Marlies drop Devils to take 3-2 series lead

The Toronto Marlies scored two more power-play goals and went on to a 5-1 victory over the Albany Devils in Game 5 of the North Division Finals on Thursday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

After outscoring the Devils 12-3 over the last two games, the Marlies head home with a 3-2 series lead and Game 6 of the series set for Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum (3 p.m. ET, AHL Live).

Toronto broke a scoreless tie with two power-play goals early in the second period and finished the night 2-for-5 with the man advantage, following a 4-for-9 effort in Game 4 on Tuesday.

The Marlies grabbed a 1-0 lead 1:23 into the second with Albany’s Joseph Blandisi off for a delay of game infraction. Mark Arcobello won the ensuing faceoff back to Connor Carrick, whose wrist shot from the center point beat Scott Wedgewood for his fifth goal and league-leading 13th point of the playoffs.

Albany had two golden chances to tie in the following minutes, but Reid Boucher rang a shot off the post and Matt Lorito was denied point-blank by the right pad of Antoine Bibeau to keep the Marlies in front.

Toronto then doubled its lead at 6:38 as Connor Brown finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play from Josh Leivo and Arcobello, and put home his fifth goal of the playoffs to make it 2-0.

Nikita Soshnikov, who scored twice in Game 4 on Tuesday, stretched the Marlies’ lead to 3-0 at 15:19 of the second off a pass from Richard Clune.

Paul Thompson got Albany on the board with 2:59 to go in the middle frame, swatting home a loose puck as he was falling to the ice in front of Bibeau. It was Thompson’s first goal in 16 games, since he last scored back on Mar. 29.

Brendan Leipsic gave Toronto some additional breathing room with 8:51 left in the third period, scoring his second goal in as many games. Leivo finished the scoring into an empty net with 2:08 to play.

Bibeau (4-1) stopped 21 of 22 shots to pick up the win in net for Toronto. Wedgewood (5-4) made 18 saves for Albany.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N2-Albany Devils
Game 1 – Wed., May 4 – Albany 2, TORONTO 1
Game 2 – Fri., May 6 – TORONTO 5, Albany 3
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., May 10 – Toronto 7, ALBANY 2
Game 5 – Thu., May 12 – Toronto 5, ALBANY 1
Game 6 – Sat., May 14 – Albany at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 7 – Mon., May 16 – Albany at Toronto, 7:30
   *if necessary… All times Eastern