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Game 5 – 7:05 ET, AHL Live (STJ leads series, 3-1)
The first ticket to the conference finals can be punched by St. John’s tonight, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stands in the IceCaps’ way as the puck drops in Game 5 at Mohegan Sun Arena tonight… Overtime wins both Saturday and Sunday have given St. John’s a 3-1 series lead and three chances to close the Penguins out… The IceCaps rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to win Game 4 on Ben Maxwell‘s goal 27 seconds into OT on Sunday… Brock Trotter (5-4-9) was held off the board in Game 4 but still leads all scorers with 4-1-5 in the series… Eric Tangradi (4-2-6) and Colin McDonald (5-5-10) have four points each in the series, both with a hand in more than half of the Penguins’ seven goals… Ben Street (1-0-1), Wilkes-Barre’s leading scorer in the regular season with 27-30-57, has gone seven games without a point while Bryan Lerg, who tied Street for the club lead with 27 regular-season goals, has just 0-2-2 in nine playoff contests… Jason King (1-3-4), who led the IceCaps with 22 goals in the regular season, has not scored since Game 1 of the first round vs. Syracuse… St. John’s is a perfect 3-0 this postseason when trailing after the first period… The Penguins are 15-10 all-time when facing elimination.
Game 4 – 10:00 ET, AHL Live (TOR leads series, 2-1)
Toronto has bounced back from a Game 1 loss to win two straight, outscoring Abbotsford 9-2 in the process… Marcel Mueller (1-2-3) and Philippe Dupuis (2-3-5) recorded a goal and an assist each in Saturday’s 4-1 win, Nazem Kadri (3-3-6) scored 58 seconds into the contest and Matt Frattin (4-2-6) scored for the third consecutive game in the series… Ben Scrivens (5-1, 1.68, .939) stopped 20 of 21 shots, and has allowed four goals on 87 Abbotsford shots (1.36, .954) through the first three games… Dustin Sylvester (3-1-4) scored the only Heat goal in Game 3… Krys Kolanos (4-5-9) was held scoreless for the second consecutive game, just the fifth time all season he has gone back-to-back games without a point… Abbotsford’s Leland Irving made the first playoff start of his pro career in Game 3 and finished with 22 saves… The Marlies are 27-for-28 on the penalty kill this postseason (96.4 percent), including 16-for-16 in the series.
From Calder to Stanley
Mike Smith made 32 saves and 2007 Calder Cup champion Kyle Chipchura assisted on the game-winning goal as Phoenix advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 win over Nashville in Game 5 last night… Marc Staal, whose professional playoff debut came with Hartford during the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs, scored 1:35 into overtime as the N.Y. Rangers rallied for a 3-2 win over Washington to take a 3-2 series lead last night… John Mitchell, who played 17 AHL games with Connecticut earlier this season and who reached the AHL’s conference finals with the Toronto Marlies in 2008, assisted on the winning goal for his first career NHL playoff point.
By the Numbers
7 – Consecutive games won by the Norfolk Admirals at the XL Center before last night’s loss to Connecticut… The Admirals’ previous loss in Hartford had been on Feb. 29, 2008.
17 – Teams in AHL history that have won a series after trailing, 3-1… Most recently, Binghamton defeated Manchester and Manitoba eliminated Lake Erie in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
On This Date
May 8, 2011 – Eddie Lack makes 25 saves as Manitoba forces a decisive Game 7 with a 1-0 win at Hamilton… Kelsey Wilson‘s goal 1:01 into overtime gives Milwaukee a 5-4 win over Houston and ties their division final series at 3-3.
May 8, 2004 – Kari Lehtonen stops 54 of 55 shots in Chicago’s 3-1 win over Milwaukee in Game 3 of their West Division final series.
May 8, 1999 – John Spoltore’s second overtime goal of the series gives Providence a 5-4 win over Hartford and a 3-0 lead in their New England Division final.
May 8, 1981 – The Maine Mariners advance to the Finals for the third time in four years as Bruce Crowder scores in overtime of Game 7 for a 4-3 win over New Brunswick.
May 8, 1974 – The Hershey Bears win the Calder Cup with a 4-3 win over the Providence Reds in Game 5 at Hersheypark Arena. .
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