AHL Morning Skate: 5.3.19

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

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

Game 1 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV

The Atlantic Division Finals get underway tonight as Charlotte hosts Hershey in Game 1… The Checkers have been off since last Friday, when they finished off Providence in Game 4 of their first-round series… The Bears wrapped up their division semifinal with a Game 5 overtime win in Bridgeport on Saturday… Andrew Poturalski (5-4-9) continues to lead the entire league in playoff scoring after figuring on the scoring of nine of the Checkers’ 14 goals in the first round… Poturalski has six consecutive multiple-point efforts for Charlotte (5-9-14), and has totaled 7-14-21 and a plus-18 rating in 11 games since Mar. 23… Morgan Geekie also carries a four-game scoring streak into this series after tallying 4-1-5 in the division semis… Alex Nedeljkovic (3-1, 2.00, .923) begins the second round on recall to the parent Carolina Hurricanes; Dustin Tokarski, who backstopped Norfolk to a Calder Cup championship in 2012, allowed eight goals in seven starts (7-0-0, 1.14, .956) after joining Charlotte on loan from the New York Rangers on Feb. 28… The Bears won three of four meetings with the Checkers during the regular season, with the only loss coming via shootout back on Oct. 19… Riley Barber (2-2-4) and Jayson Megna (2-2-4) share Hershey’s postseason scoring lead entering the series… After allowing one goal or fewer in eight of Bears’ last 13 regular-season games, Vitek Vanecek (1-1, 1.49, .962) and Ilya Samsonov (2-1, 1.61, .945) combined to hold Bridgeport to nine goals on 189 shots in the first round… The only three lead changes in Hershey’s entire first-round series came as a result of the overtime goals in Games 1, 4 and 5… Charlotte has outscored its opponents 12-1 in its last three games at Bojangles’ Coliseum… These teams have met once previously in the postseason; in 2011, the Checkers upset the two-time defending Calder Cup champion Bears in the first round, four games to two.

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A3-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., May 3 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 4 – Hershey at Charlotte, 6:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 7 – Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 8 – Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 10 – Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sun., May 12 – Hershey at Charlotte, 5:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 14 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV
TV: TSN2, FOX Sports Ohio
(TOR leads series, 1-0)

Toronto hosts Cleveland in Game 2 of the North Division Finals tonight… The Marlies scored four times in the second period — including three power-play goals in a span of 3:43 — en route to a 5-2 victory in the series opener on Wednesday… The Monsters held a 2-1 lead in Game 1 before Chris MuellerDmytro Timashov and Trevor Moore scored following consecutive Cleveland penalties… Moore finished the night with two goals and an assist in his return to the Marlies after two months in the NHL with the parent Maple Leafs… Mueller (4-3-7) added an assist for his third multiple-point game of the postseason, and Jeremy Bracco (2-6-8) tied a franchise playoff record with four assists… Toronto was 4-for-7 on the power play in Game 1 after going 2-for-8 in the entire first round vs. Rochester… The Marlies allowed only 16 shots on goal in Game 1; Kasimir Kaskisuo (4-0, 1.49, .949) has now stopped 111 of the 117 shots he has faced this postseason… Tommy Cross (1-1-2) and Mark Letestu (3-2-5) tallied a goal and an assist each for the Monsters in Game 1… Sonny Milano (1-6-7) picked up an assist on Wednesday and continues to lead Cleveland in postseason scoring… Toronto is 16-2 on home ice during the Calder Cup Playoffs since 2017.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N3-Toronto Marlies vs. N4-Cleveland Monsters
Game 1 – Wed., May 1 – TORONTO 5, Cleveland 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Fri., May 3 – Cleveland at Toronto, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 5 – Toronto at Cleveland, 3:00
Game 4 – Tue., May 7 – Toronto at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 11 – Cleveland at Toronto, 4:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 13 – Toronto at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 15 – Cleveland at Toronto, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 3 – Sunday, 4:00 ET, AHLTV
(CHI leads series, 2-0)

Central Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C3-Iowa Wild
Game 1 – Wed., May 1 – CHICAGO 3, Iowa 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., May 2 – CHICAGO 4, Iowa 3 | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., May 5 – Chicago at Iowa, 4:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 8 – Chicago at Iowa, 8:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 10 – Chicago at Iowa, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 13 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 15 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 1 – Tonight, 10:00 ET, AHLTV

The top two offenses in the AHL go head-to-head as the Pacific Division Finals between Bakersfield and San Diego get underway tonight… The Gulls’ 3.51 goals per game during the regular season ranked second only to the Condors’ 3.56… Bakersfield closed out its opening-round series with a 5-2 win over Colorado last Saturday, while it’s been a lengthier layoff for the Gulls, who eliminated San Jose a week ago Wednesday… Sixteen different skaters recorded at least one point for the Condors in the first round, led by veteran forward Brad Malone (2-3-5)… Defenseman Evan Bouchard, the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, made his AHL debut with Bakersfield in Game 3 vs. Colorado and notched 2-2-4 in the last two games of the series… Sam Steel (3-3-6) and Sam Carrick (2-4-6) led the offense for the Gulls, who got points from 18 of the 19 skaters who appeared in a first-round game… Chase De Leo, who scored four goals in his final 36 regular-season contests with San Diego, had 4-0-4 in the division semifinals… Dallas Eakins has now reached the second round in each of his five playoff trips as an AHL head coach… The Gulls (6-3-0-1) took the regular-season series from the Condors (4-4-2-0), including a 3-1-0-1 mark at Rabobank Arena.

Pacific Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
P1-Bakersfield Condors vs. P3-San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Fri., May 3 – San Diego at Bakersfield, 10:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 4 – San Diego at Bakersfield, 10:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 8 – Bakersfield at San Diego, 10:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 10 – Bakersfield at San Diego, 10:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 11 – San Diego at Bakersfield, 10:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 13 – Bakersfield at San Diego, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 15 – San Diego at Bakersfield, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Alumni Watch
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Patrice Bergeron scored twice, David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, Torey Krug registered two assists and Tuukka Rask made 39 saves as Boston defeated Columbus, 4-1, in Game 4 of their second-round series… 2015 AHL All-Star Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for his first career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout as Colorado defeated San Jose, 3-0, in Game 4.

Watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on AHLTV
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2019 Calder Cup championship. AHLTV features live streaming of every AHL game in high definition on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices, as well as OTT platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. A subscription is just $24.99 for the entire postseason, or just $7.99 for a day pass. Visit theahl.com/AHLTV for details.