BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Jon DiSalvatore had a goal and an assist as the Houston Aeros defeated the Binghamton Senators 2-1 Wednesday night in Game 3 of the American Hockey League's Calder Cup final.
Houston, the Minnesota Wild's farm team, leads the series, 2-1. Game 4 is Friday night in Binghamton.
On the second shift of the game, DiSalvatore collected a Jared Spurgeon shot from the right point that banked off the end boards and converted on his second crack at the rebound.
DiSalvatore set up a Houston goal midway through the second period by driving down the right wing and backhanding a puck toward the net. Goalie Robin Lehner made three saves in the net-front scramble that followed, but defenceman Nate Prosser skated in from the right point, extended his stick in front of him with one hand and got enough on a loose puck to push it to the back of the net.
Binghamton, the Ottawa Senators' farm team, closed the gap to 2-1 with a power-play goal less than three minutes into the third period. Ryan Potulny tipped in an Andre Benoit shot from the blue line with a waist-high deflection.
It was the first point of the finals for Potulny, who leads the league with 15 playoff goals.
Rookie Bobby Butler, who is second on Binghamton’s playoff goal list with 12, 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 game's final minute, but a Corey Locke 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.