Pack Downed By Devils
Dale gives a Devil his due (Chris Rutsch photo)
As could have been predicted, the Hartford Wolf Pack failed to capitalize on any momentum from their blowout win over San Antonio the night before, dropping a late-afternoon Sunday home game to the Lowell Devils, 4-1.
Brandon Dubinsky put the Pack on the board first, 4:08 into the first period, but Lowell responded with a power-play goal three minutes later. Dale Purinton continues to hold the team back when it's least convenient, as he was the man in the box (serving a slashing minor) when Lowell scored.
At one point late in the second period Hartford had a 25-10 shot advantage despite trailing in the game, 2-1. That's when Lowell scored their third goal to make it 3-1, sending Steve Valiquette to the bench in favor of Al Montoya. Montoya kept a lid on the Devils for the rest of the game, stopping 8 of 8 shots, but the final tally of the game came an empty-net goal by Lowell with 2 minutes left.
Jordan Parise shuts the gate on Dane Byers (Chris Rutsch photo)
The Pack coaching staff had promised some changes after the 4-3 loss to Norfolk a week ago, but since then, pretty much nothing significant has really happened; Brandon Dubinsky and (especially) Hugh Jessiman continue to disappear at times, while Jakub Petruzalek was called up from Charlotte, only to be scratched for both games this weekend. Chris Ferraro continues to sit in the stands at every game, still unsigned to the PTO contract that was all-but-announced earlier in the week (not that he's the solution, anyway). Nigel Dawes is due back in Hartford from the Rangers any minute now, if you read Blueshirt Bulletin and Hockeybird, while, according to those same sources, Darius Kasparaitis was seen packing his equipment after the Lowell game and is said to be on his way out. Kasparaitis was even more jovial than usual during the pre-game skate, perhaps suggesting that he knew some good news at the time.
Darius Kasparaitis clearing out Aaron Voros (Chris Rutsch photo)
The Pack now have five days off (which reminds me to update the schedule in the sidebar), before taking on San Antonio and Houston in Texas next weekend.