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San Jose Barracuda (36-21-3-4 .617) vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (38-24-4-4 .597)
SAT, APR. 6 | 1:15 PM
SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, CA
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Today's Matchup: In the final home game of the 2018-19 regular season, the Barracuda wrap up their four-game season series with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday afternoon at the SAP Center. After a 3-1 win on Friday, the Barracuda are now 2-0-1-0 against the Red Wings affiliate this season and 4-1-0-2 all-time. The Griffins eliminated the Barracuda in five games in the Western Conference Finals in 2017 en-route to their second Calder Cup Championship in franchise history. Outside of the Pacific Division, the Barracuda are 7-2-0-1 this season and 24-12-1-2 all-time.
Clinching Scenarios: The Barracuda can clinch their fourth-straight Calder Cup playoff berth on Saturday if they can gain a single point on the Colorado Eagles who are in Chicago facing the Wolves over the next two nights. The Barracuda are in with a win and a Colorado lost (reg/OT/SOL) at Chicago, OR (b) an OTL/SOL vs. Grand Rapids AND a Colorado regulation loss at Chicago.
Sparking Special Teams: The Barracuda are a perfect 24-for-24 on the penalty kill over their last six games and now ranked eighth (82.9%) in the AHL on the PK. In addition, the Barracuda have found the back of the net on the power-play in their last five contests (7/18 = 39%).
The Truth: Prior to Friday, Barracuda forward Alex True had registered four assists over his last two games and now ranks first on the Barracuda in points (54), goals (23), second in assists (31), T-third in plus/minus (+13), third in points-per-game (.84) and first in game-winning goals (6). True’s six GWG are the most in a single season in Barracuda history. The Denmark native is just two goals shy of matching Barclay Goodrow’s single-season Barracuda goal record (25 – 2017-18) and four points shy of matching Danny O’Regan’s single-season Barracuda point record (58 – 2017-18).
Dynamic Dezy: Barracuda defenseman Nick DeSimone saw his eight-game point streak (three goals, seven assists) come to an end on Wednesday, but the sophomore d-man still ranks first on the Barracuda in assists (32), second in points (45), T-fifth and goals (13) and T-first in power-play assists (9). Among all AHL blueliners, DeSimone ranks sixth in points and T-fifth in goals.
Great Gambino: The Sharks reassigned rookie forward Dylan Gambrell to the Barracuda on Monday after appearing in a pair of games in the NHL over the last week. Gambrell ranks 15th among AHL first-year players in points (42), T-5th in goals (18), T-17th in points-per-game (.89), and T-11th in shots (137).
Henner Heating Up: In his 550th career AHL game on Friday and 20th in teal, T.J. Hensick extended his point streak to five games as he set up Ivan Chekhovich on the power-play. The 12-year vet, now has 584 (171 goals, 414 assists) points in his AHL career. Among active AHL players, the Howell, Michigan, native is 11th in games played, eighth in goals, third in assists, and second in points.
Chek Mate: Forward Ivan Chekhovich was assigned to the Barracuda on Wednesday and scored on his first shot on Friday against Grand Rapids. A season ago, as a 19-year-old, Chekhovich along with fellow rookie Sasha Chmelevski sparked one of the most unlikely playoff runs as the Barracuda won their final six regular season games to reach the postseason. In those six games, the Russian born forward totaled nine points (three goals, six assists) and scored his first pro goal on his first pro shot on April 4, 2018. As a member of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL this past season, Chekhovich netted four hat-tricks during the season, including a pair of four-goal efforts and was named the QMJHL Ultramar Player of the Week three different times. Chekhovich, 20, just completed his third season with Baie-Comeau, finishing second in the league in scoring (105), T-fourth in goals (43), T-third in assists (62) and fifth in points-per-game (1.59).