Monarchs power past Devils, 7-4
Manchester scored three in the second period to go up 4-1 but Albany roared back in the third to make it a 5-4 game before the Monarchs put it away.
"We kept bouncing back, so credit our guys with execution when it mattered," Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. "We keep preaching to expect the unexpected and more times than not, it has bitten us. Thank goodness we were able to find the back of the net after we faltered."
Albany began its third period comeback 4:14 into the frame, cutting the lead to 4-2 on a power-play goal from Adam Larsson on a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
Manchester pulled ahead 5-3 at 4:29 when David Meckler turned and threw the puck on net from the right wing boards and Brian O'Neill tipped it past Devils goalie Jeff Frazee.
But back came the Devils, who scored at 8:09 to make it 5-3 with another power-play goal. Mattias Tedenby scored by wristing a shot past Peter Mannino from the right circle.
At the 10:00 mark Albany scored another power-play goal as Harri Pesonen one-timed a shot past Mannino, who dove across the net to try and get back in time but could not and the game was suddenly a 5-4 affair.
With Martin Jones injured (hamstring), Mannino will need to bounce back on Sunday against the Bruins. Mannino had a tough time with rebounds and puck-handling on Friday.
"I thought Peter struggled in the game," Morris said. "I don't think he was as sharp as we've seen him. He was a little sleepy at times. I'm sure he'll bounce back. He's a great competitor."
Manchester was able to put the game out of reach with two more goals, however. Jordan Weal scored his third of the season on the power play at 12:31, snapping a wrist shot past Frazee from the left circle.
Tyler Toffoli scored an empty net goal with 22 seconds remaining to cap the scoring. It was Toffoli's second of the night and team-high 18th of the season. He got the puck from Tanner Pearson, who could have gone for a hat trick but opted to pass to the open Toffoli.
The Monarchs' had a three-goal outburst in the second period that started at 14:20. Defenseman David Kolomatis fired a wrist shot from the blue line and Toffoli tipped it to beat Frazee high glove-side.
Pearson scored his second of the game to make it 3-1 less than two minutes later. Toffoli's shot from the slot was stopped by Frazee with his arm, but the puck flipped away from him toward the goal and Pearson crashed the net to jam it home at 16:12.
Albany tied the game with a goal at 18:28 of the first. Joe Whitney carried the puck up ice, gained the Manchester zone and fired a shot on Mannino, who made the save. Whitney got to his own rebound and passed to a streaking and (unaccounted for) Steve Zalewski for a shot into the open left side of the cage.