BINGHAMTON 3, ALBANY 0
Binghamton goaltender Barry Brust made 26 saves and moved into a share of the league lead with his fifth shutout of the season, and the Senators collected a 3-0 road win over previously surging Albany on Wednesday at the Times Union Center.
Brust (15-12-1) earned his second shutout of the year against Albany, having blanked the Devils on 25 shots in a 5-0 home-ice victory on Dec. 10. The former AHL All-Star, who made 10 saves in the opening period, seven in the second, and nine more in the third frame, is now tied with Peoria rookie Jake Allen at five shutouts apiece in 2010-11.
Ryan Keller tacked on his 16th goal of the season midway through the second period for Binghamton, and neither side scored in the final 20 minutes.
Erik Condra and Kaspars Daugavins each chipped in a pair of assists in the winning effort, helping the Senators improve to 6-2-0-0 in their last eight games. Binghamton is now just one point back of Hershey for fourth place in the East Division, though the Bears hold four games in hand.
The Devils, whose season-high four-game winning streak came to an end, were shut out for the first time since that 5-0 loss to Brust and the Senators on Dec. 10.
WORCESTER 5, PORTLAND 3
A day after they were all reassigned from parent-club San Jose to Worcester together, Brandon Mashinter, Andrew Desjardins, and Justin Braun each scored a goal to lead Worcester past visiting Portland by a 5-3 final on Wednesday at the DCU Center.
This game was postponed from Tuesday night due to inclement weather, and that trio made the most of the change.
Mashinter staked the Sharks to a 1-0 advantage with a power play marker late in the first period, and then Desjardins (13:41) and Braun (14:08) scored 27 seconds apart in the latter half of the second frame to make it 3-0.
Portland made it a game with a 20-5 shots advantage and three goals in the third period, but they were never able to pull even as the Sharks got third-frame goals from Tommy Wingels and T.J. Trevelyan (empty net) en route to preserving the victory.
Defenseman Nick Schaus and Jody Pederson each had two helpers for the Sharks, who avenged an 8-3 loss to the Pirates last Saturday. Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock turned aside 26 of 29 shots in net.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4, SYRACUSE 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tallied four unanswered goals, including three in the second period, and claimed a 4-1 win over visiting Syracuse on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The AHL-best Penguins bounced back from a 6-3 loss at Connecticut on Sunday and improved to 33-9-0-0 on the season, good for an 11-point cushion on Norfolk atop the East Division.
David Laliberte gave the Crunch a 1-0 lead on the power play 3:06 into the second period, but the advantage lasted just over five minutes before Penguins Nick Johnson answered with a power play strike of his own at 8:07.
Bryan Lerg notched the eventual game-winner unassisted at 16:08 of the second, Tim Wallace made it 3-1 on the power play in the period’s closing minute, and defenseman Joey Mormina tacked on another man-advantage goal – his first score of the season – early in the third frame.
The Penguins have now taken the past two meetings from Syracuse after the Crunch opened the season series with a pair of victories.
Syracuse dropped its third straight outing overall and will open a five-game homestand – tied for its longest of the season – on Friday vs. Rochester.
CHARLOTTE 3, SPRINGFIELD 1
Charlotte grabbed a 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes, held it through most of the next two periods, and ultimately captured a 3-1 win over visiting Springfield on Wednesday in the opener of a two-game set at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The teams will meet again on Friday in the conclusion of their four-game season series.
After rookie Tomas Kubalik put the Falcons on top 1-0, the Checkers got goals from Zach Boychuk (11:11) and Brett Sutter (15:58), the latter on the power play, to take a 2-1 advantage into intermission.
Neither side scored again until 2011 AHL All-Star Jerome Samson notched his team-leading 21st goal of the season for Charlotte at 14:17 of the third period. Samson’s 21 tallies are now part of a three-way tie for the overall AHL lead, joining Chicago’s Nigel Dawes and Connecticut’s Jeremy Williams.
Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy (11-7-2) picked up the victory in net with 21 saves, and Charlotte moved back within two points of second-place Norfolk in the East Division race.
Springfield suffered its season-high fourth straight regulation loss, and the Falcons have totaled just six goals during that span.
MANITOBA 5, TORONTO 2
Manitoba used a 15-5 shots advantage to take a 2-1 lead after the first period, and the Moose rolled from there to a 5-2 win over visiting Toronto on Wednesday at the MTS Centre.
The Moose swept their two-game midweek set with the Marlies, improved to 12-2-1-0 in their last 15 games, and moved into a first-place tie with Hamilton in the North Division. Manitoba still holds one game in hand on the Bulldogs and is thus percentage points ahead currently.
Dusty Collins and Ryan Cruthers each scored his first goal of the season for the Moose in the opening period after Matt Lashoff had given Toronto a 1-0 lead early on. Moose forward Bill Sweatt then extended his club’s lead with a pair of goals, including a shorthanded marker midway through the second.
After Dale Mitchell closed Toronto within 4-2 late in the third frame, Shawn Wellar clinched the victory with his second empty-net tally in as many nights.
Moose goaltender Tyler Weiman (10-4-2) earned the victory with 20 saves on 22 shots, improving to 5-0-0 in his last five outings.
The Marlies finally head home following a nine-game road swing (3-4-0-2) and will host Peoria on Saturday in their first game at Ricoh Coliseum since Dec. 30.
ABBOTSFORD 2, PEORIA 0
Goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux made 22 saves for his first AHL shutout of the season as Abbotsford earned a split of its two-game set vs. Peoria with a 2-0 win over the Rivermen at the Entertainment & Sports Centre on Wednesday.
Lamoureux, who improved to 3-0-1 in five appearances for the Heat this season, had to make 14 of his 22 saves during a second period in which Peoria held a 14-10 advantage in shots. The Rivermen managed just four shots apiece in the first and third frames.
Rookie forward Bryan Cameron staked Abbotsford to a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard with just 1:52 left to play in the opening period, and Jon Rheault’s power play goal midway through the second period provided insurance. Neither side scored in the third.
Abbotsford finished an even 4-4-1-1 on its 10-game homestand, which stretched from Dec. 30 until last night. The Heat will play their first road game since Dec. 18 on Friday at Winnipeg, the first of 10 straight away from home.
The Western Conference-leading Rivermen fell to 1-4-0-0 in their last five contests.