Admirals strike first in West final

Pekka Rinne made 36 saves and Darren Haydar recorded two goals and an assist as Milwaukee opened the Western Conference Final series with a 4-0 victory over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena on Thursday night.

Game 2 is Saturday back in Grand Rapids.

The contest was scoreless until Chris Durno’s unassisted goal 2:01 into the third period. Haydar then scored his league-leading 11th and 12th goals of the postseason to put the game away, and Simon Gamache added an empty-netter.

Gamache and defensemen Greg Zanon and Kevin Klein were all plus-4 for the night.

It was the ninth multiple-point game of the Calder Cup Playoffs for Haydar, who has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points during his current seven-game scoring tear.

Rinne, who won for the fifth straight time since rejoining Milwaukee from the parent Nashville Predators, made seven saves in the first period, 17 in the second and 12 more in the third for his second postseason shutout.

It was the sixth straight win for the Admirals, who were coming off a sweep of Houston in their last series.

Drew MacIntyre got the start in net for the Griffins after relieving Jimmy Howard in Game 7 vs. Manitoba on Tuesday night, and finished with 27 saves in the loss.