William Nylander notched a hat trick and Antoine Bibeau made 18 saves as the Toronto Marlies extended their season for another night with a 5-0 win over Hershey in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Ricoh Coliseum on Friday.
Facing the prospects of an unceremonious exit from the postseason after an 8-2 loss in Game 3 two nights ago, the Marlies put together a 60-minute effort that was indicative of the team that finished with the best record in the AHL during the regular season.
Toronto will now host Game 5 on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, TSN2, AHL Live, SiriusXM 91), still trailing the series three games to one.
Nylander got Toronto on the board first in Game 4 with 31.9 seconds remaining in the first period, picking up a loose puck in the slot and snapping a shot past Justin Peters for his second goal of the series and fourth of the playoffs.
The 1-0 lead stood up until late in the second period, when Nylander got open in the left-wing circle, took a feed from Connor Carrick and beat Peters with 1:25 left before intermission.
Toronto put the game away with two power-play goals in a span of 25 seconds. Josh Leivo scored at 6:59, tucking home a rebound from the top of the crease for his fourth of the playoffs, and Connor Carrick made it 4-0 at 7:24 with a one-timer from the left circle, his seventh of the postseason.
Nylander completed his first career hat trick at 15:57, notching the Marlies’ third power-play goal of the period. Toronto had started the series 0-for-11 with the man advantage.
Carrick finished the night with a goal and an assist, regaining the AHL scoring lead with 17 points, and T.J. Brennan tallied four assists — his first four helpers of the postseason — to tie a franchise record for a single playoff game.
Bibeau, pulled in Game 3 after allowing four goals on 18 shots in two periods of work, made seven saves in the first period, seven more in the second and four in the third for his first shutout of the playoffs.
Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. A1-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., May 20 – HERSHEY 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 21 – HERSHEY 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Hershey 8, TORONTO 2
Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – TORONTO 5, Hershey 0
Game 5 – Sun., May 29 – Hershey at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 31 – Toronto at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Thu., June 2 – Hershey at Toronto, 7:30
*if necessary… All times Eastern
— AHL (@TheAHL) May 28, 2016