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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80