Calder Cup Playoffs: Falcons go for sweep

Springfield can wrap up its first-round series with a win tonight in Manchester

Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 1:00 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com


CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS


SPRINGFIELD LEADS 2-0 (BEST OF FIVE)

SERIES PREVIEWS: THEAHL.COM
| GAME NOTES

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There's quite an opportunity beckoning for the Springfield Falcons, and they're going into tonight's Game 3 in Manchester with one thing on their minds: break out the brooms.

A pair of thrilling overtime wins in the first two games of their best-of-five opening round series have set them up to spoil the party at Verizon Wireless Arena, where they've played well against the Monarchs this season. Springfield went 3-0-0 in Manchester during the regular season, including a barn burner on Nov. 30 that saw the Falcons erase a 3-0 deficit by scoring five times in the third period to win - one of the games that helped propel them along in a division championship season.

But tonight, they'll be faced with a much different task in the same building. Manchester is fighting to stay alive and likely to "empty the tanks" after a few days off, meaning Springfield has to be ready right from the drop of the puck. The Falcons have had some ups and downs in Manchester, letting leads slip away and falling behind early in hockey games, which makes a solid start in Game 3 almost a necessity.

Coach Brad Larsen will also need more from his top players, much like when the Falcons' power play stepped up and delivered a huge tying goal in the third period of Game 2. To this point, it has been Cody Bass scoring the game-winner in each of the first two games in the series and Ryan Russell leading the way in the scoring department (0-3-3 in two playoff games).

Here are some pre-game notes to set the stage for tonight's game...

- It's possible that Ryan Johansen and Dalton Prout dress for the Falcons tonight after arriving in town over the weekend. Both players were assigned to Springfield after the Blue Jackets' season ended with a 3-1 win on Saturday night vs. Nashville. Johansen was a go-to option in all situations for Larsen when he was with the Falcons earlier in the season: he put up 17-16-33 in 40 games with a +11 rating.

- No surprise here, but Curtis McElhinney is slated to start between the pipes for Springfield. Martin Jones should get the start for Manchester. McElhinney made 41 saves in the Falcons' win in Game 2, but did his best work in overtime as the Monarchs controlled the opening minutes of sudden death. McElhinney made 13 saves in overtime and more than a few were high-quality.

- Bass became the third player in AHL history to score back-to-back overtime goals in a playoff series with his backhander at 18:44 of overtime in Game 2 at the MassMutual Center, a goal that ended the longest game in Falcons franchise history.

- Nick Holden, who set a Falcons single-season record with a +24 rating in 2012-13, leads Springfield with a +3 mark through two playoff games.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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