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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres
The Portland Pirates are set to begin their second round Calder Cup Playoff series Wednesday night when they host the Binghamton Senators in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Finals at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Pirates, Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, advanced to the second round by knocking off the Connecticut Whale in Game 6 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals on Saturday night.  Paul Byron, who played in eight regular season games with the Sabres this season, scored twice and added an assist to lead the Portland victory.  Mark Parrish added a goal and two assists in the game while Mark Mancari, who shuttled between Portland and Buffalo during the Sabres’ first round series, chipped in a goal and an assist.

Mancari appeared in just three games during Portland’s first round series but is currently tied for second on the team in playoff scoring with five points (two goals, three assists).  Corey Tropp, the Sabres’ third round draft choice in 2007, tallied seven points (2-5-7) and a +4 rating in six games against Connecticut.  Byron (2-3-5), Parrish (2-3-5) and Mark Voakes (2-3-5) each registered five points against the Whale as well.  Dennis Persson, who was recalled by Buffalo on an emergency basis during the Sabres’ series with the Flyers but did not appear in a game, collected four assists in five games for Portland in the first round.

Buffalo native David Leggio started all six games in goal for the Pirates against Connecticut and went 4-2 with a 2.93 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

With the Sabres’ season coming to an end last night, Portland could receive a boost from the likes of Mark Mancari, Jhonas Enroth and Matt Ellis, all of whom appeared in Buffalo’s playoff series against Philadelphia.

Binghamton advanced to the Atlantic Division Finals by beating the Manchester Monarchs in seven games during the first round.  The AHL affiliate of Buffalo’s Northeast Division rival Ottawa Senators, Binghamton is led by forwards Ryan Potulny and Ryan Keller.  The pair combined for 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in the first round.  Potulny currently leads the AHL in playoff scoring with 8-6-14.  Binghamton goaltender  Robin Lehner played in eight games for Ottawa this season and represented Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.  

The schedule for the Atlantic Division Finals is as follows:

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., May 2 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 3 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 6 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., May 7 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
* if necessary

For Portland’s complete postseason stats, CLICK HERE
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