Leighton posts shutout as River Rats take Game 1

Wednesday’s Boxscores

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.

Jakub Petruzalek put the River Rats on top with a first-period goal, while Jerome Samson and Bryan Rodney netted markers in the second period. Rodney finished with a game-high three points (1-2-3).

Marc Cavosie added a goal in the final stanza for Albany, and Mike Angelidis chipped in a pair of assists on the night.

The series now shifts to Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center for Game 2 on Friday and Game 3 on Sunday.

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.

Hartford’s Dane Byers added an insurance marker late in the third, and goaltender David LeNeveu earned the victory with 32 saves on 33 shots.

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.

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.

Wacey Rabbit and Jeff Hoggan also netted goals for the Bruins, who entered the playoffs after posting a league-high 55 wins and 117 points in the regular season.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask picked up his first professional playoff victory with 25 saves between the pipes.

Petr Kanko and Matt Moulson scored for the Monarchs, the latter goal coming on the power play midway through the third period to force overtime.

The teams will play Game 2 in Providence on Friday.

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.

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.

Toronto’s Alex Foster put his club back on top at 5:19 of the third, and San Antonio defenseman Brendan Bell responded on the power play at 10:57.

Tlusty’s game-winner was assisted by Ben Ondrus at 13:29 and made a winner of goaltender Scott Clemmensen, who finished with 28 saves.

The teams will play Game 2 in Toronto on Friday.

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.

Brett Sterling, Bryan Little, and Jesse Schultz netted goals for the Wolves, who entered the playoffs as the regular-season Western Conference champions.

Admirals goaltender Pekka Rinne picked up the victory with 34 saves on 37 shots.

Game 2 of the series is in Chicago on Friday.