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Eastern Conference notebook

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The River Rats are winless in three straight games (0-2-0-1) for the first time since Nov. 10-16 and have fallen to fifth place in the East Division, one point back of Binghamton… Albany has dropped all five “home” games it has played at the Glens Falls Civic Center over the past two seasons… The Rats have one more game scheduled in Glens Falls this season – Mar. 8 vs. Binghamton… The Rats have two players ranked in the AHL’s top 20 in scoring for the first time all season – Brandon Nolan (23-23-46) is tied for 14th, and captain Keith Aucoin (8-37-45) ranks 16th.
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Binghamton has racked up a record of 10-4-1-2 in 17 games since Jan. 1… Wednesday’s shootout win at Albany was the Senators’ first victory over the River Rats this season after three defeats… 2008 AHL All-Star Lawrence Nycholat collected his team-leading 20th power play point (6-14-20) on Feb. 9 at Norfolk… Nycholat’s six power play goals are second on the B-Sens to Denis Hamel’s nine… The Senators travel to Syracuse on Friday for the first time this season, having already hosted the Crunch four times… Binghamton has won three straight games over Syracuse.
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Rookie winger Kyle Okposo, selected seventh overall in the 2006 draft by the N.Y. Islanders, has netted a goal in three straight games for Bridgeport (3-2-5)… Okposo has totaled 15 points (5-10-15) in 14 games since joining the Sound Tigers’ lineup on Jan. 11… Ben Walter has a point in 11 of his last 12 contests (3-9-12) and leads Bridgeport’s active roster with 42 for the season (14-28-42)… Walter has a team-high nine power play goals… The Sound Tigers visit Albany on Friday; each of the teams’ last four meetings has been decided by a 4-3 score, two victories apiece.
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Among the several franchise records tied or broken by Hartford in a 7-5 win at Providence on Feb. 8 was fastest three goals by a single player… Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson tallied a hat trick in a span of 4:52 during the second period, bettering a mark of three goals in 9:47 set by John Tripp on Nov. 2, 2002, at Chicago… Hutchinson has a point in five of his last six games (4-5-9) and has taken over the league lead in defensemen scoring with 42 points (12-30-42) in 47 games… The Wolf Pack are 11-1-2-1 in their last 15 games, with the only regulation loss coming at Springfield on Jan. 18… Hartford visits the Falcons again on Friday.
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Hershey will play 14 of its next 16 games on the road beginning with a Thursday tilt at Lake Erie… Overall, the Bears will play just 12 of their final 21 contests at home… The Bears begin the road stretch with a record of 6-1-0-2 in their last nine games… Rookie Andrew Gordon has seven points (4-3-7) in his last three games and sports two hat tricks in the last month… After defeating Worcester on Feb. 10 at the Giant Center, goaltender Daren Machesney is 10-0-2 with a 2.05 GAA at home this season.
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Noah Clarke netted his team-leading ninth power play goal on Feb. 9 at Springfield, snapping a six-game drought for Lowell on the man-advantage… Conversely, the Devils have allowed just one power play goal over their last four games, as the penalty kill has gone 18-for-19 (94.7%) over that span… With his goal on Feb. 8 at Bridgeport, Barry Tallackson took over the team lead with 15 tallies on the season (15-13-28)… The Devils enter this weekend winless in their last 12 games (0-9-2-1).
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Manchester is winless in three straight games (0-3-0-0) for the first time since Nov. 21-24… The Monarchs power play remains first in the AHL at 24.5%, and Manchester has tallied at least one man-advantage marker in 15 of its 23 wins this season… Teddy Purcell, who leads all AHL rookies with 58 points (16-42-58), has found the scoresheet in 35 of 47 games with the Monarchs this season… Manchester plays a home-and-home set this weekend with Lowell, against whom it is just 1-4-0-0 on the campaign.
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Rookie Paul Szczechura has notched a point in 11 of his first 12 games in a Norfolk uniform (8-7-15), including a goal in eight of the 12 contests… Szczechura totaled five points (2-3-5) in 29 games for Iowa prior to joining the Admirals… Ten of Norfolk’s 11 forwards recorded at least one point in the team’s 5-0 win over Binghamton on Feb. 8… Admirals goaltender Jonathan Boutin has two shutouts in his last four games, making him the first Norfolk netminder to register multiple shutouts in a season since 2004-05, when three different goaltenders accomplished the feat.
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The Phantoms are riding a three-game winning streak, all by one goal… Seven of Philadelphia’s last eight victories have been one-goal wins, the lone exception being a 5-1 triumph at Binghamton on Feb. 2… Rookie Kyle Greentree made his NHL debut with the Flyers on Tuesday against the N.Y. Islanders… Greentree ranks second on the Phantoms in both goals (16) and points (37) in 48 games this season… Philadelphia is a perfect 22-0-0-0 this season when taking a lead into the third period.
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Stephen Dixon and Andrew Ebbett are the only two Portland players to have skated in all 53 games thus far… The Pirates’ 5-2 win at Bridgeport on Feb. 9 pushed their season record against the East Division to 8-3-0-1… Geoff Platt scored in that game to snap a seven-game goal drought… Portland is 2-1-0-0 thus far on a season-high seven-game road swing… The stretch continues with games this weekend against the two teams above the Pirates in the Atlantic Division standings, as Portland visits Providence on Friday and Hartford on Saturday.
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Providence’s 6-4 victory over Manchester on Wednesday allowed the B’s to avoid losing a third consecutive game in regulation for the first time all season… The Monarchs held a 34-30 advantage in shots in the game, snapping a streak of 11 straight games in which the Bruins either outshot their opponent or finished tied… Rookie forward Aaron Slattengren has registered a two-goal performance in three of his first nine games with the Bruins this season, including Wednesday’s game against the Monarchs… Two of his six goals have been game-winners.
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With a pair of home wins last weekend, the Falcons improved to 14-7-2-2 at the MassMutual Center this season… Springfield will open a five-game homestand on Friday against Hartford… Second-year pro Patrick Thoresen has a point in all three games (1-4-5) since returning from a 17-game stint in the NHL with Edmonton… Marc Pouliot has a four-game scoring streak, totaling five goals and seven points over that span… Pouliot paces the Falcons with 17 goals and ranks second with 34 points for the season… Daniel Sparre has three points (0-3-3) over his first three games with Springfield.
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On Wednesday, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made his first appearance for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Nov. 25, 2005, and made 30 saves in a 3-1 win at Norfolk… Fleury, who is on a conditioning assignment from parent-club Pittsburgh, reached the Calder Cup Finals with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004… He ranks third on the team’s all-time victories list, fourth in goals against average, and tied for third in shutouts… Kurtis McLean tallied his 16th goal of the season on Feb. 8 against Portland, matching his career high set last year with the Penguins.
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Worcester set a season high with six goals in a 6-1 victory at Lowell on Feb. 6, breaking the previous high of five… Leading scorer Mike Iggulden ended a six-game point drought with a goal in that contest… Since that contest, the Sharks have dropped a pair of road games to East Division foes and will play two more against an East team when they travel to Norfolk this weekend… Captain Graham Mink returned to Hershey, where he won a Calder Cup in 2006, on Feb. 10 and netted a goal in the Sharks’ 6-4 defeat… Following this weekend’s trip south, Worcester will play 19 of its final 29 games at home.