Wolf Pack Lose Heartbreaker 3-2
Newark, NJ, January 6, 2010 - Nick Palmieri's second goal of the game with 1:00 remaining in the third period gave the Lowell Devils a 3-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday, in an AHL game played at the Prudential Center, home of Lowell's NHL affiliate, the New Jersey Devils.
Palmieri's late goal pulled out the win for the Devils, after the Wolf Pack had wiped out a 2-0 Lowell lead with two early goals in the third period. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak, and a season-high run of four straight games with at least a standings point (4-0-0-1), for the Wolf Pack.
The winning goal came on a sharp-angle shot from the right-wing side that slipped through the pads of Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette (23 saves), after Wolf Pack goals by Paul Crowder and Dale Weise had tied the game.
The first period was evenly played, with neither team scoring and the Wolf Pack enjoying a 7-6 shots advantage.
Lowell's Ben Walter hit the post behind Valiquette on the game's opening shift, and Devil netminder Jeff Frazee's toughest test of the period was on a Corey Locke power-play shot from the right-wing circle with just under 4:00 left in the session.
The Devils broke the scoreless tie with two early goals in the second period, on a couple of long shots.
Matt Taormina put Lowell on top at 2:37 on a power play. Taormina's snap shot from the center point hit a Wolf Pack defender and deflected past Valiquette.
Then, 3:54 later, Palmieri sent a shot from the right-wing side that went through a screen and just inside the post to Valiquette's right.
The Wolf Pack started to take control of the play after the halfway point of the second, and carried that momentum over into the third.
Crowder got the Pack on the board at 3:15 of the third frame, with his eighth goal of the season. Ilkka Heikkinen's shot from the blue line was blocked in front of the goal, but Derek Couture directed the rebound to Crowder, who swept it home from the left circle.
Heikkinen was involved in the second Wolf Pack goal as well, as it was his shot from the right point that Weise tipped past Frazee (28 saves) at 6:43. The goal was Weise's 11th of the season.
With the loss the fourth-place Wolf Pack (19-14-1-4, 43 points) fell to four points behind the Devils in the Atlantic Division standings.
It was the first game in a current NHL building for the Wolf Pack since December 20, 1998, when they defeated the Fredericton Canadiens, 4-1, at the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre) in Montreal.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 At Lowell Devils 3 Jan 6, 2010 - Prudential Center
Hartford 0 0 2 - 2 Lowell 0 2 1 - 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Swift Low (slashing), 2:47; Couture Hfd (elbowing), 8:38; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 12:02; Robitaille Low (interference, fighting), 12:02; Corrente Low (boarding), 15:36.
2nd Period-1, Lowell, Taormina 8 (Walter, Zharkov), 2:37 (pp). 2, Lowell, Palmieri 13 (Corrente, Sestito), 6:31. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (holding), 2:13; DiDiomete Hfd (roughing), 7:30; Sauer Hfd (roughing, fighting, misconduct - instigating), 7:30; Robitaille Low (fighting), 7:30; Stoesz Low (roughing), 7:30; Davison Low (slashing), 12:49; Davison Low (high-sticking), 19:32.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Crowder 8 (Couture, Heikkinen), 3:15. 4, Hartford, Weise 11 (Heikkinen), 6:43. 5, Lowell, Palmieri 14 (Sestito, Murphy), 19:00. Penalties-Sanguinetti Hfd (holding), 7:34; Dupont Hfd (roughing), 8:50; Palmieri Low (roughing), 8:50; Davis Low (holding the stick), 10:59; Corrente Low (delay of game), 19:54; Parenteau Hfd (roughing), 20:00; Frazee Low (roughing), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-10-13-30. Lowell 6-12-8-26. Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 7; Lowell 1 of 4. Goalies-Hartford, Valiquette 4-4-1 (26 shots-23 saves). Lowell, Frazee 9-7-0 (30 shots-28 saves). A-3,276 Referees-Ryan Fraser (14). Linesmen-Leo Boylan (97), Matt McNulty (26).
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