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Barracuda ride power play to win over Griffins

Detroit News and San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Barracuda's Buddy Robinson fights for the puck against the Grand Rapids Griffins' Evgeny Svechnikov in the third period Sunday night.

San Jose, Calif. – The San Jose power play went 3-for-5 Sunday night as the Barracuda defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 to even the AHL Western Conference final series 1-1.

“If we don’t get those goals, we don’t win the game tonight,” San Jose forward Barclay Goodrow said, pointing out that special teams have been central to the Barracuda’s identity all year. “When the power play is going, we’re winning hockey games. When it’s not going, it’s kind of a struggle for us. It was good to get one early and get that confidence.”

Tomas Nosek scored the Griffins’ first goal at 17:10 of the first period, netting a rebound from a shot by Tyler Bertuzzi.

The Barracuda set a Griffins playoff record for an opponent with 20 shots during an opening period. San Jose score on its first two play-play opportunities.

Matthew Ford made it a 2-2 game at 14:38 of the second period with his team-leading sixth playoff goal. He teed up a one-timer from the left circle on an assist from Ben Street.

The series shifts to Grand Rapids for three games – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Griffins vs. Barracuda

What: Grand Rapids Griffins vs. San Jose Barracuda in best-of-seven AHL Western Conference finals series

At stake: Spot in Calder Cup finals

Tickets: griffinshockey.com

SCHEDULE

Home games at Van Andel Arena

Saturday: Grand Rapids 3, San Jose 1

Sunday: San Jose 4, Grand Rapids 2

Wednesday: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.

Friday: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 27: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.

*Tuesday, May 30: at San Jose, 10 p.m.

*Wednesday, May 31: at San Jose, 10 p.m.

*If necessary