The Hartford Wolfpack defeated the Lowell Devils, 4-3, in a shootout in their AHL preseason game this afternoon at Prudential Center.
Andrew Ambuhl scored the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout, beating Mike McKenna to the stick side to give Hartford a 3-2 victory in the tiebreaker.
Lowell led 3-2 on Mike Swift's 4-on-4 breakaway goal 6:36 into the third period - his second goal of the game. But Hartford's Dale Weise got behind defenseman Tyler Eckford to score a shorthanded goal with just 36.2 seconds remaining to tie it and force overtime.
McKenna stopped Ryan Bourque on a penalty shot with 2:15 left in overtime. Hartford was awarded the penalty shot because Matt Corrente intentionally knocked the Lowell net loose.
To make matters worse for Lowell, right wing Nathan Perkovich limped off with an apparent left foot injury after being struck by an Eric Gelinas' shot with 1:30 left in regulation. Perkovich, who scored Lowell's second goal. used his stick for support as he limped off the bench to the locker room and did not return.
Swift's goal with 2:04 left in the first period gave Lowell the lead. Swift scored an unassisted goal just four seconds after a Wolfpack power play expired. He beat goaltender Miika Wiikman high to the glove side from the right circle.
Corey Locke tied it for Hartford 5:19 into the second period -- three seconds after a Hartford power play expired, but Perkovich put Lowell back ahead only 1:03 later.
After taking a pass from Kory Nagy, Perkovich blasted a slap shot from the right circle that went in off the far post.
Paul Crowder tied it for Hartford on a backhand with the team's skating 4-on-4 5:42 into the third. It was still 4-on-4 when Swift gave Lowell the 3-2 lead.
Right wing Nick Palmieri appeared to be in pain after taking a slash on his right arm with 3:17 left in the second period. He returned to play the third period and overtime, though.
Goaltender Gerald Coleman played the first 29:17 for Lowell and stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced. He was replaced by McKenna, who stopped 16 of 19 shots. Wiikman stopped 13 of 15 shots before being replaced byScott Stajcer 9:17 into the second. Stajcer made 14 saves on 15 shots.
In the shootout, Adam Henrique and Alexander Vasyunov scored for Lowell. Crowder, Locke and Ambuhl scored in the tiebreaker for Hartford.
Hartford outshot Lowell, 33-30 in the game.
There were no fights in the first period, but there was a fight between Lowell's Harry Young and Hartford's Devin DiDiomete after the second period ended. DiDiomete knocked Young down. Young tired to get up, but couldn't battle back.
Then, Didiomete had words with Louis Robitaille as the players left the ice.
Robitaille exchanged shoves with Justin Soryal 6:36 into the game, but the two were separated before they could drop the glove. The two had words as they left the ice at the end of the first period, however, so I wouldn't be surprised if they square off eventually.
The shots were 19-18 in favor of Hartford after two periods.
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Here's the Lowell lineup.
Goaltenders: Gerald Coleman, Mike McKenna.
Defensemen: Eric Gelinas-Oliver Magnan-Grenier; Matt Corrente-Tyler Eckford; Harry Young-Matt Delahey.
Forwards: Ahston Bernard-Brad Mills-J.S. Berube; Alexander Vasyunov-Tim Sestito-Matt Halischuk; Louis Robitaille-Mike Swift-Nick Palmieri; Adam Henrique-Kory Nagy-Nathan Perkovich.
Former Devil Dan LaCouture, who is in camp with the Rangers as a tryout, played for Hartford. He was originally listed as playing for the Rangers tonight against the Devils in the NHL exhibition. He'll be replaced in the Rangers' lineup tonight by right wing Jordan Owens.