East Notes: Penguins surging, eye franchise record

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Albany’s 3-2 shootout loss at Lowell on Wednesday dropped the River Rats to 0-2-0-1 in their last three outings, coming on the heels of a five-game winning streak… Dwight Helminen is riding a four-game scoring streak (3-2-5) for the Rats, including a goal in three of the four contests… Helminen set an Albany season record by scoring just 19 seconds into the game on Saturday against Lowell… Jerome Samson also shows a four-game scoring run (2-4-6)… Jakub Petruzalek’s five-game scoring streak (1-7-8) came to an end on Wednesday.
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Binghamton kicked off its eight-game season series with Norfolk by posting a 6-3 win on Wednesday… The division rivals will meet twice this week in Virginia and then will play four straight games against one another in mid-March before concluding the season series on Apr. 10 in Binghamton… Danny Bois registered his first multiple-point game of the season in Wednesday’s triumph, while team captain Denis Hamel extended his scoring streak to five games (4-2-6) with a pair of goals… The B-Sens have denied seven straight penalty shot attempts after Jeff Glass stopped Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux on Friday.
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Bridgeport is currently riding a five-game points streak (4-0-0-1), its longest since a season-high seven-game run (6-0-0-1) from Nov. 5-18… Goaltender Tobias Stephan is 4-0-0 (1.93, .921) since being assigned to the Sound Tigers by the NHL’s Dallas Stars… Kurtis McLean shows a five-game scoring streak (3-4-7), while Ben Walter has a point in three straight games (1-2-3) and six of his last seven (1-5-6)… The Sound Tigers are only one game under .500 when trailing after two periods (9-10-1-0); their nine wins in that situation are tied with Syracuse for most in the AHL.
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Hartford has lost four of its last five (1-4-0-0), which comes directly after a stretch in which the Wolf Pack won four of five (4-1-0-0)… The Wolf Pack’s 1-0 loss to Bridgeport on Wednesday marked just the second time they had been shut out this season and first since Oct. 17, a 2-0 loss at Hamilton in the third game of the season… Rookie Dale Weise netted Hartford’s only goal in its last two games on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Manitoba… Defenseman Corey Potter registered his first career multiple-goal game when he scored twice in Hartford’s 6-2 win over Lake Erie on Friday.
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Hershey snapped out of a season-high four-game losing skid with a 3-2 win at Syracuse on Monday… Andrew Gordon netted the winning goal, and Alexandre Giroux scored to extend his latest scoring streak to five games (2-5-7)… Monday marked the Bears’ first game in Syracuse since Oct. 14, 2006, when Hershey took a 6-3 victory… Keith Aucoin, who registered his 500th career AHL point last Saturday, is on a seven-game scoring run (2-8-10) and leads the league with 70 points (19-51-70) in 54 games… Hershey visits Rochester on Friday and hosts Philadelphia on Saturday.
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Lowell’s 3-2 shootout win over Albany on Wednesday was its first in the tiebreaker since Nov. 21, breaking a three-game slide… Overall, the Devils now have a point in six straight games (4-0-0-2) and sit two points up on Worcester for the Atlantic Division’s fourth and final playoff spot… After Wednesday’s win, the Devils are 3-0-0-1 against Albany this season and 1-8-1-2 against the rest of the East Division… Lowell scored four power play goals in a game for the second time this season in Sunday’s 7-6 shootout loss to Portland… Goaltender Jeff Frazee has set a new team record with 21 wins this season (21-9-3), surpassing the 20 victories attained by Frank Doyle in 2006-07.
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Manchester has won four straight games and six of seven (6-1-0-0), and the Monarchs now sit just three points back of Lowell for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot… Teddy Purcell has netted the game-winning goal in each of Manchester’s last four non-shootout victories and now shows six game-winners on the season… Purcell is currently riding an eight-game scoring streak overall (7-9-16)… Captain Marty Murray has found the scoresheet in seven of his last eight tilts (4-10-14) to take over the team lead with 37 points for the season (9-28-37), one more than Purcell’s 36 (16-20-36).
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Norfolk recorded its first back-to-back road victories of the season on Saturday in Hershey (5-4) and Sunday in Bridgeport (2-1 in a shootout)… The win over the Sound Tigers on Sunday was just the Admirals’ second shootout triumph in seven tries this season… Rookie goaltender Riku Helenius shows a 2.23 GAA through his first seven AHL appearances (2-4-0), including a pair of 40-plus save showings… Brandon Segal has netted a goal in four straight games (6-0-6), and the sixth-year pro already shows a career-high 37 points (19-18-37) through 47 contests.
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Philadelphia’s penalty-killing unit has killed off 43 of its last 45 shorthanded situations (.956) over a nine-game span, including 32 in a row during one stretch… The run has lifted the Phantoms to 13th overall on the penalty kill (83.2 percent), and they rank third at home (88.6 percent)… Goaltender Scott Munroe is tied for second in the AHL with 22 wins and ranks fourth with a .928 save percentage, though he has faced nearly 500 more shots than any of the three individuals above him on the list… The Phantoms host Portland on Friday before visiting Hershey on Saturday.
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Reigning Reebok/AHL player of the week Tim Kennedy has racked up seven goals in his last eight games after a 28-game drought… Wednesday’s 6-3 loss at Springfield marked the third straight game in which the Pirates surrendered six goals, but the first that ended in a regulation defeat… Kennedy is riding a five-game scoring streak (5-6-11), as is Mathieu Darche (2-7-9)… Felix Schutz’s penalty shot goal was the difference on Friday in Portland’s 2-1 win over Worcester… Goaltender John DeCaro is 3-0-0 (2.92, .922) since joining the Pirates.
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Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Manitoba marked the first time the P-Bruins had been shut out since Dec. 10, a 2-0 setback at Hartford… Providence’s 6-5 shootout victory at Portland on Saturday extended the Bruins’ road winning streak to four games dating back to Jan. 17… Mikko Lehtonen registered his first professional hat trick in that game and now leads the Bruins with 19 goals on the campaign (19-14-33)… Zach Hamill, who totaled four points (1-3-4) in his previous 12 games, racked up four assists against the Pirates… Providence hosts Manchester on Friday, visits Worcester on Saturday, and hosts Springfield on Sunday.
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Springfield snapped out of an 11-game winless skid (0-9-1-1) with a 6-3 victory over Portland on Wednesday… The Falcons hadn’t scored more than four goals in a game since Nov. 22 and hadn’t scored more than five since the previous night, a 7-6 win over Norfolk on Nov. 21… Defenseman Bryan Young netted the game-winner on Wednesday, his first professional goal and first at any level since Jan. 8, 2005, when he was playing junior hockey for Peterborough (OHL)… Charles Linglet joins the Falcons after playing 228 AHL games for Peoria since the 2005-06 campaign.
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Dan Bylsma is the third straight full-time Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach to graduate directly to the NHL, following Todd Richards (assistant, San Jose) and Michel Therrien (head, Pittsburgh)… The Penguins’ current season-high eight-game winning streak is one shy of the franchise record of nine, which has been set three times, including twice last season… Jeff Taffe is on a six-game scoring streak (1-7-8), and defenseman Alex Goligoski has a point in three of four games (1-2-3) since being reassigned from Pittsburgh… Goaltender John Curry is on a personal 10-game winning streak and is 18-3-0 (2.02, .930).
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Worcester’s current four-game regulation losing skid is its longest of the season and longest since a five-game slide from Mar. 22 to Apr. 2, 2008… The Sharks have dropped two points back of Lowell for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot and still have four head-to-head meetings with the Devils… Defenseman Patrick Traverse scored on Sunday in Wilkes-Barre and now has a point in five straight games (2-4-6) and nine of his last 12… Ryan Vesce’s scoring streak has reached 17 games (9-18-27)… The Sharks wrap up their seven-game road swing on Friday in Springfield.