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Admirals end Griffins season with win

Saturday, 05.6.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Admirals end Griffins season with win
MILWAUKEE -- Down three goals in an elimination game for the second time in eight days, the Grand Rapids Griffins once again fought back on Wednesday to make it a 4-4 game after two periods at the Bradley Center. But a shorthanded goal by Darren Haydar just 21 seconds into the third proved to be the difference, as the Milwaukee Admirals advanced to the Calder Cup Finals with a 5-4 win and a four-games-to-none series victory.

Midway through the first period, the Admirals struck for two goals within a 30-second span to grab early control. During a power play, Simon Gamache ripped a shot from the top of the left circle inside the right post at 7:36, and Jordin Tootoo followed up by tossing a rebound past Jimmy Howard from the right faceoff dot at 8:06.

Following a Grand Rapids timeout and a bout between Tomas Kopecky and Scott May, the Griffins answered on Brett Lebda's first goal of the playoffs. After Pekka Rinne stoned Valtteri Filppula on a point-blank attempt, Filppula rounded the net to the right circle and sent a pass back through the slot to Lebda, who waited patiently for an opening before lifting a shot into the upper left corner of the net at 8:24.

A ridiculous disparity in penalties allowed the Admirals to push their advantage back to two goals at 3-1, as a Shea Weber blast through traffic during a 5-on-3 found the back of the net at the 14:20 mark. By the time the first period ended, Milwaukee had enjoyed 9:03 of power play time - including a pair of two-man advantages totaling 1:37 - while the Griffins were still awaiting their first power play of the night.

That gap grew even larger, as the second period started with 1:54 of carry-over power play time for the Admirals. When the game finally got back to even strength, the Griffins had been shorthanded for 10:57 of the game's first 21:54. Grand Rapids finally received its first power play of the night at 3:48 of the middle period; unfortunately, it came 22 seconds after a breakaway goal by Upshall had increased the Admirals' lead to 4-1.

Showing their character, the Griffins kept clawing, getting back within two at 10:54 when Darryl Bootland one-timed a Jiri Hudler feed out of the right corner past Rinne. Four minutes later, Bootland stole the puck in the left corner and quickly found Filppula alone in the slot. Filppula put a move on his Finnish countryman and slipped a backhand into the net at 14:39, making it a 4-3 game.

After May had been whistled off for a five-minute high-sticking major late in the period, Filppula netted the equalizer with just 1.3 seconds remaining, slamming home a Terry Virtue rebound from the bottom of the left circle and quieting the crowd of 3,900.

The Griffins began the third with a fresh sheet of ice and 2:53 of power play time, but Haydar scored the game-winner with a breakaway on the first shift, as the Admirals set an AHL record with their seventh shorthanded goal of the postseason.

Howard and Rinne finished with 37 and 23 saves, respectively. Each team tallied twice on the power play, although Milwaukee had three times the number of advantages (9 to 3).

Each of the final three games in the Western Conference Finals had a one-goal margin.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89