The Chicago Wolves were looking to bring an end to duck season on Wednesday night, but an old friend helped spoil the party.
Frederic Cassivi, a member of the Wolves’ 2002 Calder Cup championship team, made 31 saves and Cincinnati scored three times in the first period as the Mighty Ducks extended their season with a 3-2 victory over Chicago in Game 4 of the West Division final.
The Wolves still have a 3-1 series lead, with Game 5 set for Friday night in suburban Chicago.
Steve Maltais gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead, but Joffrey Lupul responded for Cincinnati 31 seconds later, and Dustin Penner and Stanislav Chistov added power-play goals late in the opening period.
Brad Larsen scored in the third period, but the Wolves could not get the equalizer.
The Mighty Ducks killed off all 11 Chicago power plays on the night and improved to 4-0 this postseason when facing elimination.
Kari Lehtonen returned to the lineup for the Wolves and made 33 saves.
PROVIDENCE 4, LOWELL 1
Providence took a 2-1 lead in the Atlantic Division final with a 4-1 win in Lowell on Wednesday.
The Lock Monsters opened the series with three straight home games but managed just one win, and now face the difficult task of needing to win at least two of the next three games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.
Brad Boyes had a goal and an assist and Hannu Toivonen made 34 saves for the Bruins, who have won four of their last five games and are now 4-2 on the road this postseason.
Brent Thompson scored his second career playoff goal, and first since 1996, for Providence. Patrice Bergeron and former Lock Monster Tomas Kurka had the other Bruins goals.
Chuck Kobasew‘s sixth goal of the playoffs was the only Lowell offense.
MANITOBA 2, ROCHESTER 1
After a 51-win, 112-point regular season, the Rochester Americans are facing the prospect of a disappointing end.
Jimmy Roy scored with 3:12 left in regulation to give Manitoba a 2-1 victory over the Amerks on Wednesday and a 3-1 lead in the North Division final. The Moose can advance to their first AHL conference final with one more win, beginning with Game 5 at the MTS Centre on Friday.
Lee Goren scored his league-leading eighth goal of the postseason and Wade Flaherty made 25 saves as Manitoba won its third in a row after dropping Game 1, and improved to 5-0 on home ice during the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Daniel Paille had the lone goal for Rochester, 5:57 into the game.
Attendance in Winnipeg was 8,520.