HAMILTON, Ont. - Ryan Russell's short-handed goal late in the second period stood as the game winner as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
With the win - Hamilton's second in as many days over Grand Rapids - the Bulldogs (46-27-4-0) moved into a second-place tie with the Griffins (42-23-6-6) in the AHL's North Division. The teams will square off in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, and whichever team fares better over the final week of the season will enjoy home-ice advantage.
Both teams have three regular-season games left, including one more head-to-head matchup Apr. 10 in Grand Rapids.
Brock Trotter, Yannick Weber and Yanick Lehoux had the other goals for Hamilton, while Cedrick Desjardins turned aside 18 shots in the victory.
P.J. Atherton and Brian Lashoff each scored their first goals in a Grand Rapids uniform to pace the Griffins. Jimmy Howard made 23 shots in defeat.