Given that the Binghamton Senators have the opportunity to clinch the Eastern Conference Finals in the AHL, it makes sense to step away from what we've done so far in the playoffs and feature an AHL game for this evening's open thread.
@ Binghamton Senators
Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 7:05 PM EDT
Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
Heading in to game four of their series, the Binghamton Senators are preparing themselves for a Charlotte Checkers team with their backs against the walls and fighting for their playoff lives. Head coach Kurt Kleinendorst pointed out the Checkers' victories over Hershey Bears and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins as signs that Charlotte is a good team, and won't go down without a fight.
Coming off a four-point night in game three, Zack Smith is the leading scorer in the Eastern Conference Finals with six points (3G, 3A). Kaspars Daugavins (1G, 4A) and Ryan Keller (1G, 4A) are tied for second on the team in third-round scoring with five points each. In goal, Robin Lehner is a perfect 3-0 with a .956 save percentage (he's stopped 108 of 113 shots in the series) and a GAA of 2.29.
Back to the big league, the Western Conference Final series between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks this evening.
The Canucks won a hard-fought game one by a 3-2 score, coming back from two deficits before finally taking the lead mid-way through the third period. Vancouver used a physically punishing game to wear down the Sharks and eventually take the lead; tonight, we'll see if San Jose has the stones to fight back and keep pace in the series.