Manchester (20-12-0-2) moves into first place in the Atlantic Division with 42 points. Albany (14-13-4-2) is tied for second place in the Northeast Division with 34 points.
“Our first period was outstanding,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “From that point on, we let some ugly, old bad habits slip into our game, namely turnovers, getting our third man caught up ice and overall lack of focus. It’s inexcusable to revert back to being careless at this juncture of the season. Being more reliable and accountable are things we hope to take out of this game. We were fortunate to win it. Albany was not ready to say ‘Uncle’ being down by three after one period. Hopefully we grow from this experience. It is two points, but it didn’t have to be as interesting as we made it. Keeping things simple is what we are preaching these days.”
The Monarchs were able to tally the game-winner at 1:15 of overtime. Defenseman Patrick Mullen
carried the puck into the Devils zone and dropped a pass back to left wing Dwight King
at the top of the right face-off circle. King attempted a pass to right wing Linden Vey
in the middle of the ice but it was deflected by a Devils defenseman. Vey picked up the loose puck between the hash marks and took two steps before wristing a shot half way up the glove side of Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid. Vey’s tally was his ninth goal of the season.
The Monarchs opened up the scoring at 1:42 of the first period with a goal off the stick of right wing Stefan Legein. Monarchs defenseman Nick Deslauriers released a slap shot from the right point producing a rebound in front of Kinkaid. Legein picked up the rebound and wristed it into the open net. Legein’s fourth goal of the season was also assisted by left wing Ray Kaunisto
The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead on the power play at 14:07 of the opening frame. Defenseman Jake Muzzin
passed the puck from the left point to right point where Mullen was stationed. Mullen then fired a slap shot on net that produced a rebound in front of Kinkaid. Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas attempted to clear the puck but center Robbie Czarnik picked off the pass and wristed a shot five-hole for his third goal of the season.
The Monarchs pushed the lead to 3-0 when defenseman Thomas Hickey
scored his first goal of the season on the power play at 17:42 of the first stanza. Right wing Brandon Kozun
gained the Devils zone before passing the puck back to Deslauriers at the right point. Deslauriers whipped a pass over to Hickey at the left point where the defenseman rifled off a slap shot that beat Kinkaid between his pads and gave the Monarchs a three-goal lead.
The Devils scored their first goal of the evening on a shorthanded tally by left wing Vladimir Zharkov at 11:41 of the second period. Center Stephen Gionta started the play off by finding Zharkov cutting through the neutral zone. Zharkov took the puck up the left wing boards and fired a shot from the top of the left hash marks that beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
on the short side. Defenseman Peter Harrold also tallied an assist on Zharkov;s fourth goal of the season.
The Devils scored just 1:34 later when center Steve Zalewski buried his ninth tally of the season. Right wing Joe Whitney found right wing Mike Sislo at the top of the left face-off circle. Sislo intentionally shot wide of the net causing the puck to ricochet out to the right slot. Zalewski put the puck in the back of the net to pull the Devils to within a goal at 13:14 of the second period.
Center Marc-Andre Cliche
gave the Monarchs another two-goal lead at 14:27 of the middle stanza. Muzzin dumped the puck in to the right corner of the Devils zone with right wing Rob Mignardi skating in on the fore-check. Mignardi won the puck battle with a Devils defenseman along the end boards and flipped a pass to Cliche in front of the net. Cliche poked the puck past Kinaid for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
The Devils continued to chip away at the Monarchs lead as they pulled back within a goal at 18:45 of the second period. With the Devils charging on a three-on-two rush down the right wing, Zalewski carried the puck in to the bottom of the right face-off circle before leaving it for defenseman Brandon Burlon. The defenseman wristed a shot halfway up on the glove side of Jones for his first goal of the season. Gelinas picked up an assist on the goal that brought the score to 4-3.
The Devils knotted the game at 4-4 at 11:17 of the final frame when Zharkov tallied his second goal of the night. As the Devils cycled the puck through the Monarchs zone, Zalewski fed it from the right point to his blue line partner, defenseman Alexander Urbom, at the opposite point. Urbom faked a shot and then fired a hard pass to the bottom of the right face-off circle. Zharkov one-timed a tough angle shot into the top of the net for his fifth tally of the season.
Jones (11-8-1) earned his 11th victory of the season stopping 28-of-32 shots. Kinkaid (8-9-0) took his ninth loss of the season making 15 saves on 20 shots.
Manchester went 2-for-6 on the power play. Albany was 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Notables:
The Monarchs are 8-0-0-0 when scoring five or more goals this season…Manchester is 14-3-0-2 in games that have been decided by one goal…The Monarchs are 8-2-0-0 in games that have gone to either overtime or a shootout this season…Defenseman Patrick Mullen
tallied two assists for his third multi-point game of the season…Right wing Linden Vey
has three game-winning goals.