Hartford, Rochester look to pull even tonight

The home team prevailed in both Game Ones as the AHL’s conference finals began on Tuesday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes a 1-0 series lead into tonight’s Game 2 (7:05 ET) after a 3-1 victory on Tuesday… Tom Kostopoulos picked up a goal and two assists to lead the Penguins and pull into a tie for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 17 points… Wilkes-Barre has won five straight at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza by a combined score of 16-2… The Pens have not allowed an even-strength goal on home ice in more than 15 periods, since late in a Game 4 loss to Bridgeport… Andy Chiodo made 23 saves on Tuesday to improve his record to 7-1… Hartford’s Jason LaBarbera lost for the first time in his last 14 road decisions (10-1-3), spanning nearly four months… Jozef Balej was held off the scoresheet for the first time in 14 games since returning to Hartford from the NHL on Apr. 4… The Penguins went 2-for-8 on the power play; the Wolf Pack were 1-for-6… Tonight’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh… After Game 2, four of the final five games of the series will be played in Hartford.

Eastern Conference Final — Series M (best-of-7)
A1-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. E3-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Tue., May 18 – Wilkes-Barre 3, Hartford 1
Game 2 – Thu., May 20 – Hartford at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 ET
Game 3 – Sat., May 22 – Wilkes-Barre at Hartford, 7:05 ET
Game 4 – Sun., May 23 – Wilkes-Barre at Hartford, 6:05 ET
*Game 5 – Tue., May 25 – Wilkes-Barre at Hartford, 7:05 ET
*Game 6 – Fri., May 28 – Hartford at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 ET
*Game 7 – Sat., May 29 – Wilkes-Barre at Hartford, 7:05 ET

Milwaukee hosts Rochester in Game 2 at the Bradley Center (7:00 CT, 8:00 ET), 48 hours after the Admirals’ come-from-behind 2-1 victory in Tuesday’s opener… Wyatt Smith and Tony Hrkac scored as Milwaukee won for the first time all season when trailing after two periods (1-23-3)… Hrkac’s winning goal came with 56 seconds remaining in regulation… Domenic Pittis netted the only Rochester goal, moving into a tie for 10th place on the AHL’s all-time playoff scoring list with 78 career points… Ryan Miller made 34 saves in the loss as the Admirals owned a 36-19 edge in shots, including 17-4 in the final frame… Wade Flaherty earned the win for Milwaukee, his seventh in eight starts… Rochester is 1-4 in one-goal games this postseason, and 7-0 in games decided by two goals or more.

Western Conference Final — Series N (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Tue., May 18 – Milwaukee 2, Rochester 1
Game 2 – Thu., May 20 – Rochester at Milwaukee, 8:00 ET
Game 3 – Sat., May 22 – Milwaukee vs. Rochester, 7:35 ET (at Buffalo)
Game 4 – Sun., May 23 – Milwaukee vs. Rochester, 5:05 ET (at Buffalo)
*Game 5 – Wed., May 26 – Milwaukee at Rochester, 7:05 ET
*Game 6 – Fri., May 28 – Rochester at Milwaukee, 8:00 ET
*Game 7 – Sat., May 29 – Rochester at Milwaukee, 8:00 ET

The Calgary Flames advanced to the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-1 win over San Jose last night… Among the Flames with championship experience are assistant coach Jim Playfair, forward Chris Clark and defenseman Steve Montador, all of whom won a Calder Cup with Saint John in 2001.

10-2 — Series record over the last six seasons of teams winning Game 1 in the AHL’s conference finals… The only teams since 1998 to drop the opener and still advance to the Calder Cup Final were Rochester (1999) and Chicago (2002).

ON THIS DATE (May 20):
2002 – Hamilton gets an overtime goal from Louie DeBrusk to earn a 3-2 win over Bridgeport, forcing a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final… 1981 – Adirondack wins its first of four Calder Cups with a 5-2 victory over Maine at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Previous Calder Cup Notebooks:
Wednesday, May 19