|Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the Calder Cup Playoffs
in today’s Morning Skate.
Complete Schedule|| Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders
Portland has bounced back from 0-2 down to force Manchester to a deciding Game 5 at Verizon Wireless Arena tonight… The eighth-seeded Pirates, who did not qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs until the last day of the regular season, is now one win away from upsetting the regular-season champion Monarchs… Louis Domingue (2-1, 1.53, .947) made 28 saves for the 5-0 shutout win in Game 4 on Thursday while Francis Wathier (3-0-3), who had scored three goals in his first 56 career Calder Cup Playoff games, struck twice in Game 4 and now has three goals — including both game-winners — in the last two contests… Defensemen Brandon Gormley and Patrick McNeill also scored for Portland in Game 4, and Brendan Perlini, Arizona’s first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2014 NHL draft, netted his first professional goal… Jean-Francois Berube (2-2, 3.00, .844) made 14 saves in Thursday’s loss as the Monarchs held Portland under 20 shots on goal for the third time in the series… Manchester, which owned the AHL’s top-ranked power play in the regular season, is 3-for-23 (13.0 percent) in the series… Portland, 27th in the regular season, is 4-for-15 (26.7 percent)… The Monarchs are looking to avoid what would be just their second three-game losing streak all year (Jan. 4-7), and also avoid a first-round ouster for the 11th time in 13 trips to the playoffs… Manchester has never won a winner-take-all playoff game (0-3); Portland is 1-6, with its only victory coming in the 1996 conference finals vs. Saint John… The Monarchs meet Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the conference semifinals if they win; the Pirates would draw Hershey.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A series that has seen three of its first four games decided in overtime comes down to a winner-take-all Game 5 as Utica hosts Chicago tonight… The eighth-seeded Wolves staved off elimination last night with a 4-3 OT victory, their first playoff overtime win against Comets goalie Jacob Markstrom in five career tries… Joel Edmundson (1-0-1) scored the winning goal on a power play 2:19 into the extra session after Utica had been whistled for having too many men on the ice… Adam Cracknell (1-0-1), Mathieu Brodeur (1-0-1) and former Comet Benn Ferriero (1-0-1) all had goals for Chicago in Game 4, and it was the first point of the postseason for each of them… Shane Harper (0-2-2) and Pat Cannone (0-5-5) recorded two assists each last night… Jordan Binnington (2-2, 1.96, .945) stopped 35 shots for the win… Cory Conacher (1-0-1), Adam Clendening (2-0-2) and Bobby Sanguinetti (2-0-2) scored for the Comets in Game 4, and Sven Baertschi (0-3-3) assisted on all three goals… Markstrom (2-2, 1.96, .920) finished with 28 saves… Chicago improved its all-time AHL-best record to 16-7 (.696) when facing Calder Cup Playoff elimination… The Wolves were 2-for-6 on the power play in Game 4 after starting the series 1-for-13; the Comets were 2-for-4 after a 1-for-16 start… Chicago is 7-2 in winner-take-all games (2-0 on the road) since joining the AHL in 2001-02, and has never lost a first-round Calder Cup Playoff series under head coach John Anderson (7-0).
Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
Grand Rapids battled back Wednesday and got its first win of the series with a 5-2 victory over Toronto, but the Marlies still own a 2-1 series lead as the teams hit the Van Andel Arena ice for Game 4 tonight… The Griffins, now 7-7 all-time when facing Calder Cup Playoff elimination, got two more goals from Teemu Pulkkinen (5-0-5), who has scored 28 goals in his last 24 games with Grand Rapids… Tyler Bertuzzi, a second-round draft pick by Detroit in 2013, drew into the lineup for the first time in the series and recorded a goal and an assist in Game 3, just his third career professional match… Andy Miele (2-2-4) and Andreas Athanasiou (2-0-2) also scored for Grand Rapids on Wednesday, and Tom McCollum (1-1, 4.04, .869) turned aside 25 of 27 shots to earn the first playoff win of his six-year pro career… Miele now has 4-10-14 in seven games vs. Toronto this season… Troy Bodie (1-0-1) and Brendan Mikkelson (1-0-1) scored for the Marlies in Game 3… Eighteen different Toronto skaters have registered at least one point in the series… Defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who had 3-17-20 and a plus-22 rating in 51 regular-season games with the Griffins in 2014-15, has rejoined Grand Rapids after Detroit’s elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs… Tonight’s game will air live on Leafs TV as well as on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 211, XM 218).
Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
|Last Night’s Recaps
Hughes sends Wolf Pack to round two
10-4, over and out: Bears oust Sharks
Wolves prevail in OT, force Game 5
Manchester-Portland and Utica-Chicago are the 160th and 161st winner-take-all games in Calder Cup Playoff history, and the 48th and 49th Game 5 in a best-of-five series… Home teams are 96-63.
Manchester Monarchs (0-3)
Portland Pirates (1-6)
Utica Comets (0-0)
Chicago’s .696 winning percentage when facing elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs is the highest all-time among teams with at least five such games played:
.696 — Chicago Wolves (16-7)
The Hershey Bears’ 10-4 win over Worcester last night marked the first time in more than 17 years that an AHL team had scored in double digits in a Calder Cup Playoff game, and just the 21st time in AHL postseason history:
May 1, 2015 — HERSHEY BEARS 10, Worcester Sharks 4
Nikita Kucherov scored 2:06 into the second overtime period last night to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 win over Montreal in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series… Teuvo Teravainen, who recorded 6-19-25 in 39 AHL games with Rockford this season, scored the game-winning goal in Chicago’s 4-3 victory over Minnesota in Game 1… Connor Hellebuyck, who finished first in the AHL in minutes played and second in wins for St. John’s in 2014-15, made 29 saves for the United States in a 5-1 win over Finland to open the 2015 IIHF World Championships.
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2015 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.