Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…
MANCHESTER, NH – Center Scott Timmins collected three points as the Manchester Monarchs fell to the Albany Devils, 5-2, at Times Union Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (24-10-2-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 54 points. Albany (21-10-3-2) is ranked second in the Northeast Division with 47 points.
“Today’s game was a tremendous test for us,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Games with today’s intensity make you better. They are a big, deep team, especially behind the blueline. The line-up we faced brought physicality, the likes of which we haven’t face this year or any other team I’ve seen during my tenure. Albany’s team works hard and you can’t take a shift off against them. For much of the game, we matched their compete level, but the few times we hesitated or made slow reads, they made us pay for it. These are the games which separate the men from the boys. On the bench and on the ice, everyone knew this was a playoff atmosphere. We had some glorious chances to score, but we didn’t finish. I am pleased with the fact we worked so hard, although it’s apparent we need better execution and concentration for the full 60 minutes against a team like the one we played today.”
Timmins picked up his second goal of the game and ninth tally of the season to extend Albany’s lead to 3-1. Defenseman Adam Larsson carried the puck down the right wing of the Monarchs zone before sending a short pass to left wing Stefan Matteau in the right face-off circle. Matteau found Timmins in the left face-off circle for a one-timer at 3:51 of the middle frame.
Timmins scored his eighth goal of the season at 9:43 of the opening frame to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Larsson wristed a shot into the lower slot where the puck bounced off of some bodies. Timmins got his stick on the puck and flipped it into the back of the net, beating Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube on his glove side. Defenseman Corbin McPherson also earned an assist on the first goal of the game.
Center Nick Shore tied the game up at 1-1 with his seventh goal of the season at 18:56 of the first period. Skating on the power play, center Linden Vey carried the puck down the right wing before feeding a pass to left wing Andy Andreoff on the right edge of the slot. Andreoff slipped the puck through traffic to Shore who was positioned at the bottom inside corner of the left face-off circle. Shore one-timed the puck past Devils netminder Keith Kincaid to tie the game at 1-1.
The Devils regained their one goal lead with center Kelly Zajac’s fourth goal of the season at 2:18 of the second period. Center Artem Demkov carried the puck over the Monarchs blueline along the left wing before centering a pass to left wing Mattias Tedenby at the center point. Tedenby then sent a pass over to Zajac in the right face-off circle. Zajac’s wrist shot beat Berube on his blocker side to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
The Monarchs pull back to within one goal with right wing Brian O’Neill’s ninth tally of the season at 10:22 of the second period. Shore carried the puck down the right wing and centered a pass to right wing A.J. Gale in the slot. Gale stopped the puck and then pushed over a Devils player. While Gale was checking the player, O’Neill used his teammate as a screen and wristed the loose puck past Kincaid to bring the score to 3-2.
The Devils scored a power play goal of their own at 16:29 of the middle stanza. Larsson held the puck in at the right point and passed it down to left wing Joe Whitney in the right face-off circle. Whitney skated toward the slot and lost the puck momentarily as the Monarchs put on pressure. Whitney regained possession and snapped a wrist shot past Berube for his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Timmins also earned an assist on the Devils fourth goal of the game.
Defenseman Brandon Burlon scored an empty net goal at 19:16 of the third period to finish off the Monarchs.
Berube (14-10-2) took his 10th loss of the season making 16 saves on 20 shots. Kinkaid (14-6-1) earned his 14th win of the season, stopping 21-of-23 shots.
Manchester was 1-for-4 on the power play. Albany also went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester lost their first regulation game on a Saturday on the road this season; the Monarchs are 7-1-0-1 on the road on Saturdays and 12-2-0-1 overall…Center Nick Shore (3-1=4) has collected three goals and four points in his last four games…Center Linden Vey (1-3=4) is on three-game assist and point streaks…Goaltender J.F. Berube’s 24 consecutive games played streak came to an end when he served as the back-up for netminder Martin Jones on Friday night against Bridgeport.
The Monarchs finish off the weekend with a 3:05 p.m. contest at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center against the Providence Bruins on Sunday, January 12.
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