Another day, another shootout.
For the third time in the last five games, the Albany River Rats went to a shootout Saturday. The difference this time was they pulled out a 5-4 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Times Union Center.
The game went to overtime knotted, 4-4, and the River Rats won the shootout, 2-1. The Penguins beat Albany, 4-2, in a shootout Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre.
“I guess, they got us Wednesday, we got them tonight,” Albany defenseman Bryan Rodney said.
Rodney netted the fifth-round goal after taking a wide approach from the right, giving Penguins goalie John Curry a different look than he had against each of the previous four River Rats, who skated right at him. Drayson Bowman beat him in the third round with a quick snap through the five-hole.
It may not be the best strategy for some teams, but Albany sent three defensemen into the five-round shootout. The River Rats have the skill along the blue line to make that move pay off, sending Jonathan Paiement out first, with Jamie McBain fourth and Rodney fifth.
“The three of them are skill guys,” Albany coach Jeff Daniels said. “It’s stuff you watch in practice when you see guys do shootouts in practice, and they’re scoring goals. Some guys are just not shootout guys. Rods is pretty calm, Bainer’s pretty calm and Jonny’s got the one move he likes to do and it’s worked in the past. Tonight it didn’t work, but I had no issues with putting him in there.”
The River Rats carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, built on a pair of Jacob Micflikier first-period goals and one from Steven Goertzen in the second. The Penguins tied it up at the 6:57 mark when Nick Johnson streaked toward the goal, took a pass from Chris Lee and finished past goalie Mike Morrison.
Just 25 seconds later, Nick Dodge pushed the 36-24-3-5 River Rats back in front. The Penguins sent the puck around the boards, but Dodge was the only one there to receive it behind the net on the left side.
“I didn’t really take much of a look,” Dodge said. “I knew Terry was crashing front and there was a D-man there, so I was just throwing it to either hit one of them . . . I think I hit off the inside of his [Curry’s] pad and it got in there. It’s a lucky goal, but we’ll take it.”
Through the first 11 minutes of the period, that was Albany’s lone shot on goal in the third. They finished with three in the period and 20 in the game. The 33-29-1-3 Penguins tied it up with 55 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Depsite the low shot count, Daniels said he was pleased with the effort he saw.
“We got a little tired out there, but even though we weren’t getting a lot of shots on net, I thought we had a lot of good zone time and some pressure,” he said. “They’re a team that comes hard at you and, bottom line, we got the win.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 0 1 0 0 — 4
Albany 2 1 1 0 1 — 5
Albany wins shootout, 2-1
First Period — 1, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pushkarev 7 (Haddad), 9:50. 2, Albany, Micflikier 15 (Bowman, McBain), 14:56. 3, Albany, Micflikier 16 (Rodney, Bowman), 18:30. 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Jeffrey, 19:34. Penalties — Herauf, Alb (goaltender interference), 3:27; Herauf, Alb (tripping), 7:11; Grant, WBS (interference), 18:14.
Second Period — 5, Albany, Goertzen 7 (Terry, Dodge), 4:22. Penalties — Brookbank, WBS, major (fighting), 3:15; Blanchard, Alb, major (fighting), 3:15; FitzGerald, Alb (boarding), 10:41; Sill, WBS (tripping), 13:58; Strait, WBS (hooking), 19:08.
Third Period — 6, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Johnson 12 (Lee), 6:57. 7, Albany, Dodge 15, 7:22. 8, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wallace 22 (Smith, Jeffrey), 19:05. Penalties — None.
Overtime — None. Penalties — None.
Shootout — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 (Letestu NG, Smith NG, Conner NG, Jeffrey G, Johnson NG); Albany 2 (Paiement NG, Terry NG, Bowman G, McBain NG, Rodney G).
Shots on goal — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 13-5-10-5-0 — 33. Albany 5-6-3-5-1 — 20.
Power-play opportunities — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0 of 3; Albany 1 of 3.
Goalies — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Curry 22-17-2 (19 shots-15 saves); Albany, Morrison 3-2-1 (33-29).
A — 5,756. T — 2:24.
Referee — Mark Lemelin. Linesmen — Steeve Lemay, Jim Harper.