AHL Morning Skate: May 16

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from
the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s Morning Skate.

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

Game 6 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
(Lake Erie leads series, 3-2)

The Central Division Finals head to back to Van Andel Arena tonight for Game 6 with Lake Erie still one win away from advancing, but Grand Rapids with all the momentum… The Griffins rolled to a 6-1 win in Game 5 on Saturday night, their second straight victory after falling behind in the series 3-0… Grand Rapids played Saturday’s game without injured forwards Martin Frk and Eric Tangradi, their top two goal-scorers from the regular season, but got a hat trick from Tyler Bertuzzi (7-1-8), a goal and two assists from Andreas Athanasiou (2-3-5) and three helpers from Ryan Sproul (1-7-8)… Bertuzzi now leads the league with seven goals this postseason, and has totaled 14-6-20 in 22 playoff games over the last two springs with the Griffins… Jared Coreau (2-0, 0.70, .981), who was perfect in relief in Game 4, made his first start of the 2016 postseason in Game 5 and stopped 35 of 36 shots… Andy Miele (2-4-6) extended his scoring streak to five games with a goal in Game 5… Evgeny Svechnikov, Detroit’s first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, made his pro debut for Grand Rapids in Game 5 and picked up an assist… Since trailing 4-1 late in the second period of Game 4, the Griffins have outscored the Monsters 10-1 over the last 81 minutes of play… Kerby Rychel (1-1-2) scored the Monsters’ only goal on Saturday night, his first of the playoffs… Zach Werenski (3-5-8) tallied an assist, his team-best eighth postseason point… Joonas Korpisalo (6-2, 2.72, .907) allowed five goals on 30 shots before Anton Forsberg finished up, making his first appearance of the postseason… Of the 130 teams in AHL history to have lost the first three games of a best-of-seven playoff series, the Griffins are just the 18th to force a Game 6; only four teams have battled to back to get to a Game 7.

Central Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7) 
C2-Lake Erie Monsters vs. C4-Grand Rapids Griffins 

Game 1 – Thu., May 5 – LAKE ERIE 3, Grand Rapids 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – LAKE ERIE 4, Grand Rapids 3
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – Lake Erie 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Game 4 – Tue., May 10 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Lake Erie 4
Game 5 – Sat., May 14 – Grand Rapids 6, LAKE ERIE 1
Game 6 – Mon., May 16 – Lake Erie at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 18 – Grand Rapids vs. Lake Erie, 7:30 (at Columbus)
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 7 – 7:30 ET, AHL Live
(Series tied, 3-3)

The North Division Finals come down to a decisive Game 7 tonight with Toronto hosting Albany at Ricoh Coliseum… With their backs to the wall and missing no fewer than four top offensive weapons, the Devils cobbled together a 4-1 win on Saturday afternoon to reach the first Game 7 in franchise history and the first for a New Jersey AHL affiliate since 1997, when the Albany River Rats beat Rochester, 6-2… Albany was outscored 12-3 on home ince in Games 4 and 5, but scored twice in 49 seconds early in the first period of Game 6 to quickly take control… Reid Boucher (4-5-9) and Nick Lappin (4-2-6) each notched a goal and an assist in the win and Scott Wedgewood (6-4, 2.59, .903), a native of nearby Etobicoke, Ont., stopped 34 of 35 shots… Albany played Game 6 without Mike Sislo (2-5-7), Brian O’Neill (1-4-5), Jim O’Brien (2-2-4) and Pavel Zacha (1-2-3)… Kasperi Kapanen (2-3-5) scored for the Marlies on Saturday… Antoine Bibeau (4-2, 2.65, .911) made his fifth straight start in net and stopped 24 of 28 shots… Toronto, 6-for-14 on the power play the previous two games, was 0-for-5 in Game 6… Connor Carrick (5-8-13) has 12 points and a plus-9 rating in Toronto’s six playoff wins, one point and a minus-4 rating in three losses… The Marlies have given up the game’s first goal in six of their nine postseason contests… Albany is outscoring its opponents 14-6 in the first period this postseason; Toronto is outscoring its opponents 29-10 from the second period on… The Marlies are 2-1 in Game 7’s, defeating San Antonio and Syracuse at home in 2008 and losing at Texas in 2014… Tonight’s winner moves on to face the Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7) 
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N2-Albany Devils
Game 1 – Wed., May 4 – Albany 2, TORONTO 1
Game 2 – Fri., May 6 – TORONTO 5, Albany 3
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., May 10 – Toronto 7, ALBANY 2
Game 5 – Thu., May 12 – Toronto 5, ALBANY 1
Game 6 – Sat., May 14 – Albany 4, TORONTO 1
Game 7 – Mon., May 16 – Albany at Toronto, 7:30
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 7 History
Toronto and Albany meet tonight in the 166th winner-take-all game and the 92nd Game 7 in Calder Cup Playoff history… Home teams are 51-40 (.560) all-time in Game 7’s… Since 1992, teams are 49-13 (.790) in Game 7’s when scoring first… Eighteen Game 7’s have gone to overtime, most recently last night’s contest between Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… This is the 26th consecutive AHL postseason with at least one Game 7.

Toronto Marlies (2-1)
2014 Conference Finals – TEXAS 6, Toronto 2
2008 Division Finals – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
2008 Division Semifinals – TORONTO 2, San Antonio 1

Albany Devils (0-0)

About Last Night
#HERvsWBS: Travis Boyd scored 10:57 into overtime to give Hershey a 3-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 7 of the Atlantic Division Finals… Justin Peters made 32 saves in the win, which was the Bears’ AHL-record ninth all-time in a Game 7… Hershey is heading to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since reaching the Calder Cup Finals four times in five years from 2006-10.
Working Overtime
There have been 11 overtime games played in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 7-4:

May 15 – HERSHEY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (Travis Boyd, 10:57)
May 13 – Ontario 4, SAN DIEGO 3 (Mike Amadio, 6:29)
May 9 – W-B/SCRANTON 2, Hershey 1 (Kael Mouillierat, 2:31)
May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (Nick Lappin, 18:40)
May 7 – Ontario 2, SAN DIEGO 1 (Justin Auger, 11:55)
May 5 – LAKE ERIE 3, Grand Rapids 2 (Oliver Bjorkstrand, 12:23)
Apr. 28 – Portland 2, HERSHEY 1 (Rob Flick, 43:10)
Apr. 26 – UTICA 2, Albany 1 (Alexandre Grenier, 9:13)
Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jake Guentzel, 33:52)
Apr. 21 – W-B/SCRANTON 4, Providence 3 (Daniel Sprong, 5:13)
Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Providence 2 (Carter Rowney, 1:09)

Alumni Watch
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, David Backes and Jori Lehtera scored and Brian Elliott made 31 saves as St. Louis defeated San Jose, 2-1, in Game 1 of the Western Conference final.

At the 2016 IIHF World Championships in Russia yesterday, 2015-16 AHL All-Rookie goaltender Juuse Saros earned his second consecutive shutout as Finland blanked Slovakia, 5-0… Korbinian Holzer, whose 276 career AHL games include a nine-game stint with San Diego this season, scored with 33 seconds left in regulation to send Germany to a 3-2 win over the United States… Andre Burakovsky scored the decisive shootout goal for Sweden in a 3-2 win over Switzerland… Sebastian Dahm made 40 saves in Denmark’s 2-1 shootout win over the Czech Republic.

AHL Live
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2016 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.