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AHL Morning Skate: May 24

May 24, 2013


Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest from around the American Hockey League in today's Morning Skate.

Complete Schedule || Playoff Brackets || Today's Scoreboard || League Leaders || Series Previews

Tonight's Previews

okc  gr
Game 1 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live
The AHL's Western Conference Finals begin tonight at Van Andel Arena as the third-seeded Grand Rapids Griffins host the fifth-seeded Oklahoma City Barons in the opener of their best-of-seven series... Grand Rapids scored three goals in the final 9:56 of regulation to defeat Toronto, 4-3, and eliminate the Marlies in Game 6 on Tuesday night... Oklahoma City has been off since finishing a five-game victory over 1-seed Texas last Thursday... Griffins forward Tomas Tatar (8-3-11) led the team with 5-2-7 in six games vs. Toronto; Riley Sheahan (1-8-9), Luke Glendening (5-5-10), Jan Mursak (5-4-9), Francis Pare (2-7-9) and Landon Ferraro (2-7-9) all had six points in the series with the Marlies... The Barons, averaging 4.20 goals per game this postseason, have outscored their opponents 33-10 over the last seven games, including a 16-4 edge over Texas in the last three games of their series victory... Mark Arcobello (9-6-15) scored a goal in each of the five games vs. Texas and remains tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with Syracuse's Ondrej Palat... C.J. Stretch (4-4-8) totaled 3-2-5 in five games last round, and Toni Rajala (3-10-13) added 1-4-5 for Oklahoma City... Yann Danis (7-3, 2.19, .935) stopped 160 of 167 shots vs. Texas... Grand Rapids has outshot its opponent in each of its 11 playoff games... The Griffins and Barons combined for 35 goals in their four regular-season meetings, most recently a 7-5 Barons win on Feb. 9... Tonight marks the Barons' first game since the deadly tornadoes that struck the Oklahoma City area earlier this week; for the remainder of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the team will be wearing a helmet decal in the shape of the state of Oklahoma with the word "Home" inside in a show of support to the region... In addition, the Griffins organization will be collecting contributions to the Red Cross and Salvation Army relief efforts throughout tonight's game at Van Andel Arena.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
3-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 5-Oklahoma City Barons

Game 1 – Fri., May 24 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 25 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 29 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 8:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 31 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 1 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 4 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 5 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00

About Last Night...
Chris Kreider's goal 7:03 into overtime gave the N.Y. Rangers a 4-3 win over Boston in Game 4 of their second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series... Kreider, who had 12 goals and 11 assists in 48 games with the Connecticut Whale in 2012-13, is the fourth player who skated in the AHL this season to score an OT goal in this year's NHL postseason (Slava Voynov, Jason Zucker, Gustav Nyquist)... Providence Bruins recall Torey Krug scored his third goal of the series for Boston... Jimmy Howard made 28 saves and fellow Grand Rapids Griffins alum Jakub Kindl notched his first career NHL playoff goal to lead Detroit to a 2-0 win over Chicago in Game 4... Former Manchester Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for his third shutout of this postseason as Los Angeles grabbed a 3-2 series lead with a 3-0 win over San Jose.

Western Conference Finals History
The Robert W. Clarke Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL's Western Conference... Either Grand Rapids or Oklahoma City will be the eighth different conference champion in the last eight years... Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2012 - Toronto Marlies 4, Oklahoma City Barons 1
2011 - Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2010 - Texas Stars 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2009 - Manitoba Moose 4, Houston Aeros 2
2008 - Chicago Wolves 4, Toronto Marlies 1
2007 - Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Chicago Wolves 1
2006 - Milwaukee Admirals 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 0
2005 - Chicago Wolves 4, Manitoba Moose 0
2004 - Milwaukee Admirals 4, Rochester Americans 1
2003 - Houston Aeros 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 3
2002 - Chicago Wolves 4, Houston Aeros 1
2001 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hershey Bears 0
2000 - Rochester Americans 4, Hershey Bears 0
1999 - Rochester Americans 4, Philadelphia Phantoms 2
1998 - Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Albany River Rats 2
*1997 - Hershey Bears 4, Springfield Falcons 3
*1996 - Rochester Americans 4, Syracuse Crunch 1
  *known as Southern Conference

Working Overtime
There have been 13 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far... Road teams are 10-3:

Apr. 26 - Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (Brett Ritchie, 11:44)
Apr. 26 - Charlotte 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (Brody Sutter, 3:06)
Apr. 27 - SPRINGFIELD 2, Manchester 1 (Cody Bass, 10:36)
Apr. 27 - W-B/Scranton 3, BINGHAMTON 2 (Chad Kolarik, 8:18)
Apr. 27 - SYRACUSE 4, Portland 3 (Richard Panik, 6:36)
Apr. 28 - Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jon DiSalvatore, 3:05)
Apr. 28 - SPRINGFIELD 3, Manchester 2 (Cody Bass, 18:44)
*May 1 - Toronto 3, ROCHESTER 2 (Will Acton, 5:14)
*May 2 - Syracuse 4, PORTLAND 3 (Ondrej Palat, 19:43)
*May 4 - Springfield 4, MANCHESTER 3 (Nick Drazenovic, 8:06)
May 9 - Oklahoma City 2, TEXAS 1 (Anton Lander, 1:28)
May 15 - Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (Carter Camper, 0:31)
May 20 - W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Trevor Smith, 3:26)
  *indicates goal ended series

Helping Hands
The American Hockey League has made a donation to the American Red Cross to help our neighbors in Barons Country after this week's devastating tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. Visit redcross.org to find out how you can help also.

AHL Live
Don't miss a second on the road to the 2013 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section... Visit ahllive.com for details.