AHL Morning Skate: April 22

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

Complete Schedule || Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders

Tonight’s Previews

pro  hfd
Game 1 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
@AHLBruins | @WolfPackAHL | #HFDvsPRO

Hartford and Providence kick off the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs when they drop the puck on Game 1 at the XL Center tonight… This is the fifth postseason meeting all-time between the Wolf Pack and Bruins, but the first since 2007… Providence defeated Hartford in the second round of the 1999 playoffs en route to winning the Calder Cup; Hartford returned the favor in the conference finals a year later… The B’s won in 2001 and 2007 as well… The Wolf Pack, in the playoffs for the first time in three years, went 13-3-0-1 in their final 17 games to grab the Northeast Division title and the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference… The Bruins, 12th in the East at the halfway point of their schedule, were 24-10-3-1 in their last 38 contests and ended up in sixth place… Chris Bourque, who skated for Providence in 2012-13, led Hartford in goals, assists and points (29-37-66) and was named a First Team AHL All-Star… Oscar Lindberg (28-28-56) had 11-7-18 over his final 15 regular-season games for the Wolf Pack… 18-year-old rookie David Pastrnak recorded 11-17-28 and a plus-15 rating in 25 games with Providence this season, along with 10-17-27 and a plus-12 rating in 46 NHL games with Boston… Alexander Khokhlachev was the P-Bruins’ leading scorer for the second year in a row, tallying 15-28-43 in 61 games… Rob Flick, who entered the season with 12 goals in 149 career AHL games, led Providence with 19 goals in 65 contests in 2014-15… When opening a series on the road, Providence has won its last three Game 1’s since a loss at Hartford in 2007… Hartford won three of four meetings between the teams in the regular season, shutting out the Bruins in both games at the XL Center… The Wolf Pack have won seven in a row at home; the B’s have won eight of 10 on the road.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
3-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. 6-Providence Bruins

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 26 – Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 28 – Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 1 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

uti  chi
Game 1 – 8:00 ET, AHL Live
@UticaComets | @Chicago_Wolves | #UTIvsCHI
Utica and Chicago kick off the Western Conference side of the playoff bracket with Game 1 at Allstate Arena tonight… The Comets head into the playoffs as the top seed in the West after going 47-20-7-2 for 103 points in the regular season, including a 15-2-2-1 mark down the stretch… The Wolves were 11-4-0-0 in their final 15 games to secure the #8 seed in the West… Comets captain Cal O’Reilly (10-51-61) led Utica in scoring and finished second in the AHL in assists… Bobby Sanguinetti notched 16-24-40 and had a team-best plus-24 rating in 61 games from the Comets blue line… Jacob Markstrom (22-7-2, 1.88, .934), who ranked second in the AHL in goals-against average and save percentage this season, backstopped San Antonio to a first-round victory over Chicago in 2012… Wolves forward Shane Harper (32-18-50) finished third in the league in goals… Pat Cannone (14-33-47) tallied two goals and two assists in two games vs. Utica this season… Chicago’s John Anderson (66-44) is third all-time in Calder Cup Playoff wins, behind only AHL Hall of Famers John Paddock (82) and Bun Cook (75)… Utica and Chicago split their four meetings during the 2014-15 regular season… This match-up ends a streak of 16 consecutive playoff series in which the Wolves were the higher seed; Chicago has not been a series underdog since a second-round duel with Milwaukee in 2004.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
1-Utica Comets vs. 8-Chicago Wolves

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Utica at Chicago, 8:00
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Utica at Chicago, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Welcome Back
Hartford and Utica are two of eight teams to reach the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2015 after missing the postseason in 2014… Here are the current postseason appearance streaks of this year’s 16 playoff clubs:

13 — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
6 — Manchester Monarchs
5 — Oklahoma City Barons
4 — Toronto Marlies
3 — Grand Rapids Griffins
3 — Providence Bruins
3 — Texas Stars
2 — Chicago Wolves
1 — Hartford Wolf Pack
1 — Hershey Bears
1 — Portland Pirates
1 — Rockford IceHogs
1 — San Antonio Rampage
1 — Syracuse Crunch
1 — Utica Comets
1 — Worcester Sharks

From Calder to Stanley
Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening scored third-period goals and Petr Mrazek stopped 22 shots for the shutout as Detroit blanked Tampa Bay, 3-0; Sheahan, Glendening and Mrazek were three of nine players in the Red Wings lineup who won a Calder Cup with Grand Rapids in 2013… Brent Seabrook, who made his professional playoff debut with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals in 2005, scored 1:00 into the third overtime period on Tuesday night to give Chicago a 3-2 win over Nashville and a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference First Round series… The Blackhawks got 50 saves from Scott Darling, who was 14-8-2 (2.20, .927) in 26 AHL appearances for Rockford this season… Two-time AHL All-Star Jiri Hudler scored the winning goal in Calgary’s 3-1 victory over Vancouver, giving the Flames a 3-1 series lead… Braden Holtby, a member of Hershey’s Calder Cup championship team in 2010, stopped 36 of 37 shots to help Washington to a 2-1 overtime win over the New York Islanders, tying their series at 2-2.

AHL Live

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.