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Checkers vs B-Sens: Open Game Thread (Game 1 / AHL Eastern Conference Finals)

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22-year-old Mike Murphy has been a wall in goal since he came back from injury during the Hershey series last month.

The first game of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals is set to begin at 7:05pm at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.The Charlotte Checkers and Binghamton Senators (Ottawa's affiliate) face off tonight in this best-of-7 series which will determine which team goes on to the Calder Cup Finals. 

Mike Murphy  (7-3, 1.79 GAA, .944 Save %) is expected to get the start (his 11th consecutive since he returned from injury in game 3 of the Hershey series last month), while the highly regarded 19-year-old Swede Robin Lehner (7-2, 2.59 GAA, .926 Save %) will be manning the pipes at the other end of the rink for the Sens.

Good news if you couldn't make it to Charlotte: every game in this round will be broadcast in the Carolina's for Time Warner Cable Customers on Channel 520. They'll also have it up in the Binghamton area on TWC Sports Channel 23 (HD Channel 813). If neither of those is an option for you, AHLLive.com will have free radio and pay-per-view video streaming.

For roster notes, stats and other informaton on both teams check out the 3-page pdf:  Canes Country's Game Guide: Checkers vs Senators (Game 1) .

Also, the Checkers have their in-house Series Tracker with stats, notes and links. For the Sens, their beat writer, Joy Lindsay is in Charlotte, and has posted updates over at her blog or in the Binghamton paper's B-Sens page . You can also refer to the Senators own site.

I'll be at the game and will drop in with some comments during the game - let me know if you have any questions I can answer from inside the arena.