Calder Cup Quick Hits: April 26

Game 4 at Ricoh Coliseum sees Toronto hosting Grand Rapids tonight (7:30 ET) and the Marlies trying to even the best-of-seven series… The usual suspects – Donald MacLean (three goals) and Jiri Hudler (five points) – have been the Griffins’ top scorers in the series… AHL All-Rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard rebounded from allowing 11 goals over the first two games to stop 35 of 36 shots in Monday’s Game 3 win… Aleksander Suglobov continues to pace the Toronto offense with four goals and two assists in three games… The Marlies are 6-for-26 on the power play in the series (23.1 percent)… Grand Rapids has scored in eight of the nine regulation periods over the first three games.

Defense has dominated the Syracuse-Manitoba series, with seven total goals scored in the first three games… The Crunch still hold a 2-1 series lead heading into tonight’s Game 4 at the MTS Centre (7:30 CT), where the Moose have won seven of nine playoff games over the last two springs… Josh Green had a goal and an assist in Manitoba’s Game 3 victory, ending the Moose’s six-game postseason losing streak… Pascal Leclaire for Syracuse and Wade Flaherty for Manitoba have combined to stop 210 of 217 shots in the series (.968)… The two clubs, who scored a total of 22 power-play goals in four regular-season meetings, are 3-for-45 in the series (6.7 percent).

Houston goes for the sweep of its West Division semifinal with Game 4 in Peoria tonight (7:00 CT)… After squeaking out overtime wins in Games 1 and 2, the Aeros rolled to a 6-1 victory on Monday night, matching the Rivermen’s worst home loss of the season… Kirby Law and Matt Foy, the OT heroes from earlier in the series, each scored twice in Game 3… Josh Harding made 45 saves to improve to 18-2-0 in his last 20 AHL decisions… Peoria is trying to avoid becoming the first team in AHL history to fail to win a playoff game after recording at least 100 points in the regular season… Mike Zigomanis leads the Rivermen with two goals and three assists, giving him 18 points in 19 career AHL playoff games.

It’s down to a best-of-three series in the East Division after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied things up with a 1-0 win in Bridgeport last night… The teams go right back at it tonight in Game 5 (7:05 ET) back in northeastern Pennsylvania… The Penguins have remarkably erased a 2-0 first-round deficit for the third straight postseason; they came all the way back and won the series in 2004 and 2005… Maxime Talbot scored the only goal last night, and Dany Sabourin shined in a 33-save shutout… Nine of the 11 all-time playoff meetings between these teams have been one-goal games… In Calder Cup Playoff history (through 2005), 85 best-of-seven series have been tied at 2-2; the Game 5 winner has taken the series 69 times (81.2 percent).

In Tuesday’s other Calder Cup Playoff games, Hershey got 30 saves from Frederic Cassivi and finished off a four-game sweep with a 5-1 win over Norfolk… Nathan Robinson capped a five-point night by scoring the winning goal in overtime to give Providence a season-saving 5-4 win over Portland in Game 4… Ex-Star Zack Stortini scored the winning goal to lead Milwaukee past Iowa, 3-2, and claim a 3-1 series lead… In the highest scoring Calder Cup Playoff game since 1994, Alexandre Daigle and Noah Clarke each had two goals and two assists as Manchester earned a wild 8-6 win in Hartford to take a 3-2 lead in that series.

Complete Calder Cup Playoff schedules and results

In Tuesday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, 2003 Calder Cup finalist Jarret Stoll scored in the second overtime period to give Edmonton a 4-3 win over Detroit… 2005 AHL All-Star Chuck Kobasew scored the winning goal in Calgary’s 5-2 victory at Anaheim… 2005 AHL All-Star Christian Ehrhoff recorded three assists in San Jose’s 4-1 win over Nashville… 2005 AHL MVP Jason Spezza dished out four assists as Ottawa doubled up Tampa Bay, 8-4.

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