GRAND RAPIDS 3, HAMILTON 1
AHL All-Rookie forward Justin Abdelkader tallied two goals and an assist as Grand Rapids erased a 1-0 deficit in the third period and took a 3-1 road win over Hamilton on Saturday, giving the Griffins a 2-0 lead in their North Division semifinal.
The game was scoreless until Bulldogs forward Ryan White scored his first of the playoffs unassisted at 3:39 of the second period.
That 1-0 lead would hold until Ville Leino netted a power play goal for Grand Rapids 5:39 into the final frame. Abdelkader assisted on that tally and then notched the game-winner just 3:11 later, and he capped the night with an empty-netter in the closing seconds.
Abdelkader has now registered five points (3-2-5) in two postseason games thus far, and all five have come in the third period.
Darren Haydar chipped in a pair of assists for the Griffins and now shows 71 helpers for his AHL playoff career, moving him into a tie with Willie Marshall for the all-time lead in that category. Haydar is already the league’s playoff leader in both goals (56) and points (127).
Griffins goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 22 of 23 shots in the victory.
The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Wednesday.
MILWAUKEE 3, ROCKFORD 1
Milwaukee took a 2-0 series lead over Rockford with a 3-1 win over the IceHogs in Game 2 of their West Division semifinal on Saturday at the Bradley Center.
Evan Brophey netted the lone goal for the IceHogs, who have now dropped four straight postseason games since capturing Game 5 of the West Division Finals vs. Chicago on May 9, 2008.
Rockford will try to get back into the series when it returns home for Game 3 on Sunday evening. The IceHogs also host game 4 on Tuesday at the MetroCentre.