ELMIRA, N.Y. - As the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils, and the AHL's Binghamton Senators and Albany Devils, the Jackals are tasked with developing prospects throughout the organizations. The Road To The Show presented by Liberty Travel provides details on how those prospects are progressing.
Ottawa Senators (NHL) – Stringing together wins must have been at the top the Senators’ wish list this holiday season. Home wins against Boston and Washington on Saturday and Monday provided Ottawa with its first back-to-back victories since Nov. 7-9. Craig Anderson has started the last two games and has a personal three-game winning streak. Anderson’s winning streak ties his season-high, which stretched from Oct. 15-23. The netminder now has a 12-9-4 record, a 3.17 goals-against-average and a .904 save percentage. It seems as though Anderson may be rounding into his form from 2012-13. Perhaps the most surprising snub from the U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, Bobby Ryan, scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season on Saturday and added his 18th assist on Monday. Ryan ranks fifth in the NHL among American scoring leaders. Zack Smith has supplemented some of the lack of scoring with three goals in the last five games. He has eight on the season. After notching his first NHL assist on Dec. 23 Cody Ceci added two more assists on Saturday. The rookie defenseman, who turned 20 on Dec. 21, has four points in ten NHL games. Jason Spezza is day-to-day with a hip injury and Chris Phillips is day-to-day with a left foot injury. Both players missed the last two games. Chris Neil was injured after colliding with Alex Ovechkin in the first period of Monday’s game and did not return. He is currently listed as out indefinitely. The Senators are still slated sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 17-18-7 record. The Senators’ most recent draft class is on display in Malmo, Sweden at the U-20 World Junior Championship. First round pick Curtis Lazar has three goals and six points in five games. Third round selection Marcus Hogberg is the backup goalie on Team Sweden. Hogberg only needed to make 13 saves for a shutout against Norway in his only appearance during the tournament. Sixth round pick Quentin Shore had two assists in five games for the United States.
Binghamton Senators (AHL) – Binghamton finished 2013 off the right way. The Senators have won their last five games and propelled themselves into first place in the East Division. Binghamton’s 19-9-3 record is good for third in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Nathan Lawson has continued his strong play this season with wins in his last four games. Lawson has improved his record to 12-4-0 with a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .929 save percentage. Lawson’s save percentage is tied for the AHL league-lead. Leading-scorer Mike Hoffman has six points in his last five games. Hoffman has 15 goals and 33 points in 29 AHL games this season. Stephane Da Costa has a current five-game point streak (two goals, four assists) and now has 19 assists and 28 points in 28 games. Da Costa’s 19 assists lead the team. Binghamton lost forward Mark Stone, who was recalled by Ottawa on an emergency basis on New Year’s Eve. The 21-year-old has nine goals and 18 points in 19 AHL games this season. To supplement the roster spot Ottawa reassigned Ludwig Karlsson to Binghamton from Elmira yesterday. Karlsson played in three games with the Senators early in the season but has yet to record a point at the AHL level. Danny New has settled in with Binghamton since he was recalled from loan to Elmira on Dec. 16. New recorded his first assist of the year with Binghamton and has two points in six games with the B-Sens.
New Jersey Devils (NHL) – The Devils win on New Year’s Eve moved them above .500 for the first time since Nov. 21. New Jersey has notched at least one point in seven of its last eight games, which has improved the team’s record to 17-16-8. The Devils have rebounded from a horrendous start to the season to finish the 2013 calendar year in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey has been getting stellar goaltending from both its netminders. Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider have alternated the last seven games and continue to shine as one of the league’s best tandems. The Devils’ 2.37 goals-against-average ranks eighth in the league and they lead the NHL with just 24.9 shots-against per game. In addition to solid goaltending the Devils are finally getting key pieces back from the injured list. Ryane Clowe earned his first point in Tuesday’s win against Pittsburgh since returning on Dec. 27 from a concussion. Veteran defenseman Bryce Salvador returned to action on Dec. 28 for the first time since Oct. 22. Damien Brunner, however, is the most recent addition to the injured reserve list with a sprained right knee. Brunner joins Ryan Carter, Adam Larsson and Peter Harrold on the IR. The Devils’ first round selection in 2012, Stefan Matteau, and 2013 second round pick, Steve Santini, both skated for the U.S. U-20 squad in the World Junior Championship. Matteau recorded three goals and four points in five games. Santini recorded one goal in five games. The U.S squad was defeated today by Russia in the quarterfinals. Matteau will return to Albany and Santini will return to Boston College.
Albany Devils (AHL) – Much like Binghamton, Albany finished 2013 with a very strong stretch. The Devils went 7-1-2 in the month of December. Albany’s strong play has lifted its record to 19-8-4, which is good for second in the Northeast Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Although Albany has been without Reid Boucher and Jon Merrill, who graduated to the NHL, and, Stefan Matteau who was assigned to the U.S. WJC team, they have still found ways to win games. Leading-scorer Joe Whitney has 12 goals and 32 points in 31 AHL games this year. Whitney recorded four goals and 11 points in ten games in December. Keith Kinkaid has been outstanding this year in the pipes for the Devils. He built upon an impressive season in December with a 6-0-1 mark, a 1.55 goals-against-average and a .947 save percentage. Kinkaid leads the AHL with an overall 1.92 goals-against-average and four shutouts. His .927 save percentage is tied for third in the AHL as well. Defenseman Raman Hrabarenka has excelled since being reassigned to Albany from Elmira on Nov. 5. He leads all team defensemen with 12 assists and 15 points in 20 AHL games. Hrabarenka shined in December with three goals and ten points in ten games. All three of his goals came on the power-play and he also had a plus-5 rating in December. Artem Demkov has continued adapting to the AHL life. He hasn’t recorded a point in his last five games but he still has three goals and five points in ten AHL games. Riley Boychuk has two points in 15 AHL games this season. Harry Young recorded his first AHL point this year on Dec. 29. He has one assist in eight AHL games.