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AHL Morning Skate: 4.21.17

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

Playoff Brackets | Today’s Scoreboard | League Stats | Series Infographics


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Game 1 – 7:05 ET, AHL Live

Meeting in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence face off in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals tonight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center… The Penguins have gotten the better of the Bruins in their previous playoff battles, winning second-round series in seven games in 2013 and 2014 before sweeping last year’s first-round clash… All three Wilkes-Barre wins last spring came in overtime… The Penguins finished first in the AHL in goals against (2.24) and in penalty killing (86.9 percent) in 2016-17; the Bruins were second in both categories (2.47, 86.4%)… Penguins AHL All-Rookie goaltender Casey DeSmith led the league with a 2.01 goals-against average and ranked second with a .926 save percentage; Bruins Second Team AHL All-Star Zane McIntyre was second in GAA (2.03) and first in save percentage (.930)… Wilkes-Barre captain Tom Kostopoulos, at age 38, led the team in scoring with 24-30-54, his highest production since putting up 25-46-71 with Manchester in 2004-05… Former Bruin David Warsofsky (16-31-47) was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star on defense for the Penguins… Sixth-year pro Jordan Szwarz led Providence in scoring during the regular season, and his 22 goals, 32 assists, 54 points and plus-20 rating were all career highs… The Penguins are opening their 15th consecutive postseason, the longest active streak in the AHL.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 3:05
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 27 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – 7:05 ET, AHL Live

Once one of the AHL’s fiercest playoff rivalries, the Bears and Phantoms meet in the postseason for the first time since 2009, when Hershey swept Philadelphia in the opening round… Lehigh Valley is making the franchise’s first appearance in the postseason since that loss, and is coming off its best regular season since its Calder Cup championship season of 2004-05… The Phantoms ranked first in the AHL in offense during the regular season (3.42 goals per game), with 12 skaters hitting double digits in goals… The Bears were third (3.32), with 13 different 10-goal scorers… Defenseman T.J. Brennan (21-39-60) led Lehigh Valley in points and joined former Phantom John Slaney as the only blueliners in AHL history with three career 20-goal seasons… Greg Carey (28-23-51) finished second in the AHL with 17 power-play goals and third with 225 shots on goal… Travis Boyd (16-47-63) paced the Bears in scoring while appearing in all 76 games for the second year in a row… Chris Bourque ranks fifth on the AHL’s career playoff scoring list with 107 points.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. A3-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 29 – Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 5:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – 6:00 ET, AHL Live

After leap-frogging Toronto on the final day of the regular season to secure the North Division title, Syracuse opens the playoffs in St. John’s with Game 1 tonight… The Crunch, 5-1-1-2 down the stretch, saw 17 different players recalled by the parent Tampa Bay Lightning over the course of the regular season, including former IceCaps Gabriel Dumont (5-5-10) and Michael Bournival (9-10-19)… Second Team AHL All-Star Cory Conacher (17-43-60) and Eddie Shore Award winner Matt Taormina (15-45-60) shared Syracuse’s team scoring lead… Second Team AHL All-Star Chris Terry (30-38-68) finished second in the league in scoring and paced the AHL with 19 power-play goals… Charlie Lindgren (24-18-6, 2.56, .914) was 6-2-1 in his last nine decisions during the regular season… St. John’s is making the first playoff appearance by Montreal’s AHL affiliate since 2011.

North Division Semifinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N4-St. John’s IceCaps
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Syracuse at St. John’s, 6:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Syracuse at St. John’s, 6:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – St. John’s at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – St. John’s at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 29 – St. John’s at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 2 – Saturday, 5:00 ET, AHL Live
(ALB leads series, 1-0)

North Division Semifinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
N2-Toronto Marlies vs. N3-Albany Devils
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 20 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 0
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Toronto at Albany, 5:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 29 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 2 – 7:15 ET, AHL Live
(CHA leads series, 1-0)

Tom McCollum made 20 saves for the first shutout of his Calder Cup Playoff career, backstopping Charlotte to a 4-0 win over Chicago last night… The teams go back at it in Game 2 tonight, with the Wolves looking to even the series before heading home… Chicago, which was tied for fourth in the league in scoring during the regular season, was shut out for just the second time all year… Lucas Wallmark had two goals and an assist to lead Charlotte’s offense in Game 1, while Brendan Woods and Andrew Miller also scored… Ville Husso stopped 23 of 26 shots in his AHL playoff debut for the Wolves… Last night’s game marked just the Wolves’ fifth regulation loss since Jan. 22.

Central Division Semifinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 20 – CHARLOTTE 4, Chicago 0
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Chicago at Charlotte, 7:15
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 23 – Charlotte at Chicago, 3:00
*Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 25 – Charlotte at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Charlotte at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live

Grand Rapids and Milwaukee meet in the Central Division semifinals for the second consecutive spring, with Game 1 set for tonight at Van Andel Arena… The Griffins swept the Admirals last postseason, and won seven of 12 meetings in 2016-17… Matt Lorito (22-34-56), who led Grand Rapids in scoring during the regular season, tallied 3-4-7 in 11 playoff games with Albany last year… Ben Street (25-30-55) hit the 25-goal plateau for the third time in his AHL career… Evgeny Svechnikov (20-31-51) had 6-6-12 in 12 games against Milwaukee to lead all scorers in the season series… Milwaukee is in the postseason for the 14th time in the last 15 years, but is 1-13 in its last 14 playoff games… The Admirals are without forwards Pontus Åberg (31-21-52) and Kevin Fiala (7-12-19), who remain on recall with the Nashville Predators… Vladislav Kamenev recorded 21-30-51 and a team-high plus-11 rating in 70 games for Milwaukee.

Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 4:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Mon., May 1 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – 10:00 ET, AHL Live

San Jose hosts Stockton in the opener of the teams’ Pacific Division semifinal series tonight… The Barracuda had the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season (43-16-4-5, .699), but dropped four of their last five games — including their first three-game winless skid since Nov. 18-22… Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award winner Daniel O’Regan (23-35-58) led San Jose in scoring during the regular season, followed by defensemen Tim Heed (14-42-56) and Joakim Ryan (10-39-49)… Baz Bastien Award winner Troy Grosenick (30-10-5, 2.04, .926, 10 SO) was 21-2-3 in his last 27 decisions, and had a 1.30 GAA and .946 save percentage in six appearances against Stockton… The Heat lost 10 in a row from Jan. 21 to Feb. 18, then went 15-4-3-1 the rest of the way to grab the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific… AHL All-Rookie forward Mark Jankowski (27-29-56) led Stockton in scoring and paced all league rookies in goals… Jankowski also had 7-7-14 in 12 games against the Barracuda, leading all scorers in the season series.

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
P1-San Jose Barracuda vs. P4-Stockton Heat
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Stockton at San Jose, 10:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – Stockton at San Jose, 6:00
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 28 – San Jose at Stockton, 10:00
*Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 30 – San Jose at Stockton, 7:00
*Game 5 – Tue., May 2 – Stockton at San Jose, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – 10:00 ET, AHL Live

SoCal rivals San Diego and Ontario begin their first-round series at Valley View Casino Center with Game 1 tonight… The Reign defeated the Gulls, four games to one, in a second-round meeting last spring, but the teams split their 12 meetings in 2016-17… San Diego had the AHL’s best record after Christmas, going 32-9-2-2 (.756) to finish second in the Pacific Division… Corey Tropp (21-33-54) was the Gulls’ top scorer in the regular season… Kalle Kossila (14-34-48, +19) ranked among the AHL’s rookie leaders in assists, points and plus/minus… Ontario’s Jonny Brodzinski (27-22-49) led all scorers with 5-5-10 in the season series vs. San Diego… Jack Campbell (31-15-6, 2.52, .914, 5 SO) followed Peter Budaj (2015-16) and Jean-Francois Berube (2014-15) as the third consecutive goaltender from Los Angeles’s affiliate to lead the AHL in wins.

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
P2-San Diego Gulls vs. P3-Ontario Reign
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Ontario at San Diego, 10:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – San Diego at Ontario, 10:00
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Ontario at San Diego, 10:00
*Game 4 – Mon., May 1 – San Diego at Ontario, 10:00
*Game 5 – Tue., May 2 – Ontario at San Diego, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


Thursday’s Recaps
#TORvsALB: Devils blank Marlies in Game 1
#CHIvsCHA: Checkers get shutout win in Game 1


Alumni Watch
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Mika Zibanejad scored 14:22 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over Montreal… Bryan Rust scored twice as Pittsburgh eliminated Columbus with a 5-2 victory… Roman Josi scored twice, Viktor Arvidsson and Colton Sissons had a goal and an assist each and Pekka Rinne made 30 saves as Nashville completed a sweep of Chicago with a 4-1 win… David Desharnais scored at 18:15 of overtime as Edmonton beat San Jose, 4-3.


On This Date
April 21, 1951 – Behind the goaltending of Johnny Bower, the Cleveland Barons win the Calder Cup with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in Game 7.


AHL Live
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2017 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet all season long with live video webcasts and free highlights of every AHL game… Visit ahllive.com for details.

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