Evan McGrath scores shootout winner as Griffins edge Marlies 2-1

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Griffins goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped Toronto's last six shootout attempts before Evan McGrath scored the winner as Grand Rapids beat the Marlies 2-1 in AHL action Friday.

After four of the first six shooters found the back of the net, Howard and Marlies goalie Justin Pogge combined to stop nine straight shots before McGrath found the net.

After a scoreless first period, Griffins forward Darren McCarty backhanded a shot past Pogge just 1:44 into the second.

The Marlies tied it up at 11:21 in the third. With a 5-on-3 advantage, Jeremy Williams' slapshot sent the game to extra time.

In the shootout, Marlies forwards Tim Stapleton and Jiri Tlusty beat Howard in the first two rounds before he slammed the door, while Griffins' shooters Ville Leino and Darren Haydar scored in rounds one and three, respectively, to set up the final drama.

Howard finished with 23 saves while at the other end Pogge countered with 35.

The Griffins (39-18-6-6) and Marlies (35-26-2-6) will battle again at Saturday.