ALBANY 4, PHILADELPHIA 0
Michael Leighton turned in a 39-save shutout as Albany opened its East Division Semifinal series with a 4-0 win over Philadelphia at the Times Union Center on Wednesday.
Leighton, the AHL’s 2007-08 “Baz” Bastien Award winner, led the league with seven regular-season shutouts, and Philadelphia had been the only team to go the entire season without suffering a shutout.
The series now shifts to Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center for Game 2 on Friday and Game 3 on Sunday.
HARTFORD 3, PORTLAND 1
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau netted a pair of goals to lift Hartford to a 3-1 series-opening victory over Portland at the XL Center.
With the Wolf Pack trailing 1-0, Parenteau stole the puck in the neutral zone and scored on a partial breakaway unassisted at 11:29 of the second period. The former Pirate then tipped home a Greg Moore shot 2:50 into the final stanza, a goal that would hold up as the game-winner.
2008 AHL All-Star Andrew Ebbett put the Pirates on the board first with a goal just 42 seconds into the second period.
The teams are right back at it on Thursday for Game 2 of the series in Hartford.
PROVIDENCE 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT)
First-Team AHL All-Star Pascal Pelletier lit the lamp 9:01 into overtime to give Providence a 3-2 win over Manchester in Game 1 of their Atlantic Division Semifinal at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask picked up his first professional playoff victory with 25 saves between the pipes.
The teams will play Game 2 in Providence on Friday.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Chris Minard’s goal at 4:52 of overtime propelled Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 2-1 road win over Hershey in the opener of their East Division Semifinal series.
The game was scoreless through the first 40 minutes until the Penguins’ Connor James lit the lamp just 17 seconds into the final stanza.
Hershey forward Chris Bourque, who had 15 points in 10 regular-season games against the Penguins, tallied the equalizer at 10:05.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been eliminated from the playoffs by Hershey in each of the last two years, but the Bears took Game 1 of the series in both instances.
Penguins All-Rookie goaltender John Curry secured his team’s Game 1 victory this time around with 26 saves on 27 shots.
The Penguins will host Games 2 and 3 of the series on Saturday and Sunday.
TORONTO 4, SAN ANTONIO 3
Jiri Tlusty broke a 3-3 tie with 6:31 to go in regulation and Toronto went on to a 4-3 win over San Antonio in their North Division Semifinal opener at Ricoh Coliseum.
After a scoreless first period, the Marlies took a 2-0 second-period lead on goals by Kris Newbury and John Mitchell. But the Rampage came back to a draw before the stanza was out, as David Spina and Matt Murley lit the lamp.
The teams will play Game 2 in Toronto on Friday.
MILWAUKEE 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Josh Langfeld tallied a hat trick and Cal O’Reilly scored 6:07 into overtime as Milwaukee rallied for a 4-3 road win over Chicago at Allstate Arena to kick off their West Division Semifinal.
Langfeld scored once in the first period and twice in the third stanza. Those two third-period goals erased a 3-1 deficit and sent the game to overtime, where O’Reilly ended it.
Admirals goaltender Pekka Rinne picked up the victory with 34 saves on 37 shots.
Game 2 of the series is in Chicago on Friday.