Griffins end slide with win over Wolves

Eric Himelfarb scored a pair of power-play goals in the first period to spark Grand Rapids to a 6-3 win over Chicago on Friday night.

It was the Griffins’ largest offensive output of the season, and broke a seven-game home losing streak. Grand Rapids had also lost seven straight home games against the Wolves.

Kari Lehtonen gave up all six goals for Chicago, the most he has surrendered during his two seasons in North America.

Having faced a 2-0 deficit in each of their previous six home games, the Griffins finally earned their own two-goal lead before the game was three minutes old. Matt Ellis popped a rebound into a gaping net just 1:07 into the contest to give the Griffins their first home lead in a span of 421:07, and Himelfarb scored from the left side during a power play at 2:24.

J.P. Vigier beat Joey MacDonald with a 70-foot shot from outside the blue line at 4:03 to cut the lead to 2-1. But Himelfarb restored the two-goal lead at 11:20.

Nathan Robinson, Niklas Kronwall and Peter Vandermeer also scored for Grand Rapids on the night, as seven different Griffins finished with two points apiece.

MacDonald earned the win with 33 saves, while Lehtonen finished with 23 stops for the Wolves.

Elsewhere on Friday:
Aaron Gavey scored with 5:25 remaining in regulation as Utah snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Cleveland… Martin St. Pierre had a goal and an assist, giving him three points in his first three AHL games, to lead Edmonton over Manitoba, 3-1… Mikko Koivu scored twice for Houston in a 4-2 win over San Antonio… Paul Gaustad scored both Rochester goals in the Amerks’ 2-1 victory over Philadelphia… Chuck Kobasew‘s goal with 1:46 to play gave Lowell a 3-2 win over Springfield… Cincinnati scored three times in the third period and got a Shane O’Brien goal in overtime to pull out a 4-3 win over Hamilton… Dieter Kochan made 34 saves as Bridgeport beat Albany in a shootout, 3-2… Mark Hartigan scored three third-period goals to lead Syracuse over St. John’s, 4-2… Duncan Keith and Rene Bourque scored 62 seconds apart in the third period of Norfolk’s 3-1 win over Hershey… Jay McClement had a goal and an assist as Worcester defeated Hartford, 4-1… Ex-Bruin Shaone Morrisonn scored one goal and assisted on two others to lead Portland to a 5-4 win at Providence… Jason Spezza upped his league-leading totals with two assists and three points in Binghamton’s 4-1 win over visiting Manchester.