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Eastern Conference notebook

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Ryan Bayda’s power play goal at 15:30 of the third period in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Lowell snapped Albany’s 0-for-32 power play drought… The River Rats’ overall conversion rate of 10.4% (7-of-67) is third-to-last in the league… Albany’s 2-0 loss to Hershey last Friday marked its 12th straight home loss to the Bears… The River Rats last defeated the Bears in Albany on Mar. 28, 2004… Goaltender Michael Leighton has the AHL’s third-best GAA (1.78), and fellow netminder Kevin Nastiuk has won both of his two starts.
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Binghamton’s 4-3 win over Syracuse last Saturday gave the B-Sens their first four-game winning streak since Apr. 2-8, 2006… Rookie winger Tyler Donati has four points (2-2-4) in his last two games… Josh Hennessy has a three-game points streak (2-3-5)… Brian Lee’s eight assists (1-8-9) are tied for second in the league among defensemen in that category… Winger Denis Hamel paces the Senators with six goals and 10 points through 10 games.
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Pascal Morency scored his first career AHL goal as part of Bridgeport’s 3-0 win over Norfolk last Sunday… In that same game, goaltender Mike Morrison recorded his first shutout of the season with 22 saves… Jeff Tambellini had a three-game points streak (2-4-6) snapped in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Worcester… Tambellini registered four points (1-3-4) in the Sound Tigers’ 4-1 win at Hershey last Saturday.
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The Wolf Pack dropped consecutive games for the first time last weekend, losing at home to Toronto and at Manchester… Hartford’s rematch with the Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday will already be their third trip to the Granite State out of four this season… Their final visit to Manchester will occur on Dec. 30… Rookie center Tommy Pyatt notched the first two goals of his pro career in last Friday’s 4-3 win over Worcester… Pyatt finished the week with four points (2-2-4) in three games.
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Goaltender Daren Machesney earned his first AHL shutout last Friday, making 36 saves in the Bears’ 2-0 win at Albany… Fellow netminder Frederic Cassivi has gotten the nod in each of Hershey’s other seven games this season and is 2-5-0… Rookie center Jay Beagle tallied his first AHL goal last Saturday, providing the Bears’ only score in a 4-1 loss to Bridgeport… Seven of the 10 games in the season series between Hershey and Norfolk will be played between Wednesday and Dec. 29…
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The Devils take a two-game winless skid (0-1-1-0) into Friday’s game at Springfield… Lowell has neither won nor lost three consecutive games to this point in the season… Petr Vrana (1-5-6) and Noah Clarke (2-1-3) each boast three-game points streaks… Stephen Gionta has a team-leading five goals (5-3-8) overall and has a point in three of his last four outings (3-2-5)… Lowell enters this week with the league’s 26th-ranked penalty kill at 78.4%.
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The Monarchs are 7-for-20 (35.0%) on the power play over their last four games, lifting their overall conversion rate to an AHL-best 25.9% (14-for-54)… Nine of Manchester’s 11 games have been decided by one goal, with the Monarchs going 4-3-1-1 in the nine one-goal games… Gabe Gauthier has recorded a point in 10 of the club’s 11 games thus far and is tied for second in the league with 17 points (4-13-17)… Teddy Purcell is second in the league among rookies in both assists (11) and points (16).
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The Admirals do not play on either Saturday or Sunday this weekend for the first time since Dec. 10-11, 2005, not including season-opening weekends… Norfolk will not have another Saturday off this season until Mar. 8… Norfolk’s penalty kill is 20-for-22 (90.9%) over its last four games… Bryce Lampman netted his first goal as a member of the Admirals in the team’s 2-1 shootout loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last Saturday.
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The Phantoms have scored at least one power play goal in all 12 games so far, and their 25.0% conversion rate (22-for-88) is second-best in the league… Philadelphia now has five players in double figures in scoring – Jonathan Matsumoto (6-8-14), Kyle Greentree (5-9-14), Jared Ross (5-8-13), Stefan Ruzicka (5-6-11), and Denis Tolpeko (3-7-10)… The 2006-07 Phantoms did not win their 10th game until Dec. 17.
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Portland’s string of playing five straight games beyond regulation ended last Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Providence… Andrew Ebbett scored the overtime game-winner in last Friday’s 3-2 win over Philadelphia, his second overtime goal of the season… Ebbett is currently riding a four-game points streak (2-3-5)… Defenseman Aaron Rome had a goal in both of the Pirates’ games last weekend (2-0-2).
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During their 8-1-0-0 start, the Bruins have allowed three or fewer goals in each of the eight victories… They allowed five in the only loss, a 5-3 setback at Worcester on Oct. 21… Providence concludes its season-opening 10-game road swing in Portland on Saturday… Petteri Nokelainen, a former first-round pick who had a point in each of his first seven games this season (3-5-8), was recalled by Boston on Monday… Pascal Pelletier currently has a four-game points streak (3-4-7).
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The Falcons have lost three straight outright and are winless in their last five contests (0-3-0-2) since starting the season 5-2-0-0… Troy Bodie has notched a goal in three straight games (3-0-3), while defenseman Allan Rourke has four points in his last three outings (3-1-4)… Center Tim Sestito scored his first goal of the season last Saturday and now has points in three straight (1-2-3)… Springfield hosts Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday in the teams’ first meeting since the 2005-06 season, when the Falcons swept a pair of games.
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The Penguins’ 2-1 shootout win against Norfolk last Saturday was their 16th straight home victory over the Admirals… Norfolk last defeated the Penguins in Pennsylvania on Feb. 14, 2004… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had two home games go to a shootout last weekend; only one of its home contests all of last season went to a shootout… Kurtis McLean has a point in three straight games (2-1-3)… Leading scorer Jeff Taffe (7-2-9) is without a point in his last four games since notching a hat trick at Bridgeport on Oct. 20.
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Captain Graham Mink’s two goals in Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Bridgeport were his first lamp-lighters since scoring once in a 4-2 opening-night win at Springfield… Mike Iggulden had a seven-game points streak (5-5-10) snapped in last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Philadelphia but rebounded with a three-point showing (1-2-3) in Wednesday’s win at Bridgeport… The Sharks conclude a stretch of four straight non-divisional games with visits to San Antonio and Houston this weekend.