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Connor scores 2 short-handed goals, MacDonald gets shutout as Griffins beat Bulldogs

NHL.com @NHL

HAMILTON - Chris Conner scored two short-handed goals and Joey MacDonald made 31 saves as the Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-0 in American Hockey League action Tuesday.

Gustav Nyquist had the other goal for Grand Rapids (2-2-0), with Conner drawing an assist.

Nathan Lawson made 25 saves for Hamilton (2-2-0).

MacDonald extended his franchise records with his 10th win and 18th shutout.

The Griffins dominated early against the Bulldogs, building an 11-0 advantage in shots over the first nine minutes.

Hamilton had a chance to reverse the momentum when Mitch Callahan was given a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct at 9:50 for a hit in the corner on Joe Stejskal that resulted in the defenceman leaving on a stretcher.

The extended power play proved to be a disaster for Hamilton, as Conner scored short-handed to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. Shadowing Hamilton?s Mark Mitera up the ice, Conner picked the defenceman?s pocket just inside the Bulldogs? blue-line, turned and darted in alone on Lawson, slipping a backhand between his pads at the 14:14 mark.

Conner helped put the Griffins up 2-0 just over a minute into the second period by feeding Nyquist for a backhander from the right circle. With the goal, the Swedish rookie joined Conner in pushing his season-opening point streak to four games.

Conner scored his second short-handed goal at 15:55 of the second period as he beat Hamilton defenceman Frederic St. Denis in a race for the puck before putting a deke on Lawson.

Hamilton tried to spoil the shutout during the final 20 minutes, outshooting Grand Rapids 14-6 ??? but MacDonald stood his ground to secure his first shutout of the season.

While the Bulldogs were horrible on the power play, their penalty-killing unit was perfect in shutting down all seven Griffins opportunities.

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