AHL Morning Skate: May 10

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

wbs  pro
Game 1 – 7:05 ET, AHL Live
It’s a quick turnaround for Providence, which opens its Eastern Conference semifinal against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton less than 48 hours after completing a first-round comeback against Hershey with a 3-2 win in Game 5 on Wednesday night… The Penguins have been off for more than a week since wrapping up a three-game sweep of Binghamton back on May 2… Carter Camper (5-3-8) led Providence in first-round scoring, including a hat trick in Game 4… Chris Bourque (3-3-6) has played in five previous playoff series vs. Wilkes-Barre, totaling 4-13-17 in 23 games… Wilkes-Barre won all three first-round games vs. Binghamton by identical 3-2 scores after winning 23 one-goal games in the regular season — one fewer than Providence’s league-leading total of 24… Defenseman Dylan Reese was the only Penguins skater to score a goal against Providence during the two-game regular-season series; Reese scored two power-play goals in a 3-2 shootout loss on Mar. 29… Chad Kolarik scored four goals in four games vs. Providence while with Connecticut before joining the Penguins in January… Wilkes-Barre has reached the second round for the ninth time in the last 10 postseasons… The Bruins were 5-for-18 on the power play in the first round, leading the league with a 27.8 percent efficiency… Wilkes-Barre (2.34 goals against per game) and Providence (2.41) had the two stingiest defenses in the AHL during the regular season; offensively, the Bruins ranks 12th in scoring while the Penguins were 27th.

Eastern Conference Semifinal – Series “I” (best-of-7)
1-Providence Bruins vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 20 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

syr  spr
Game 1 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
Springfield finished two points ahead of Syracuse in the regular season, enough to earn home-ice advantage in this conference semifinal showdown between the second- and third-place teams in the overall AHL standings for 2012-13… This is the first postseason meeting ever between teams from these two cities, who both have a history that dates back to the founding of the AHL in 1936-37… The Falcons are conference semifinalists for the first time since 1997; the Crunch are through to the second round for the fourth time in their 19-year history… Springfield defeated Manchester, three games to one, in the opening round, becoming just the second team in AHL history to earn three overtime wins in a single best-of-five series… Syracuse swept Portland in three straight, but needed to come back from two-goal deficits in Game 1 and Game 3, winning both in OT… Cody Bass (2-2-4) led the Falcons in scoring last round, including points on each of their overtime winners (2-1-3)… Defensemen Blake Parlett (2-1-3) and David Savard (2-1-3) also scored twice each in the series… Curtis McElhinney (3-1, 1.74, .943) stopped 133 of 141 shots in four games… Ondrej Palat (3-4-7) paced the Crunch in scoring during the conference quarterfinals, and scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the series-clinching Game 3 on May 2… Tyler Johnson (2-4-6) recorded six points and a team-leading 17 shots vs. Portland… Syracuse won 24 road games in the regular season, tied for the most in the Eastern Conference… Springfield has won 20 of its last 25 games at home… Tonight’s game is the first at the MassMutual Center in the month of May since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on May 24, 1997.

Eastern Conference Semifinal – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-Springfield Falcons vs. 3-Syracuse Crunch
Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – Syracuse at Springfield, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – Syracuse at Springfield, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Springfield at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – Springfield at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – Springfield at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 21 – Syracuse at Springfield, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – Syracuse at Springfield, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

gr  tor
Game 1 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
Division winners Toronto and Grand Rapids kick off their Western Conference semifinal series at Ricoh Coliseum tonight… The Marlies have been off since closing out a three-game sweep of Rochester last Wednesday (May 1)… The Griffins were pushed to the distance by Houston, but their 7-0 win in Game 5 matched the largest margin ever in a winner-take-all Calder Cup Playoff contest… Greg Scott (5-1-6) scored five of Toronto’s 11 goals in the first round, including his four-goal performance in Game 1… Marlies rookie Greg McKegg (2-2-4) scored twice in his first three playoff games after totaling two goals in his final 29 outings in the regular season… Drew MacIntyre (3-0, 1.62, .949) was on the other side of the rivalry in 2006, going 2-0 for Grand Rapids during their 2006 series win over Toronto… MacIntyre also faced the Griffins in the 2007 playoffs, winning a seven-game series with Manitoba… Making his playoff debut after putting up 196 points in four seasons with the Griffins, Tomas Tatar registered 3-1-4 in the first round vs. Houston… Rookie Luke Glendening (2-2-4) and defenseman Nathan Paetsch (0-4-4) are tied with Tatar for Grand Rapids’ team scoring lead with four points each… The Marlies and Griffins split their four-game regular-season series, with both of Grand Rapids’ wins coming via shootout.

Western Conference Semifinal – Series “L” (best-of-7)
2-Toronto Marlies vs. 3-Grand Rapids Griffins

Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 3:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 21 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

About Last Night…
Oklahoma City drew first blood in its Western Conference semifinal series with top-seeded Texas, as Anton Lander‘s goal just 1:28 into overtime gave the Barons a 2-1 win over the Stars in Game 1 last night… Yann Danis stopped 34 of 35 shots for Oklahoma City, which has won three straight games… In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Ottawa got goals from former Calder Cup champions Cory Conacher (two), Erik Condra and Zack Smith and defeated Montreal, 6-1, to win the series four games to one… Marcus Kruger, who recorded 22 points in 34 AHL games for Rockford this season, scored the game-winning goal and notched an assist as Chicago eliminated Minnesota with a 5-1 victory in Game 5… Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves and fellow AHL alums Tyler Kennedy, Douglas Murray and Kris Letang all scored in Pittsburgh’s 4-0 win over the N.Y. Islanders.

Starting Strong
In AHL postseason history, the winner of Game 1 of a playoff series goes on to win the series 71.3 percent of the time… Series records of Game 1 winners in recent years:

2013 – 5-3 (.625)
2012 – 12-3 (.800)
2011 – 10-5 (.667)
2010 – 10-5 (.667)
2009 – 10-5 (.667)
2008 – 9-6 (.600)
2007 – 11-4 (.733)
2006 – 10-5 (.667)
2005 – 11-4 (.733)

Working Overtime

There have been 11 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Road teams are 8-3:

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)

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.