Second year forward Travis Oleksuk had a two point with a goal and assist and forward Dan DaSilva scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Albany Devils (AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils) 4-3 Saturday night at the Times Union Center.
Defenseman Matt Tennyson and rookie forward Eriah Hayes also scored in regulation for the Sharks, who improved to 10-1 in the shootout this season, while rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick made 18 saves and stopped all five shots he faced in the shootout. For the season, Grosenick is 6-0 in the shootout and has allowed three goals on 28 shootout attempts.
"I love the shootout," said Grosenick in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "I know a lot of guys don't like them, but I do. I just try to simplify things."
The Devils took a 1-0 lead at 8:26 of the first period when rookie forward Stefan Matteau buried home a shot from on top of the crease after taking a behind the net centering feed from linemate Mattias Tedenby for his 13th goal of the season.
Tennyson tied the game at 11:07 when he beat Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid with a 45-foot snap shot for his seventh goal of the season. Oleksuk, who got the puck back to Tennyson off a face-off win, was credited with the lone assist on the goal, which was Tennyson's second in his last three games.
Just 21-seconds later, the Devils regained their one goal lead as Tedenby got behind Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty, corralled the puck along the left side of the Sharks zone, skated in and lifted a backhanded shot past Grosenick for his ninth goal of the season.
Oleksuk answered back for the Sharks at 19:00 when he found a loose puck deep inside the right face-off circle off a Devils turnover and beat Kinkaid with a quick shot for his 16th goal of the season.
Hayes put the Sharks ahead 3-2 at 6:14 of the second period when he deflected in rookie forward Brock Higgs' centering feed from the left face-off circle. Doherty was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which was Hayes' ninth of the season.
Devils forward Darcy Zajac tied the game at 14:39 when he beat Grosenick with a quick snap shot from deep inside the right face-off circle for a power play goal, his 10th goal of the season.
After a scoreless third period and overtime session, the game headed to the shootout where DaSilva beat Kinkaid with a backhanded shot in the top of the third round for what held up as the game-winning-goal.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 32-21 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 16-11-0 with a 2.74 goals-against-average and .900 save percentage... Tennyson and Hayes each had a game high five shots on goal... Oleksuk has 15 points (6-9-15) in his last 15 games (via SharksAHL.com)... DaSilva is now 6-for-9 in the shootout this season and has an AHL leading four game-winning-goals in the shootout... The Sharks finished the month of March 10-4-0-0... Of the Sharks' nine remaining games, eight are at the DCU Center... This was the second and final meeting between the Sharks and Devils this season... The Sharks went 2-0-0-0 against the Devils, are 17-17-3-0 on the road and 33-30-3-1 with 70 points overall... The Sharks are back in action April 1 as they host their Atlantic Division rival the Portland Pirates at 7pm/et.
1. Mattias Tedenby - Devils (1-2-3)
2. Stefan Matteau - Devils (1-1-2)
3. Travis Oleksuk - Sharks (1-1-2)
Kearns (A) / Rau / DaSilva
Hamilton (A) / Oleksuk / Hayes
Schmidt / Higgs/ Carpenter
Bonneau (A) / Schwartz / Reid
Abeltshauser / Tennyson
Doherty / DeMelo
Comrie / Pelech