East Notes: Teams battle for playoff spots, positioning

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Albany snapped an eight-game winless skid (0-7-0-1) with a 4-3 shootout victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday… It marked the River Rats’ longest slide since a 13-game skid from Mar. 17 to Apr. 12, 2006… Rookie Cory Quirk is on a three-game goal-scoring run (4-0-4), a four-game scoring streak (4-1-5), and has registered seven points (5-2-7) in his first nine professional contests… The River Rats surrendered five power play goals on Sunday in Bridgeport, tying a franchise record first attained on Dec. 27, 1996 vs. Syracuse… Albany, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006, visits Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and hosts Binghamton this weekend to close the season.
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Binghamton notched its third 40-win season and first since 2004-05 with its 5-2 win over intra-state rival Albany on Saturday… The Senators’ offense features six players with at least 40 points on the season… Goaltender Jeff Glass has started a franchise-record 16 consecutive games for the Senators, and he set a new career high with 47 saves against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Apr. 1… Jim O’Brien, a first-round draft pick in 2007, collected his first pro point with an assist in the win over Albany on Saturday… The Sens are tied for the East Division’s last playoff spot heading into the final weekend, which has them battling Norfolk on Friday and Albany on Saturday.
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Bridgeport has won three straight following a three-game losing skid and is 6-3-0-0 in its last nine contests overall… Jon Sim has registered 21 points (12-9-21) in 16 games since joining the Sound Tigers and has found the scoresheet in 12 of the 16 tilts… Second-year pro Sean Bentivoglio, who has matched his rookie total with 32 points (13-19-32) in 76 AHL games, made his NHL debut for the N.Y. Islanders on Apr. 2… Mike Iggulden had posted two assists in six games since returning from the Islanders before putting up three assists in a 6-3 win over Albany on Sunday… Bridgeport closes the regular season with home tilts against Springfield and Lowell this weekend.
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Mark Bell’s shorthanded goal with 20.2 seconds left in regulation on Wednesday at Manchester was Hartford’s league-leading 19th shorthanded tally of the season, including its 14th on the road (no other team has more than seven on the road)… The Wolf Pack scored a franchise-record three shorthanders and went 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in Friday’s 6-0 win at Providence… Goaltender Matt Zaba suffered his first regulation loss in 14 decisions on Sunday vs. Lowell; he had been 12-1-0 in his previous 13, with the one loss having been a 1-0 overtime decision in Manchester on Mar. 6… Hartford can clinch its first division title since 2004 on Friday with a win at Lowell.
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Hershey has attained the 100-point plateau for the third time in the four years it has been affiliated with the Washington Capitals… With three games remaining this weekend, the Bears are two victories shy of their second 50-win season in the last three years… Hershey plays a home-and-home with Philadelphia before hosting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the regular-season finale on Sunday… Alexandre Giroux has registered a point in eight of his last nine games (10-6-16), while Chris Bourque shows one in 12 of his last 13 (7-15-22)… With 57 goals and 94 points, Giroux is trying to become the second player in as many years to lead the AHL in both goals and points.
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Devils leading scorer Jon DiSalvatore (20-33-53) collected his team-leading 11th multiple-point game of the season with a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 4-3 win at Hartford… DiSalvatore has registered a team-high 26 of his 53 points on the power play, including 21 power play assists… Vladimir Zharkov shows six points (1-5-6) in his last seven games and ranks second among AHL rookies with a plus-23 rating for the season… The Devils had been 22-0-0-2 when leading after two periods this season prior to Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Springfield… Lowell hosts Hartford on Friday and visits Bridgeport on Saturday to conclude the season.
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Manchester is on a three-game losing skid and is just 3-8-0-2 since Mar. 13, when it was coming off a six-game winning streak… David Meckler snapped a 16-game goal-scoring drought in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to Hartford… Matt Moulson shows a point in four of his last five contests (3-3-6)… The Monarchs have never missed the playoffs since joining the AHL in 2001-02 but will need two wins and two regulation losses by Portland this weekend to overtake the Pirates for the Atlantic’s final berth… Manchester visits Worcester on Friday before hosting the Pirates in a potentially decisive season finale on Saturday.
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Norfolk took a 4-3 overtime win from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday despite being without top scorers Zenon Konopka (17-40-57) and Brandon Bochenski (27-26-53) to NHL recall and featuring a lineup that included four players making their Admirals debuts and only two defensemen that had more than 10 games of AHL experience… Former first-round pick Ty Wishart returned from a seven-game injury absence on Apr. 1 vs. Hershey and registered his first pro multiple-point game with a goal and an assist… The Admirals conclude the season with weekend games in Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre.
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Philadelphia is 6-0-0-1 in its last seven games and enters the final regular season weekend in team history tied for the last playoff spot in the East Division… The Phantoms can clinch on Friday with a win over Hershey and a Binghamton regulation loss… Friday will mark the last regular-season game in the history of the venerable Wachovia Spectrum… Jared Ross has posted 16 points (7-9-16) and a plus-6 rating in his last 15 games… Michael Ratchuk has three points (2-1-3) in his last four games after going scoreless in his previous 10 contests… After Friday’s game, the Phantoms end the regular season in Hershey on Saturday.
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Portland’s three-game points streak (2-0-0-1) came to an end on Wednesday in a 2-1 loss at Worcester… The Pirates finished their regular-season series against the Sharks at an even 5-5-0-0… Colin Murphy was held scoreless Wednesday but still shows 14 points (7-7-14) in his last 12 games… Mathieu Darche has netted nine game-winning goals on the season, tied for the AHL lead… Darche’s three-game goal-scoring run (5-1-6) ended in the loss to Worcester… The Pirates can clinch their third playoff berth in the last four seasons with a point vs. Providence on Friday or a Manchester loss to Worcester… Portland is just one point back of the Sharks for third place.
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Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (33-20-4) remains tied for the AHL lead in wins after Wednesday’s 5-2 triumph at Lowell… It marked the Bruins’ third straight win and kept them alive for the Atlantic Division title heading into the final regular season weekend… Defenseman Jonathan Tremblay had played 64 career AHL games over parts of four seasons without a goal before he scored on Wednesday… Rookie Mikko Lehtonen tallied his AHL rookie-leading 28th goal of the season in that game… Vladimir Sobotka has netted a goal in five of his last six games (5-2-7)… Providence visits Portland and Worcester this weekend to close the regular season.
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Ryan Potulny’s 35 goals (35-23-58) are four short of the franchise-record 39 scored by John LeBlanc in the team’s inaugural 1994-95 season… His 16 power play goals have already matched LeBlanc’s total from that campaign… 2008 first-round draft pick Jordan Eberle shows six points (2-4-6) in his first seven professional games for the Falcons… Colin McDonald has netted a goal in two straight games after totaling two scores in his previous 21 outings… The Falcons, who will miss the playoffs for the sixth straight spring, wrap up their seasons with road games against Bridgeport and Hartford this weekend.
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (47-24-3-3, 100 points) has become the first team in AHL history to post four consecutive 100-point seasons… The Penguins are on a six-game points streak (4-0-1-1) and are 9-3-1-1 in their last 14 contests… Jeff Taffe has set a new franchise record for assists in a season with 50 (25-50-756… Janne Pesonen shows 30 goals for the campaign (30-48-78), one shy of the team-record 31 scored by Toby Petersen in 2002-03 and matched by Michel Ouellet in 2004-05… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has set a team record by scoring 125 goals on the road this season… The Penguins host Albany and Norfolk this weekend before ending the regular year in Hershey on Sunday.
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Worcester has matched a season high with its current five-game winning streak, having previously won five straight from Nov. 16-26… Each of the Sharks’ last four victories has come by one goal, making them 20-14-1-2 in one-goal games for the season… Dan DaSilva has tallied six goals on the campaign, and four of them have been game-winners, including his third-period marker Wednesday vs. Portland… Captain Ryan Vesce has a goal in both games (2-0-2) since returning from parent-club San Jose… The Sharks have made the playoffs for the second time in their three-year existence, and hold a one-point lead on Portland for third place heading into the regular season’s final weekend.