Joe DiSalvatore scored an early goal and assisted on Nate Prosser's second-period game-winner as the Houston Aeros edged the Binghamton Senators 2-1 on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals.
The Aeros, Minnesota's top farm team, won on the road to take a 2-1 lead in the series, which resumes Friday night in Binghamton.
On the second shift of the game, Jared Spurgeon fired a shot from the right point that went off the end boards. DiSalvatore collected the carom and banged his own rebound past Robin Lehner at 1:08.
DiSalvatore set up what proved to be the winner at 12:51 of the second period by driving down the right wing and backhanding a puck toward the net. Lehner made three saves in the scramble that followed, but Prosser, a defenseman, skated in from the right point, extended his stick in front of him with one hand and got enough of the loose puck to push it to the back of the net.
Binghamton, Ottawa's top minor-league affiliate, got on the board 2:52 into the third period when Ryan Potulny tipped Andre Benoit's waist-high power-play shot from the blue line into the net.
It was the first point of the series for Potulny, who leads the league with 15 playoff goals.
Rookie Bobby Butler, who scored in each of the first two games, rang a potentially game-tying shot from the slot off the crossbar with 3:12 left in the game. Binghamton had another chance to tie the score in the final minute, but Corey Locke's shot from the right half-wall hit the far post and Houston goalie Matt Hackett dove back to smother Potulny's rebound bid just before it crossed the goal line with 24.5 seconds left.
Lehner made 28 saves to lose for just the fourth time in 14 playoff appearances. Hackett stopped 28 shots for the Aeros.