Mackenzie Blackwood with 27 saves, Albany blanks Toronto to take 1-0 series lead

ALBANY, N.Y. — Mackenzie Blackwood stopped all 27 shots his way as the Albany Devils blanked the visiting Toronto Marlies 3-0 on Thursday to open up their American Hockey League playoff series.

The Devils lead the best-of-five first-round matchup 1-0, with Game 2 scheduled for Saturday night in Albany.

Toronto is the higher seed, but won't return home to the Ricoh Coliseum until Game 3 because of a 2-3 format used in the first round of the AHL playoffs.

Ben Thomson and John Quenneville gave the Devils a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes, with Brian Gibbons adding an empty netter late in the third to seal the win.

Garret Sparks stopped 20-of-22 shots for the Maple Leafs' minor league affiliate.

Albany went 1 for 5 on the power play while Toronto failed to score on four chances with the man advantage.

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