Askarov, Admirals square series with Game 2 win

Yaroslav Askarov returned to the Milwaukee crease and stopped 27 shots, leading the Admirals to a 5-2 win over Grand Rapids in Game 2 of the teams’ Central Division Finals on Monday night.

The best-of-five series is squared at one game apiece as the Griffins prepare to host Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday.

Askarov, a 30-game winner during the regular season, was making his first appearance since Game 2 of the division semifinals against Texas. He carried a shutout bid deep into the third period en route to his first win of the 2024 postseason (1-2).

Milwaukee got on the board first when Egor Afanasyev’s seeing-eye wrister got through Sebastian Cossa just 4:39 into the game. It was the first goal of these playoffs for Afanasyev, who led the Admirals with 27 goals during the regular season.

Fedor Svechkov doubled the lead at 12:45 of the first period with a power-play tally, and Zach L’Heureux scored his league-best seventh goal of the postseason on a shorthanded breakaway late in the second.

The Admirals made it 4-0 on Marc Del Gaizo’s goal 3:27 into the third period.

Grand Rapids finally broke through on Askarov with 4:26 remaining when Carter Mazur scored a power-play goal, and Dominik Shine trimmed the deficit to 4-2 with 3:10 to play and Cossa (21 saves) on the bench for an extra attacker.

Jasper Weatherby’s empty-netter sealed the win for Milwaukee.

(Series tied, 1-1)
Game 1 – Wed., May 15 – Grand Rapids 4, MILWAUKEE 2
Game 2 – Mon., May 20 – MILWAUKEE 5, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 22 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 24 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 26 – Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 6:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern