Rangers top prospect injured but Wolf Pack advance in Calder Cup Playoffs

Brennan Othmann Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack

It was a case of good news, bad news for the Hartford Wolf Pack yesterday when the New York Rangers AHL affiliate played Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Charlotte Checkers.

The good news is that the Wolf Pack advanced to the second round with a 3-1 win in Game, rallying to win the final two games in the best-of-3 series after dropping the opener.

On the other side of the coin, though, was top Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann being injured on a penalized check late in the second period. The 21-year-old forward was hit from behind and into the boards by Charlotte’s Brendan Perlini, who received a two-minute boarding minor at 18:46.

Othmann skated on his own to the locker room but did not return in the third period. Forever Blueshirts learned that there won’t be any update until Wednesday on Othmann.

The rookie pro, New York’s first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, had two assists in the series, one in each of the first two games. Othmann was second on the Wolf Pack with 21 goals and 49 points in 67 regular-season games. He tied for the AHL lead with 10 power-play goals among rookie skaters and was fourth among rookies in points and tied for ninth in goals.

Related: Steve Valiquette calls Tom Wilson ‘idiot’ during Rangers’ Game 4 broadcast

Rangers goalie prospect shines again to lead Wolf Pack into second round of AHL playoffs

Dylan Garand — photo courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack

Dylan Garand again starred for the Wolf Pack and was the backbone of their Game 3 win. The Rangers goalie prospect, a fourth-round pick in 2020, stopped 38 of 39 shots, losing his shutout with 4:23 to play in the third period when Hartford was leading 3-0.

The 38 saves tied Garand’s season high, which was set in the first game of this series, a 3-1 loss. Facing elimination the last two games of the series, Garand made 66 saves on 69 shots.

Jaroslav Chmelar, a fifth-round pick by the Rangers in 2021, opened the scoring in Game 3 with his first Calder Cup Playoff goal at 10:10 of the first period.

Chmelar signed his entry-level contract with the Rangers, as well as an ATO with the Wolf Pack, in March. He scored two goals in seven regular-season games with Hartford after playing at Providence College this season. The 20-year-old also starred for Czechia at the 2024 World Junior Championship.

After a scoreless second period, veteran forward Riley Nash scored his second goal of the series 4:21 into the third period to make it 2-0 Hartford. Rangers forward prospect Brett Berard assisted on the goal, but was just warming up for bigger and better things.

Berard took advantage of a Checkers turnover and scored a shorthanded goal at 14:52. Nash returned the favor assisting on Berard’s first playoff goal. The 21-year-old had three points in the series after leading the Wolf Pack with 25 goals this season.

Next up for Hartford is a clash with the Providence Bruins in the best-of-5 Atlantic Division Semifinals. The Wolf Pack defeated the Bruins 3-1 in the division semifinals last season.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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