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Eastern Conference in spotlight tonight

LOOKING BACK:
Josh Harding made a franchise-record 56 saves to lead Houston to a 4-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday night… Also Tuesday, Dan Ellis made 30 stops as Iowa shut out Cleveland, 3-0.

Mon 1/9
No games scheduled

Tue 1/10
HOUSTON 4, Toronto 2… IOWA 3, Cleveland 0

LOOKING AHEAD:
Portland and Manchester are at it again, meeting Wednesday (7:05 ET) for the sixth time since Nov. 23… The Pirates are currently four points ahead of the second-place Monarchs, matching the largest lead the top of the Atlantic Division has seen all season… Dustin Penner has been on a tear since rejoining Portland on Dec. 16, recording 23 points (8g, 15a) and a plus-13 rating in his last 11 games… Dieter Kochan made 53 saves in the Pirates’ 5-3 win over Hartford on Sunday… Forwards Noah Clarke, Petr Kanko and Connor James and defenseman Richard Petiot all returned to the Monarchs from Los Angeles on Tuesday… Brad Smyth has recorded a point in 13 of his last 14 games for Manchester (10g, 7a)… Adam Hauser has dropped his last two decisions at home after starting the year 8-1-0 at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Hartford is 5-0-0-0 against intrastate rival Bridgeport this season, but the Sound Tigers have won six in a row overall heading into Wednesday’s meeting at the Arena at Harbor Yard (7:35 ET)… It’s the second such streak of the season for the Sound Tigers, who have also gone through three losing streaks of at least five games each… Bridgeport has outscored its opponents 22-5 in the half-dozen games since Christmas, but three of their top five scorers this season – Jeff Hamilton, Sean Bergenheim and Bruno Gervais – are on recall to the N.Y. Islanders, as is goaltender Wade Dubielewicz… Nigel Dawes, Thomas Pock and Dwight Helminen lead the Wolf Pack with six points each against Bridgeport in 2005-06.

In Thursday’s only contest, Houston hosts Iowa at the Toyota Center (7:05 CT)… The Aeros, in the midst of a seven-game homestand, have won nine of their last 10 overall and are 16-3-1-1 on home ice this season… Erik Westrum and Kirby Law each recorded three points in Houston’s 4-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday, reclaiming the top two spots in the AHL scoring race… The Marlies’ 58-shot barrage marked the 10th time this season that the Aeros’ Josh Harding had to make at least 35 saves in a game… Iowa is on a 13-4-1-1 roll since late November, moving into third place in the West… Junior Lessard, the reigning CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week, scored twice in Tuesday’s win over Cleveland and has eight points (5g, 3a) in the Stars’ last three games.

(all times Eastern)
Wed 1/11
Providence at Albany, 7:00… Portland at Manchester, 7:05… Hershey at Springfield, 7:05… Hartford at Bridgeport, 7:35

Thu 1/12
Iowa at Houston, 8:05

Fri 1/13
Chicago at Grand Rapids, 7:00… Hershey at Hartford, 7:00… Springfield at Binghamton, 7:05… Providence at Portland, 7:05… Wilkes-Barre at Norfolk, 7:15… Syracuse at Hamilton, 7:30… Lowell at Manchester, 7:35… Albany at Rochester, 7:35… Cleveland at Milwaukee, 8:00… Peoria at Omaha, 8:00… Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00… Iowa at Houston, 8:35

ALUMNI WATCH:
On Tuesday night, Alexandre Burrows scored his first NHL goal to help Vancouver to a 4-3 win over Toronto… Josh Langfeld scored his first two goals of the season in San Jose’s 6-2 win over Boston… Adam Munro made 34 saves as Chicago clipped Washington in overtime, 4-3… On Monday, 2003 AHL All-Star Jonathan Hedstrom recorded a hat trick as Anaheim beat Los Angeles, 6-3.

BY THE NUMBERS:
1 — Hour before Sunday’s Hartford-Portland game that defenseman Maxim Kondratiev was acquired by Anaheim from the N.Y. Rangers in the Petr Sykora deal… Kondratiev promptly moved down the hall to the Pirates’ locker room and skated against his former Wolf Pack teammates.

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