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Eastern Conference notebook

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  • Albany tries to snap a four-game losing streak with visits to Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this weekend.
  • Former first-round draft pick Ari Ahonen, sidelined for more than three months with a groin injury, returned to the River Rats lineup on Mar. 18 and made 36 saves in a 2-1 loss to Hershey.
  • David Clarkson enters the weekend on a five-game scoring streak (3g, 3a).
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  • Bobby Robins, who completed his senior season at UMass-Lowell last week, scored his first two professional goals in Binghamton’s 5-3 win over Albany on Wednesday.
  • Captain Denis Hamel netted his 200th career AHL goal on Saturday night vs. Philadelphia.
  • The Senators, 8-2-1-1 in their last 12 games and currently six points out of a playoff spot in the East Division, still play fourth-place Bridgeport twice and third-place Norfolk three times.
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  • Bridgeport wraps up a seven-game road swing with games this weekend in Manchester, Hartford and Springfield.
  • Jeff Hamilton has scored a goal in five straight contests, and has recorded a point in 15 of his last 16 games (12g, 11a).
  • Bruno Gervais, who leads all AHL defensemen with 17 goals this season, netted his first NHL marker – assisted by Jeff Tambellini and Wyatt Smith – for the N.Y. Islanders on Sunday.
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  • Al Montoya made 33 saves in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Manchester, extending his unbeaten streak to eight decisions (7-0-1).
  • Wednesday’s win was the Wolf Pack’s 40th of the season, the seventh time in nine years they have reached that mark.
  • Marvin Degon, a former defense partner of Thomas Pock’s at the University of Massachusetts, made his pro debut with Hartford on Mar. 18.
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  • Stephen Werner, a third-round draft pick by Washington in 2003, signed an ATO with Hershey last week following his senior season at the University of Massachusetts.
  • Saturday’s 2-1 win over Albany was the Bears’ 13th straight victory over the River Rats since their last loss on Mar. 28, 2004.
  • Hershey faces Wilkes-Barre/Scranton twice this weekend with a chance to overtake the Penguins atop the East Division.
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  • Mark Pandolfo signed an ATO out of UMass-Lowell on Sunday morning and recorded a goal and an assist that afternoon in the Lock Monsters’ 4-2 win over Manchester.
  • After missing the previous eight games, David Gove returned to the Lowell lineup on Sunday and recorded a goal and an assist.
  • The Lock Monsters have used a league-high 54 players this season.
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  • Manchester has just one regulation win in its last 16 games, but has also claimed three shootout victories and two overtime wins in that span.
  • Alexandre Daigle made his Monarchs debut on Mar. 15 and scored both of the team’s goals in a 5-2 loss to Iowa.
  • Manchester continues to lead the AHL in attendance, averaging 8,604 fans per home game.
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  • Norfolk heads into this weekend’s two-game series with Portland in search of its first back-to-back wins since Feb. 24-25.
  • Martin St. Pierre has points in six straight games (1g, 7a) for the Admirals.
  • Nineteen of Nathan Barrett’s 26 goals this season have come on the power play.
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  • Marc Cavosie, who scored three goals in his first 47 games this season, netted five in a three-game span last week, including a hat trick in Philadelphia’s 3-2 overtime win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Mar. 17.
  • The Phantoms have lost six of their last eight games following a five-game winning streak.
  • Rookie defenseman Charlie Cook leads Philadelphia with a plus-8 rating on the season.
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  • Portland improved to 14-3-0-0 in its last 17 games with Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pirates’ eighth straight road victory.
  • The Pirates are 23-0-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer this season.
  • Ryan Shannon remains second in the AHL in rookie scoring with 73 points on the year, five back of Houston’s Patrick O’Sullivan.
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  • Providence has won five of its last seven games, and owns a 10-point lead in the race for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
  • Eight of the Bruins’ final 14 games will be against the bottom three teams in the Atlantic: Lowell (two), Springfield (three) and Albany (three)
  • Tim Thomas, who was 15-11-0 in 26 appearances for Providence earlier this season, signed a three-year contract extension with Boston last week.
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  • Jonathan Boutin earned his first career AHL shutout on Friday night, allowed three goals on five shots to Providence on Saturday, then rebounded with a 41-save effort at Albany on Sunday.
  • Zdenek Blatny has recorded 21 points in 18 games in a Falcons uniform.
  • Springfield scored a season-high seven goals in Sunday’s win over the River Rats.
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  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is winless in its last three games, but has earned points in six straight (3-0-1-2).
  • Krys Kolanos has recorded five points in six games since joining the Penguins.
  • Jonathan Filewich had a five-game scoring streak snapped in Wednesday’s shootout loss to Portland.