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On the Farm 12.2.08

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

The Lowell Devils won their fifth game in a row with a 5-1 win over the Portland Pirates on Saturday.  Though Worcester would hand Lowell a loss on Sunday, the Devils set a franchise mark with their five-game winning streak.  Lowell now enters one of its busiest stretches of the season with four games in five days this week.

Last Week:

Wed, 11/26 – DEVILS 3 vs. Providence Bruins 0
Sat, 11/29 – Devils 5 vs. PORTLAND PIRATES 1
Sun, 11/30 – Devils 1 vs. WORCESTER SHARKS 2

This Week:
Wed, 12/3 – DEVILS vs. Springfield Falcons, 7:00 p.m.
Fri, 12/5 – Devils vs. PROVIDENCE BRUINS, 7:05 p.m.
Sat, 12/6 – DEVILS vs. Portland Pirates, 7:00 p.m.
Sun, 12/7 – DEVILS vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, DEVILS 3 vs. Providence 0
Goalie Jeff Frazee collected 40 saves to help the Devils to their first shutout of the season – a 3-0 win over Providence.  Lowell’s first goal came six minutes into the second period when Nicklas Bergfors sent Chad Wiseman a long pass to the Providence blueline, setting him up for a breakaway goal.  Lowell struck again at 9:46 when Alexander Vasyunov scored on the power play to make it 2-0.  Brad Mills added his first goal of the year in the third to complete the scoring for the Devils. 

Saturday, Devils 5 vs. PORTLAND 1
The Devils handed the Portland Pirates a 5-1 loss thanks in part to a two-goal game by Nicklas Bergfors and another 40 save effort by Jeff Frazee.  Bergfors’ pair of goals and a Ryan Murphy marker helped put the Devils up 3-0 after one period of play.  Chad Wiseman and Michael Swift assisted on each of Bergfors’ goals.   Portland would spoil the shutout for the Devils when Colin Murphy scored the only goal for the Pirates at 12:43 of the second, but Wiseman would answer just 25 seconds later to regain their three-goal cushion.  Alexander Vasyunov would conclude the scoring on the power play at 2:51 of the third period, making the final score 5-1.

Sunday, Devils 1 vs. WORCESTER 2
The Worcester Sharks gave the Devils their first loss in five games in a 2-1 decision at the DCU Center.  The Sharks would strike first when Jamie McGinn collected a power play goal at 6:44 of the second stanza.  The Devils would fight back and knot the score, 1-1, on the man-advantage just 1:07 into the third period with a tally by Chad Wiseman.  The Sharks would score the game winner, however, under two minutes later when Derek Joslin banged home a rebound past Dave Caruso.

In the Standings
The Lowell Devils (9-8-1-2), with much help from their five-game winning streak, have lifted themselves into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with the Springfield Falcons (9-8-2-1), Manchester Monarchs (9-8-0-3) and Hartford Wolf Pack (9-9-1-2).  The Worcester Sharks have moved into the third position with a record of 12-9-0-0.  The Portland Pirates, with a five-game losing streak under their belt, have dropped into second place at 13-5-1-1.  The Providence Bruins have taken over the number one spot in the division with a three-game winning streak that has brought their record to 14-7-1-0.       

Around the Horns
G Jeff Frazee has made 40 saves in his each of his last two starts and picked up his first shutout versus Providence…Frazee is currently ranked first in the league in save percentage (.949) and third in GAA (1.71)…Nicklas Bergfors has collected a five-game point streak (4g, 3a) since his return from New Jersey on November 22…Chad Wiseman is riding a four-game goal (4g) and point streak (4g, 3a)…The Devils are 33.3% (7-for-21) on the power play in their last five games…Lowell is unbeaten in regulation at home in its last four games (3-0-0-1).
Coming Up
The Lowell Devils take on the Springfield Falcons this Wednesday at the Tsongas Arena for their fifth meeting of the season.  The series stands at 2-2-0-0 after a Devils’ win, 4-1, on their home ice on November 23.  Lowell’s Pascal Rheaume leads all scorers head-to-head with seven points (2g, 5a) in four games.  Springfield’s current four-game losing streak began on November 23 against Lowell. Falcons’ goalie Devan Dubnyk leads the league in saves (526) and minutes played (1109).     
Lowell travels to Providence on Friday for their third meeting with the Bruins this season.  The two teams have split the season’s series thus far after the Devils recorded their first shutout of the season, 3-0, last Wednesday versus Providence.  The Bruins are currently on a three-game winning streak and are ranked first in the league with an 89.2% (99-for-111) success rate on the penalty kill.  Providence defenseman Johnny Boychuk leads the AHL with 12 power play assists and leads all defensemen with 19 assists.

The Devils return home to face off against the Portland Pirates on Saturday at the Tsongas Arena.  In their only meeting so far this season, Lowell skated away with a 5-1 win over Portland on November 29.  Pirates rookie forward Nathan Gerbe leads all first-year players with 23 points (13g, 10a). Portland brought an end to its four-game losing streak with a 4-0 shutout of the Manchester Monarchs on November 30. The Pirates travel to Springfield on Friday before meeting with the Devils on Saturday.  

Lowell ends its three-game, three-day weekend on Sunday at home versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  The Devils last went head-to-head against the Sound Tigers on November 8 and fell in overtime, 5-4, in Bridgeport.  Patrick Davis and Alexander Vasyunov each scored two goals for the Devils in the first meeting.  Bridgeport owns the fifth best road record in the AHL at 7-4-0-1. 

Leaders for Lowell
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