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Eastern Conference notebook

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River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton leads the AHL in both GAA (2.09) and save percentage (.932) through 48 games this season (24-20-3)… Leighton is 6-0-1 with a 1.12 GAA and .966 save percentage in seven games against Binghamton this season… Albany hosts the B-Sens on Friday for the teams’ final regular-season meeting… Jeff Hamilton has nine points (3-6-9) in eight games since joining the River Rats’ lineup for their game on Feb. 27… Jerome Samson’s 20 goals are tied for third among AHL rookies.
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Binghamton went 2-0-1-0 on a three-game road swing and will now play five of its next six games at the Broome County Arena, where they are 15-12-3-2 on the campaign… Justin Mapletoft, who spent most of his first four pro seasons with Bridgeport and reached the Calder Cup Finals as a rookie in 2002, posted two assists in the Sens’ 6-3 win over the Sound Tigers Wednesday, his first points of the year against his former team… Mapletoft and rookie Ilya Zubov are the only Senators to have skated in all 66 games this season.
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Bridgeport’s last nine games can be broken into three-game intervals; In reverse order, the Sound Tigers have gone 0-2-0-1, 3-0-0-0, and 0-2-0-1 again… Goaltender Mike Morrison has allowed 10 goals over his last two starts after allowing just five goals in his previous five games combined… Andy Sertich has four points (1-3-4) over his last two games… Rookie Trevor Smith notched his first professional two-point game in Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to Binghamton.
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Hartford’s 1-0 loss at Houston on Mar. 7 was its third straight regulation defeat, marking a season high… The Wolf Pack ended the skid with a 2-1 triumph over former Pack goaltender Al Montoya and the San Antonio Rampage the next night… Hartford netminder David LeNeveu picked up the win against his former Rampage teammates, stopping 31 of 32 shots… Brodie Dupont’s goal in the second period of that game snapped the Wolf Pack’s goal drought of 192:28, which fell just 12:53 short of a franchise record… Hartford allowed a franchise-low 13 shots to Houston in the Mar. 7 contest.
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Hershey’s four-game losing skid from Feb. 28 – Mar. 5 was the longest since the Bears dropped six straight to close out the 2004-05 campaign… Overall, Hershey is 2-6-0-0 on a franchise-high nine-game road trip, which concludes Friday against intra-state rival Philadelphia… The Bears are 4-6-0-0 against the Atlantic Division this season, with two games remaining… Jason Morgan is riding a three-game scoring streak (2-3-5), and Jay Beagle has a goal in three straight contests (3-0-3)… After their current trip concludes, the Bears will play 10 of their final 15 games at the Giant Center, where they are 19-8-0-3 on the season.
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Lowell has alternated wins and losses in its last seven games, and hasn’t gone winless in more than two straight games since suffering a 12-game skid (0-9-2-1) from Jan. 9 – Feb. 9… Stephen Gionta scored a pair of goals in a 4-2 loss at Springfield on Friday, marking his third multiple-goal game of the season… Goaltender Dave Caruso has allowed more than two goals just once in eight appearances since re-joining the Devils on Feb. 13… Lowell is 18-3-3-3 this season when scoring three goals or more.
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Manchester is four points back of Springfield for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot and plays the Falcons twice more, on Mar. 19 and 23… Teddy Purcell continues to lead the Monarchs and all AHL rookies with 64 points (17-47-64) in 53 games, and he is currently riding a five-game scoring streak (1-5-6)… Rookie Marc-Andre Cliche has a point in three straight games (3-1-4) and five of his last six (3-3-6)… The Monarchs have the AHL’s best power play (23.1%) but its lowest-ranked penalty kill (77.6%)… After hosting Manchester on Friday, Manchester will play 10 of its final 15 games on the road.
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Over their last 16 games, the Admirals are 3-1-0-0 against Worcester and 3-8-0-1 against the rest of the league… Norfolk’s 15 first-period shots on Mar. 7 against Philadelphia marked the first time they reached double-digit shots in the opening stanza since Feb. 15, an 11-game span… Adam Henrich has a point in five of his last six contests (3-3-6)… Norfolk plays 10 of its next 11 games at the Scope before concluding the season with a trio of road contests… Seven of the Ads’ next eight games will come against Atlantic Division foes.
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Philadelphia had lost three straight games prior to blanking Norfolk on Tuesday… It marked the Phantoms’ second three-game losing skid of the season, the other occurring from Dec. 1-7… After that three-game stretch, the Phantoms went on to win six of their next seven contests… Scott Munroe’s 25-save shutout of Norfolk on Tuesday was the second time he blanked the Admirals this season, as he also did so on Dec. 15… Philadelphia has scored more than three goals in a game just twice in its last 16 outings.
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The Pirates’ current five-game winning streak is a season high, eclipsing a four-game run from Jan. 9-13… The streak has lifted Portland 20 games over .500 at 40-20-2-4 and into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division… With 14 games left to play, the Pirates have already matched last season’s point total (86) and have three more wins than the 2006-07 squad… After a stretch in which Geoff Platt scored just one goal in 14 games, he now has seven tallies in his last seven outings, including a pair of multiple-goal showings… Platt is tied for the league lead with 32 goals on the campaign.
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Providence has won consecutive games since suffering a season-high five-game winless skid (0-3-1-1) from Mar. 1-7… Goaltender Tuukka Rask has stopped 42 of 45 shots over the two victories… Brett Skinner currently has a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) for the B’s… The Bruins are just 2-for-their-last-27 on the power play but have killed off 17 of their last 18 shorthanded situations… Providence went 3-3-1-1 in a stretch of eight games in 10 days… The Bruins can clinch a playoff spot on Friday by defeating Manchester in any fashion (regulation, overtime, shootout).
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Springfield’s 3-1 loss at Manchester on Wednesday dropped the Falcons to 1-12-1-1 in their last 15 road games played in buildings other than Lowell’s Tsongas Arena, stretching back to Nov. 30… The Falcons’ lone road win in another building over this span was on Feb. 24, a 7-4 triumph at Worcester… Springfield finished 5-0-0-0 at Lowell this season… Stephane Goulet had a career-high three points (2-1-3) on Mar. 8 vs. Hershey… Viacheslav Trukhno has notched a goal in four straight games (4-2-6) and a point in six straight (5-3-8).
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will take its five-game winning streak on the road this weekend, visiting Bridgeport, Albany, and Providence… Nathan Smith has scored 10 of his 14 goals this season away from the Wachovia Arena… After this weekend, the Penguins will conclude the season by playing 10 of 13 games at home… Rookie goaltender John Curry has been between the pipes for all five games of his team’s current winning streak… Leading scorer Tim Brent has a point in five of his last six contests (2-4-6).
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Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss was just 40 seconds away from his first professional shutout on Sunday before Providence’s Sean Curry scored to send the game to overtime… Third-year pro Lukas Kaspar tied a career high by scoring his 14th goal of the season on Mar. 8 vs. Lowell… Worcester scored three power play goals in a game for the third time this season on Mar. 7, going 3-for-5 in a 5-3 win over Albany… Graham Mink, with 20 goals and 44 points on the campaign, has hit the 20-goal plateau for the third straight season and fourth of his career.