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Falcons Game Preview: Springfield At Connecticut, Game #44

February 2, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons

Springfield Falcons (26-11-3-3) at Connecticut Whale (20-20-4-1)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

7:00 p.m.

XL Center

RADIO: (presented by FalconsWireless.com) WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM/WHYN.com

WEBCAST: AHLLive.com

IN JUST A FEW HOURS...

The Springfield Falcons return to the XL Center in Hartford for a Northeast Division battle with the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 p.m. The Falcons prevailed in a chippy affair on Friday night at the MassMutual Center, outlasting the Syracuse Crunch, 5-3. Ryan Craig led the way for the Falcons with two goals and an assist, Michael Chaput scored twice as well, while Curtis McElhinney set aside 34 of 37 shots for his 18th win of the season. With the victory, Springfield moved into a tie for first place atop the Eastern Conference standings with the Binghamton Senators at 58 points. The Falcons upped their advantage in the division over Connecticut and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to 13 points.

Tonight's broadcast is presented by FalconsWireless.com and starts at 6:45 p.m. on WHYN 560 AM, WHYN.com, the iHeartRadio App, or AHLLive.com.

Springfield is back in action next Friday, Feb. 8, as the Falcons welcome the Albany Devils to The Nest at 7:00 p.m., presented by Mohawk Communications. Fans in attendance have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances as part of "Flat-Screen Friday."

The Falcons close out next weekend on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 3:00 p.m. when they host the Portland Pirates. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Falcons winter hat, courtesy of the University of New Haven.

Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).

CAPTAIN COMES THROUGH

Ryan Craig moved into eighth place in Falcons history with his 52nd and 53rd goals in a Springfield sweater on Friday. Craig put the Falcons on the board early in the second period before striking while shorthanded for the eventual game-winning tally midway through the third. The 10th-year pro became the first Falcon to reach two shorthanded goals this season and tied Nick Drazenovic for the club lead with his eighth power-play conversion in 2012-2013.

DRAZENOVIC DOES IT ALL

After getting jumped by Radko Gudas in the first period, leading to the Crunch skater's ejection, Nick Drazenovic responded with a three-assist night to move into second on the Falcons with 41 points (14g-27a). Drazenovic is now fifth in the league in scoring after compiling his eighth multi-point game of the season. Along with Ryan Craig and Nick Holden, Drazenovic is one of three Falcons who has played in all 43 games this season.

MACLEOD MAKES STATEMENT

Wade MacLeod took advantage of an increase in ice time on Friday night by contributing a season-high two assists and two points. MacLeod took eight shots, tying Jonathan Audy-Marchessault for the Falcons' single-game high in 2012-2013.

CHAPUT GETS TWO

After leading all rookies in January with 12 points (4g-8a), Michael Chaput kicked off February with his second two-goal game of the season on Friday.

"JAM" RECEIVES HONOR

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault became the first player in Falcons history to be named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month on Friday since the award started being given out in 2007-2008. Audy-Marchessault led all AHL skaters with 17 points (8g-9a) during the first month of 2013.

POWER PLAY RECHARGED

Springfield went on an 11-game power-play scoring streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 20 but went without a goal on the man advantage on Jan. 23 and 25. The Falcons have responded over the last two contests with two power-play goals in each game and are fourth in the league on the man advantage at 21.3%.

STAYING DISCIPLINED

Despite the physical nature of Friday's game, the Falcons remained the only team in the league without both a 10-minute and a game misconduct this season. Springfield is the only AHL club without a 10-minute misconduct and is one of four without a game misconduct in 2012-2013.

MAJOR MARGIN

Springfield's +40 goal differential is the highest in the AHL.

A SURE THING

The Falcons improved to 21-1-0-0 when leading after two periods this season with Friday's win over Syracuse.

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