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Calder Cup Gameday: Amerks at Marlies, Game 3

Faceoff: 7 p.m., Coca-Cola Coliseum, Toronto.

Series: Toronto leads the best-of-five first round series, 2-0.


Radio: WGR 550, ESPN Rochester 95.7 FM.

Regular-season records: Rochester (46-23-7), Toronto (39-24-13).

Hard time: The Amerks have not won a Calder Cup playoff game since May 2, 2014, when they beat the Chicago Wolves, 7-2, in Game 4 of their first-round Western Conference series. Rochester hasn't won a playoff series since 2005.

Series recap: Rochester has scored only three goals over the series' first two games, blowing a two-goal lead in Sunday's 3-2 overtime loss to fall behind in the series, 2-0. The Amerks have out-shot the Marlies, 72-46, including a combined 33-13 in the first period of the two games.

For context, the Amerks owned the AHL's third-best regular season record to finish second in the North Division and won their most games since 2006-07. They did not lose more than three games in a row during the regular season and that occurred only three times, most recently March 15-22 when they dropped two in a row at Charlotte and one home game to Cleveland.

"We want to stay loose, we want to play our game," Amerks coach Chris Taylor said following Tuesday's practice. "That's the best way to be. We've done this all year and this is no different. Obviously our back is against the wall right now. We understand that. We lose a shift, we lose a period, we lose the game, and we can't lose a shift. ... We'll be ready."

Marlies rolling: Toronto has two of the league's leading scorers through the first week of the postseason. West Seneca native Chris Mueller is tied for the league lead with five points, including three goals, and Jeremy Bracco is tied for second with two goals and two assists, including the game-winner Sunday.

Goaltending: Marlies goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo's 1.48 goals-against average and .958 save percentage rank first among all AHL goaltenders with two playoff starts. Meanwhile, Amerks goalie Scott Wedgewood has a 3.45 goals-against average and a league-worst .848 save percentage.

Second-line struggles: The Amerks' most productive forward line has failed to record a point through two games. Victor Olofsson, who led the team with 30 regular-season goals, has recorded only two shots on goal, though he has hit the post four times.

Meanwhile, Rasmus Asplund and Danny O'Regan have been unsuccessful on nine and three shots on goal, respectively.

Special teams: Rochester's power play has been a disaster, failing to score on its six opportunities and allowing a shorthanded goal in Game 1. Additionally, the team's penalty kill has allowed a goal in both games, including one that sparked the Marlies' third-period rally in Game 2.

The Amerks' power play and penalty kill ranked eighth and 12th in the league, respectively, during the regular season. Comparatively, the Marlies' power play and penalty kill ranked fourth and 14th, respectively.

Home away from home: Perhaps the results in games one and two should not have come as a surprise. After all, the Amerks have played inconsistent at home throughout the season.

Rochester went a league-best 25-9-4 with a plus-22 goal differential on the road, compared to 21-14-3 with a plus-14 goal differential at Blue Cross Arena. Luckily for the Amerks, Toronto has the same issue. The Marlies were just 16-15-7 with a negative-26 goal differential at home, compared to a plus-31 goal differential on the road.

"We're going to stay confident no matter where we are," Rochester winger Wayne Simpson said following the Game 2 loss. "For some reason we've had a good away record this year. We're going to just stay confident. ... I know this group will be ready. The belief is still there for sure."

Still shorthanded: Winger Alexander Nylander remains out of Rochester's lineup because of a lower-body injury suffered during his final game with the Buffalo Sabres on April 2. Nylander, 21, suffered a cut on the back of his leg and was expected to return in time for the Amerks' postseason.

Winger Taylor Leier, who has one assist with a minus-2 rating, is day to day with an undisclosed injury, per Rochester coach Chris Taylor. Leier left the game briefly in the first period Sunday but returned to play the rest of the game.

History: The Amerks have not rallied from a 2-0 series deficit since 1999, when they won four straight to beat the Philadelphia Phantoms in the Western Conference Final. Rochester would lose the Calder Cup Final to Providence in five games.

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