in with a goal and two assists, giving him 11 points (2g, 9a) in those five games.
It was the seventh time already this season that Manchester scored at least five goals in a contest.
Justin Johnson, without a point in his first 16 games to begin his AHL career, also had a goal and two assists for Manchester, while Oscar Moller, Jordan Nolan and Brandon Kozun scored in a span of 6:34 in the third period to break open a close game.
Rookie Martin Jones (6-1-0) stopped 22 shots for the Monarchs.
NORFOLK 4, PORTLAND 3 (SO)
Chris Durno and Mike Angelidis scored in the final 3:06 of regulation to erase a two-goal deficit and Marc-Antoine Pouliot scored the lone shootout goal as Norfolk defeated Portland, 4-3, on Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Norfolk improved to 4-1-0-0 through five legs of its season-long six-game road trip, which concludes Sunday afternoon in Springfield.
Cedrick Desjardins won his sixth straight game for Norfolk by stopping 36 shots – including all 25 he faced after the first period – and denying all five Portland shooters in the shootout.
Portland built a 3-0 lead in the first period on two goals by Paul Byron and one by T.J. Brennan. But after Blair Jones cut the deficit to 3-1 in the opening minute of the second period, Durno made it a one-goal game with a power-play goal at 16:54 of the third and Angelidis was credited with the equalizer with 33 seconds left and Desjardins off for an extra attacker.
Jhonas Enroth stopped 43 of 46 shots for the Pirates.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3, ADIRONDACK 2
Tim Wallace broke a third-period tie with five minutes left in regulation and Eric Tangradi provided the insurance to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeat a pesky Adirondack Phantoms team by a 3-2 score on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
With the win, the Penguins improve to 20-4-0-0 on the season, the first AHL team to hit the 20-win mark.
Dustin Jeffrey potted his 13th goal of the season late in the first period, just two seconds after a Penguins power play had expired, to tie the score at 1-1.
The Penguins broke through with the go-ahead goal when Corey Potter pushed a pass ahead to Wallace, who held the puck on a two-on-one and fired a shot that beat Michael Leighton low to the stick side for his ninth goal of the season.
Tangradi then scored a huge insurance goal at 16:46 by sending a low shot from the left corner off the left skate blade of Leighton and into the net.
Adirondack made things interesting on a 6-on-4 power play with Leighton off for a sixth attacker when Ben Holmstrom scored at the 18:20 mark. But the Penguins were able to hold on to the final horn, shaking off furious pressure from the Phantoms in the final 30 seconds.
John Curry improved to 9-2-0 with the victory, stopping 22 of 24 shots. Leighton, beginning a conditioning assignment and in his first game action since the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals for Philadelphia, recorded 26 saves.
PEORIA 3, LAKE ERIE 2
Derek Nesbitt scored with 13.5 seconds left in regulation and former Monsters forward T.J. Hensick potted the decisive goal in the shootout as Peoria got past Lake Erie, 3-2, in Cleveland on Saturday.
Hensick, who was a two-time AHL All-Star during his three-year stay with Lake Erie (2007-10), also assisted on Nesbitt’s game-tying goal to help the Rivermen extend their points streak to eight games (7-0-1-0).
Rookie center Phil McRae added his team-high ninth goal of the season and Ben Bishop made 22 saves to get back to .500 (7-7-1) on the year. Bishop, who allowed five goals in six rounds during his first shootout appearance this season, stopped four of five attempts this time around.
Lake Erie has earned now points in five straight games (3-0-1-1).
BRIDGEPORT 4, PROVIDENCE 1
Josh Bailey scored his first two AHL goals and Nathan Lawson stopped 36 of 37 Providence shots as Bridgeport skated to a 4-1 win over the Bruins at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Olivier Labelle scored his first AHL goal since Mar. 12, 2008, and Robin Figren followed Bailey’s second of the night with a goal just 30 seconds later to seal the Sound Tigers’ third straight home win.
Bailey, the ninth overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft, now has six points (2g, 4a) in five games since being assigned to Bridgeport by the parent New York Islanders.
Levi Nelson scored the only goal for the Bruins, who have scored exactly one goal in each of their last four games.
HOUSTON 4, TEXAS 3 (OT)
Cody Almond’s power-play goal 2:42 into overtime gave Houston a 4-3 win over Texas in Cedar Park.
It was the Aeros’ fourth win in five games against the Stars this season.
Texas erased two separate deficits to force the overtime, with Cody Chupp’s goal with 5:02 remaining in regulation tying the game at 3-3. Stars forwards Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour also scored in the defeat and defenseman Severin Blindenbacher set up two goals for Texas.
OKLAHOMA CITY 4, MANITOBA 0
Martin Gerber (10-4-1) made 37 saves for his second shutout of the year, backstopping Oklahoma City to a 4-0 win over Manitoba at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
Linus Omark had a goal and two assists for the Barons, Ryan O’Marra notched his first goal of the season and added an assist, Matt Marquardt notched the game-winning goal and Alexandre Giroux ended a 14-game drought with his first goal since Oct. 27.
Gerber improved to 5-0-1 on the road this season with the win, and handed the Moose their fourth shutout loss of the year.
Eddie Lack took the loss for Manitoba, finishing the night with 30 saves.