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Albany Devils use power play to beat St. John's IceCaps 4-2, tie series at one

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Any chance the St. John's IceCaps had of stealing a second American Hockey League road playoff victory was ruined by penalties.

The Albany Devils were awarded nine power-play opportunities Saturday night and cashed in three of them to defeat the IceCaps 4-2.

After the IceCaps' 2-1 victory Friday night, the best-of-five series is tied at one game apiece as the teams move to St. John's, N.L., for the remaining games.

"We have to stay more disciplined," said defenceman Brenden Kichton, who scored both St. John's goals. "You're not going to win hockey games when you're in the box, but we to have credit them. They did a good job on their power play. They got three goals out of it, and that's not how we play to win."

The IceCaps, who allowed the Devils only two power-play chances in Game 1, still got out of Albany with a split.

"It's a five-game series here, as everybody says, and we were able to get the one game in here," St. John's coach Keith McCambridge said. "We would have really liked to get this game. We'll have a chance to refocus here and get ourselves back in the right direction for Wednesday."

The Devils, buoyed by the largest home crowd at 8,026 in Albany's 21-year AHL history, made their potential path to the next round a little more negotiable. A loss would have forced Albany to sweep three games at St. John's in order to advance.

"Going into that building and having to win all three would definitely be pretty tough," Devils coach Rick Kowalsky said. "We said before, you can't sit here and talk about a must win. We talked about individually and as a team trying to be better than we were last night and realizing that I felt we grew as a team just in that short 60 minutes."

Stefan Matteau, Mattias Tedenby and Scott Timmins had Albany's power-play goals. Kelly Zajac assisted on two of them, winning face-offs both times on the St. John's half of the ice.

Tedenby snapped a 2-2 tie at 8:08 of the second. Zajac won a draw just outside the IceCaps' blue-line and skated in a 2-on-1 with Tedenby, who took the pass and beat St. John's goaltender Michael Hutchinson from in close. Timmins got an insurance goal with 9:59 remaining in the third.

"We would have liked not to be on the short end of the penalties for a good majority of the night," McCambridge said. "We've got to make sure we are in control. We've got to make sure we realize where we are in the game and try to keep it 5-on-5."

St. John's had only four power-play opportunities. Kichton first goal bounced in off the skate of Devils defenceman Jon Merrill. He also converted on a power play early in the second period, capitalizing when Albany defenceman Seth Helgeson fell at the blue-line.

Keith Kinkaid, who gave up a soft goal with 23.1 seconds remaining Friday night, got his first professional victory in goal. Both he and Hutchinson made 30 saves.

"There were a lot of opportunities tonight," Kichton said, "and we didn't cash in on those."

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