A day after its scheduled start, the puck finally dropped on Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night and the Grand Rapids Griffins blanked the Oklahoma City Barons, 4-0, to even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Game 4 was originally scheduled for Friday night, but was delayed by a tornado emergency and eventually postponed after heavy rains caused parts of the Cox Convention Center to flood.
Game 5 is set for Sunday afternoon at 5 ET (AHL Live).
The Griffins, trying to snap a two-game skid, got a season-high 40 saves from Petr Mrazek, who earned his third shutout of the playoffs.
Grand Rapids opened the scoring 12:08 into the game, as Gustav Nyquist fed Joakim Andersson down low and Andersson swept a shot past Yann Danis (28 saves) for a power-play goal. Nyquist and Andersson were both making their return to Grand Rapids following Detroit’s elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs earlier in the week.
Riley Sheahan made it 2-0 at 1:57 of the second period, poking home a rebound after Francis Pare‘s shot caught the crossbar.
Less than seven minutes later, with the teams skating four aside, Landon Ferraro finished off a nifty passing play and put Grand Rapids ahead 3-0.
Jan Mursak hit an empty net from just outside the blue line with 1:49 to go in regulation, making the final margin 4-0.
The Griffins, 0-for-9 on the power play in the series prior to Saturday, went 2-for-2 with the man advantage in Game 4. The Barons were 0-for-4.
Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
3-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 5-Oklahoma City Barons
Game 1 – Fri., May 24 – GRAND RAPIDS 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 25 – Oklahoma City 4, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 29 – OKLAHOMA CITY 4, Grand Rapids 1
Game 4 – Sat., June 1 – Grand Rapids 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 0
Game 5 – Sun., June 2 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 5:00
Game 6 – Tue., June 4 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 5 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern