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Surging Albany Devils continue to surprise

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Yann Danis (left) and Scott Wedgewood all smiles in Albany's holiday jerseys.

American Hockey League teams are nearly a third of the way through the regular season. As usual, preseason predictions have withered away in a league where lineups change daily, breakthrough seasons are the norm for still-developing prospects and the fortunes of NHL parent teams filter down to the AHL level.

The surprising Albany Devils have used a six-game winning streak and an 8-1-1-0 record in their past 10 games to ascend to a second-place tie in the AHL with 33 points. The Devils' AHL affiliate has reached the Calder Cup Playoffs twice since 2000, with each visit ending in a first-round loss. However, this Albany team could be the strongest edition of a New Jersey affiliate since the 1990s, when Albany helped to fuel three Stanley Cup championships for New Jersey.

Game of the Week: Albany continues to surprise while the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have hit their first rough patch. The Penguins lost each of their three games last weekend. With games against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Syracuse Crunch this week before Albany visits Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday, the schedule will not ease up at all on the Penguins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won the first game of season series 5-3 on Nov. 21 at Albany.

Albany will have goaltender Scott Wedgewood back in the lineup after he sustained an ankle injury that sidelined him for nearly two months.

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