Saturday's Morning Skate 2/27

Saturday, February 27, 2016
The Eastern Conference playoff picture is starting to take shape. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
The Atlantic Division will likely be sending five teams to the postseason as their current fiffh place team Bridgeport (61 points) has six more points than the fourth place team in the North Division Rochester (55 points). In the event that sentiment rings true at the end of the season, the fifth place team will crossover and compete as the North Division's fourth seed in the postseason.

Nothing is decided in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, other than that the Toronto Marlies are well on their way to winning the North Division currently 14 points ahead of second place Albany and 31 points ahead of fourth place Rochester.

The American Hockey League has put out their annual playoff primer, which they update every day for a full look at the playoff picture for each division. Here's Saturday, February 27th's Playoff Primer.

Atlantic Division Standings (through 2/19's games)

1. W-B/Scranton: 54 games played, 33-16-4-1 = 71 points (.657 PCT)
2. Hershey: 56 games played, 31-15-3-7 = 72 points (.643 PCT)
3. Portland: 53 games played, 30-20-2-1 = 63 points (.594 PCT)
4. Providence: 53 games played, 26-17-8-2 = 62 points (.585 PCT)
5. Bridgeport: 54 games played, 28-21-3-2 = 61 points (.565 PCT)
6. Hartford: 55 games played, 28-25-2-0 = 58 points (.527 PCT)
7. Lehigh Valley: 55 games played, 25-25-2-3 = 55 points (.500 PCT)
8. Springfield: 53 games played, 20-26-3-4 = 47 points (.443 PCT)

Around The Atlantic

Hartford - 3 at Lehigh Valley - 2 (SO)

For the third straight game, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (25-25-2-3) found themselves behind in the third period. Friday night against the Hartford Wolf Pack, they were able to - for the third straight game - even things up and force overtime.

The difference from their last two games was that the Phantoms had a glorious opportunity with 3:55 left in overtime after Aaron Palushaj ate a high-stick from Travis Oleksuk that gave Lehigh Valley a four minute power play. The Phantoms were unable to net the game winner and came up short in the shootout.

The two teams rematch Sunday in Hartford, but not before the Phantoms host Utica tonight.

W-B/Scranton - 3 at Portland - 2 (SO)

In a back-and-forth game in southern Maine, the Penguins got the final strike in the shootout. Dominik Simon and Kael Mouillierat each tallied goals in regulation and again in the shootout to lead the Pens to victory.

Connor Brickley led Portland with a goal and an assist, while Rocco Grimaldi added his 11th of the season in the loss for the Pirates.

Pens' goaltender Matt Murray won the goaltender's duel with Mike McKenna, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced and both shooters he saw in the shootout. McKenna still turned in an impressive 38-save performance in a losing effort.

The Penguins head to Springfield Saturday, while Portland remains home to host those same Falcons on Sunday afternoon.

Bridgeport - 1 at Providence - 6

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 1:14 into play on Carter Verhaeghe's third of the season, but from there it was all Providence in a 6-1 Bruins blowout win.

Alexander Khokhlachev finished with a game-high five points, all assists, while Colin Miller (2G-1A) and Frank Vatrano (2G-0A) each tallied two goals in the big win for Providence. Veteran netminder Jeremy Smith continues to impress in his return to the PBruins, stopping all but one of the 28 shots he faced.

The two teams rematch Saturday, but in Bridgeport.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Albany - 3 at Springfield - 4 (OT)
Binghamton - 2 at Syracuse - 3
Hershey - 5 at Toronto - 2
St. John's - 1 at Utica - 4

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Rochester at Toronto - 3:00 p.m. ET
Providence at Bridgeport - 7:00 p.m. ET
W-B/Scranton at Springfield - 7:00 p.m. ET
St. John's at Syracuse - 7:00 p.m. ET
Utica at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET


Post a Comment