AHL Morning Skate: May 21

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

gr  tor
Game 6 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (GR leads series, 3-2)
After staving off elimination with a win in Grand Rapids on Saturday night, the Toronto Marlies return home with a chance to extend the series to the limit with another victory in Game 6 tonight… Spencer Abbott (2-3-5) picked up a goal and two assists, Will Acton (3-2-5) added a goal and an assist and Drew MacIntyre (5-3, 2.69, .918) stopped 32 of 33 shots in the Marlies’ 4-1 victory in Game 5… Abbott has notched five points in his last three games for Toronto after sitting out the previous four… All three of Acton’s goals this postseason have been game-winners… Morgan Rielly (1-0-1) drew back into the lineup after sitting out Game 4 and tallied his first pro playoff goal/point… The Marlies were 2-for-7 with the man advantage in Game 5 after going 2-for-17 over the first four games of the series… Toronto was also 5-for-5 on the penalty kill on Saturday, and is a league-best 39-for-43 (90.7 percent) this postseason… Luke Glendening (4-5-9) scored Grand Rapids’ lone goal on Saturday, his second of the series, and is now tied with Tomas Tatar (6-3-9) and Landon Ferraro (2-7-9) for the Griffins’ playoff scoring lead… Petr Mrazek (6-4, 2.11, .911) made 20 saves in the loss… Toronto improved to 6-4 all-time when facing playoff elimination; Grand Rapids fell to 6-8 with a chance to close out a series… The Griffins, who have a wide 171-118 edge in shots on goal for the series, have outshot their opponent in all 10 games this postseason while the Marlies have been outshot in all eight of theirs.

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

Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – Grand Rapids 7, TORONTO 0
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – TORONTO 4, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Toronto 4
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – GRAND RAPIDS 4, Toronto 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – Toronto 4, GRAND RAPIDS 1
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…

Brad Thiessen made 46 saves and Trevor Smith scored 3:26 into overtime as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton closed in on AHL history with a 2-1 win at Providence in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series… The Penguins are just the fourth team in AHL history to force a Game 7 after trailing a series 0-3, and will try to become the third to come all the way back and win the series… Craig Cunningham scored early in the second period for the Bruins; Brian Dumoulin answered less than five minutes later for the Penguins… Wilkes-Barre was outshot 47-18 for the game, including 33-5 during the second and third periods… In Stanley Cup Playoff action, 2013 First Team AHL All-Star Gustav Nyquist scored his second goal of the postseason and fellow former AHL All-Star Jimmy Howard made 39 saves in Detroit’s 3-1 win over Chicago.

The 3-1 Hole
Toronto is trying to join 17 other teams in AHL history who have come back to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1, including seven in the last decade:

2011 – Manitoba Moose def. Lake Erie Monsters
2011 – Binghamton Senators def. Manchester Monarchs
2010 – Abbotsford Heat def. Rochester Americans
2008 – Toronto Marlies def. Syracuse Crunch
2005 – Cincinnati Mighty Ducks def. Milwaukee Admirals
2004 – Rochester Americans def. Syracuse Crunch
2004 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins def. Bridgeport Sound Tigers
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack def. Providence Bruins
1997 – Hershey Bears def. Springfield Falcons
1992 – Rochcester Americans def. Binghamton Rangers
1991 – Springfield Indians def. Fredericton Canadiens
1989 – Adirondack Red Wings def. Hershey Bears (trailed 3-0)
1973 – Virginia Wings def. Hershey Bears
1960 – Rochester Americans def. Cleveland Barons (trailed 3-0)
1949 – Providence Reds def. Hershey Bears
1947 – Hershey Bears def. Pittsburgh Hornets
1946 – Buffalo Bisons def. Cleveland Barons

Working Overtime
There have been 13 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Road teams are 10-3:

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)
May 15 – Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (Carter Camper, 0:31)
May 20 – W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Trevor Smith, 3:26)

Helping Hands
The American Hockey League has made a donation to the American Red Cross to help our neighbors in Barons Country after this week’s devastating tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. Visit redcross.org to find out how you can help also.

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.