Bobby Sanguinetti buried a rebound of an Alexandre Grenier shot with 3:10 gone in the second overtime period to give the Utica Comets a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Wednesday.
Utica, the top seed in the West, takes a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 on Friday.
Grenier swept the puck in front after a scrum behind the net and Jordan Binnington kicked it out, but Sanguinetti was there to end the game with his second career AHL playoff goal, and first since 2009.
Shinkaruk took a pass from Cal O’Reilly down low and backhanded a shot past Binnington to put the Comets in front on their first shot of the game, just 1:56 in. Jensen then made it 2-0 at 10:28, converting off a give-and-go with Darren Archibald.
But Chicago rallied behind two third-period goals from Magnus Paajarvi, the second one coming with just 1.0 seconds showing on the clock. Paajarvi, who had scored two goals in 14 postseason games with Oklahoma City in 2012, buried a feed from Pat Cannone at the 1:25 mark of the third to put Chicago on the board, then rang a shot off the post and in from the right-wing circle at 19:59 to tie it.
Jacob Markstrom improved to 5-4 in his Calder Cup Playoff career with 30 saves in the contest. Binnington, making his AHL postseason debut, finished with 40 stops.
Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
1-Utica Comets vs. 8-Chicago Wolves
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Utica 3, CHICAGO 2 (2OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Utica at Chicago, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern