The regular season’s over up top, so there’s no more NHL paychecks. The Islanders recalled all eight guys they’d left hanging around here this week to practice with the Big Club. (If they travel, if they need directions around Pittsburgh or Consol Energy Center, I’m here… to tell them to ask somebody else. Great barn, though.)
The Rangers called up a bunch from the Wolf Pack, including Micheal Haley, who Andrew Gross reports will travel for the playoff openers.
Back down in the AHL, the regular-season champs are on the ropes. Garnet Exelby got a stick up on Ryan Potulny in overtime (after Providence wanted an icing that got waved off), Jon DiSalvatore scored off a back-door pass from Peter LeBlanc (three assists), and Hershey goes home with a 2-0 lead over Providence. The Bruins got their first lead of the series in the third period; Graham Mink’s power-play goal gave the P-Bruins a 4-3 lead. But Joey Crabb tied it with 89 seconds left, just after Grubauer went to the bench. Philipp Grubauer was credited with 54 saves, though Scott Stuccio a couple of times seemed to imply that they were a bit generous with the shot button. They’ll not meet for Game 3 until Saturday.
More overtime power plays in Springfield, though Cody Bass’ second straight overtime goal came with 1:16 left in the first OT period, five seconds after the expiration of David Kolomatis’ minor for tripping. Bass becomes the ninth AHL player to score more than one overtime goal in a playoff series. He’s the third to do it in back-to-back games and the first to do it in the first two games; the other two did it in Games 3 and 4. Chris VandeVelde did it last year for OKC against San Antonio. And Jim Wiemer did it for Rochester in the 1983 Southern Division Final against New Haven on the way to the Calder Cup. The Falcons take a 2-0 lead and can finish it Thursday in Manchester.
The power-play goal came late in regulation in the Binghamton-WBS game, a six-on-four goal that deflected in for Binghamton with 18.6 seconds left. But that only made it 3-2 Penguins, and that’s how it finished for the second night in a row. The Pens go home with a chance to finish things, also Thursday. Warren Peters scored in the closing seconds of the second period to make it 3-1. Nathan Lawson wanted an interference call, apparently, but Jamie Koharski and Jon McIsaac gave him no satisfaction. But they did call Hugh Jessiman for goalie interference in the third, among a bunch of other things.
Syracuse had it easiest in the East, taking a 4-0 lead and beating Portland 4-2. Game 3 is Thursday in Maine.
Out West, Drew MacIntyre made 25 saves and Jerry D’Amigo had a couple of points as the Marlies went up 2-0 with a 2-0 win. Grand Rapids tied up its series with Houston, hanging on for a 3-2 win in a game the Griffins led 3-0 with 5:54 left.
And Chris Peters wrote a lovely appreciation of Tim Taylor.