Making a franchise best fourth consecutive start, San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell made 35-saves, 19 of which came in the third period, to help lead the Barracuda to a 3-1 win over the Pacific Division leading Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Wednesday night at the SAP Center.
With the win, the Barracuda, whom begin a six game road trip Friday night in Bakersfield, now sit in the final playoff spot of the Western Conference with seven games remaining.
In addition to Dell's outstanding night in net, the Barracuda offense chased Reign (and AHL best) goaltender Peter Budaj halfway through the game at 30:25 after scoring three goals on 12 shot attempts. Barracuda defenseman Gus Young dished out two assists while the goal scoring came from forwards Petter Emanuelsson, Bryan Lerg and Nikolay Goldobin.
Emanuelsson put the Barracuda up 1-0 at 15:18 of the first period with his ninth goal of the season off a quick shot from inside the right slot after settling down a bouncing puck. Emanuelsson's linemates Ryan Carpenter and Barclay Goodrow were credited with the assists.
Lerg extended the lead to 2-0 at 5:41 of the second period with a shot from the lower edge of the left face-off circle linemate Trevor Parkes caused a turnover in the left corner of the Reign zone with a solid hit. Young had the secondary assist on the goal, which was Lerg's team leading 18th of the season.
Goldobin made it 3-0 at 10:25 with a sniper shot from the left corner of the Reign zone that fooled Budaj and went in off the far post. Young and his defensive partner Joakim Ryan picked up the assists on the goal, which tied Goldobin with Lerg for the team lead in goals at 18 and ended Budaj's night in net as he was replaced by backup goaltender Michael Houser.
Dell had his shutout bid snapped at 18:52 of the second period when Reign forward Kris Newbury had his backhanded centering feed from the right side deflect in off of Parkes for his seventh goal of the season.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 36-20 in favor of the Reign... The Barracuda went 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Dell improved his season record to 15-13-5 and is now fifth amongst AHL goaltenders in both goals-against-average (2.25) and save percentage (.926)... The Barracuda have allowed only 12 power play goals on 114 attempts since Jan. 2... Ryan was plus-three for the Barracuda... Barracuda defenseman Michael Brodzinski skated against his brother Jonny Brodzinski... The Barracuda improved to 17-13-3 at SAP Center and 29-22-10 with 68 points overall... The Barracuda game in Bakersfield Friday night is scheduled for puck drop at 7 p.m./pt.
1. Gus Young - Barracuda (0-2-2)
2. Petter Emanuelsson - Barracuda (1-0-1)
3. Aaron Dell - Barracuda (35 saves, Win)
*In order of appearance*
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Parkes
Goodrow / Carpenter / Emanuelsson
Morin / Langlois / Goldobin
Martin / Timmins / Jevpalovs
Young / Ryan
Stollery (A) / Bergman
Mueller / Brodzinski