Albany, NY, February 15, 2015 – Chris Mueller’s goal with 3:47 left in the third period broke a 3-3 tie Sunday at the Times-Union Center, and gave the Hartford Wolf Pack a 4-3 win over the Albany Devils and a sweep of a home-and-home series between the two clubs.
The Wolf Pack won the front end of the home-and-home, 5-2, Saturday night at the XL Center, scoring three times late in the third period of another tie game.
Albany battled back from a 3-1 deficit Sunday, deadlocking the game on a Mike Sislo goal, his second of the game, at 10:57 of the third. Mueller, though, responded with his eighth of the season, and fourth in the last three games, taking a feed from Ryan Bourque and wiring a shot past the stick side of Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
“Yesterday was a tight game for a long time, and today we scored three quick and maybe backed off a little bit and they came on,” Mueller said. “And we just took it to them at the end of both games. That’s the sign of a team growing and learning how to put teams away.”
Mueller also had an assist for the Wolf Pack, and Bourque had a goal to go along with his assist on the game-winner. Conor Allen also had a goal and an assist, Danny Kristo scored and Ryan Haggerty chipped in two assists. Jeff Malcolm improved to 3-0-0 in AHL action on the season, with 22 saves in the Hartford net.
Paul Thompson scored the other Albany goal, and Joe Whitney had two assists. Wedgewood made 19 saves.
The victory snapped a five-game road losing streak (0-3-1-1) for the Wolf Pack, who improved to 28-15-4-3 overall, for 63 points.
The red-hot Kristo started a first-period burst in which the two teams combined for four goals in 4:06, with his 16th goal of the season at 8:31. Kristo, who scored twice in the Wolf Pack’s Saturday-night win, took a pass from the left-wing side from Tyler Brown and rifled a shot from the right side high into the net, past the catching glove of Wedgewood.
Allen doubled Hartford’s lead only 13 seconds later, moving up the middle and beating Wedgewood’s catching glove with a snap shot.
Those were the Wolf Pack’s fastest two goals of the season.
Sislo got Albany on the board at the 11:22 mark with his 13th goal of the season. After Whitney moved the puck into the Hartford zone, Sislo unleashed a quick shot from the right circle that got by Malcolm on the stick side, just inside the goalpost.
Bourque got that one back for the Wolf Pack only 1:15 later, though, at 12:37. After a strong rush by Haggerty, Dallas Jackson took a slap shot from just inside the left point, and Bourque reached out his stick and tipped it past Wedgewood.
Thompson, the Devils’ goal-scoring leader, got the only goal of the second period, cutting the Wolf Pack’s lead to 3-2 at 14:51. Thompson and David Wohlberg worked a nifty give-and-go, with Wohlberg setting Thompson up alone in front for a finish through Malcolm’s legs.
The Wolf Pack maintained the lead until Sislo’s tying tally, which was set up by Whitney. Whitney blocked a Mat Bodie pass, and Sislo’s quick release caught the corner of the net on Malcolm’s glove side.