Eastern Conference notebook

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Brandon Sutter, Carolina’s first-round draft pick in 2007, made his professional debut on Sunday in Albany’s 2-0 loss at Portland… Ryan Weston and Brock Wilson also made their AHL debuts for the River Rats last weekend… Rookie Jerome Samson returned to Albany’s lineup on Mar. 28 in Syracuse after missing the previous nine games due to injury… Jamie Johnson has played in all 75 of Albany’s games this season and leads the team with 56 points (21-35-56)… The River Rats conclude a seven-game road swing this weekend with a pair of games in Norfolk.
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Binghamton sits two points back of Hershey for the East Division’s final playoff spot and will host the Bears at the Broome County Arena on Friday… The teams also square off at the Giant Center on the final day of the season, Apr. 13… The B-Sens are winless in three straight games (0-2-0-1) since racking up a point in a season-high nine consecutive games (6-0-3-0) from Mar. 7 to Mar. 26… Defenseman Matt Kinch has tied his career high with seven goals this season… He also netted seven as a second-year pro with Hartford in 2002-03.
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Bridgeport is four points out a playoff spot in the East Division, but its seven remaining games are more than anyone else in the division… The Sound Tigers are winless in their last three outings (0-2-0-1) after posting a three-game winning streak… Two-time AHL All-Star Jeff Tambellini has registered a point in all four games (2-3-5) since returning from a stint with the parent N.Y. Islanders, including a goal against his former team in Bridgeport’s 5-1 loss at Manchester on Wednesday… With an assist in that loss, Ben Walter extended his scoring streak to six games (3-6-9).
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Hartford’s 3-2 win over Worcester on Mar. 28 allowed the Wolf Pack to finish 8-0-0-0 against the division-rival Sharks this season, marking the first time in its 11-year history that Hartford has been perfect in a season series of at least eight games… The Pack’s current five-game winning streak has pushed them above the 100-point plateau for the fourth time in the last five seasons and fifth time overall… Last Saturday’s 10-1 win over Springfield was the most lopsided victory in team history… Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau has registered multiple points in six of his last seven contests, totaling 14 points (6-8-14) over that span.
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Chris Bourque’s four-goal game in last Saturday’s 5-2 win over Hamilton made him the first Bear to accomplish that feat since Len Barrie on Oct. 17, 1992… Hershey’s three-game winning streak, which ended with a 4-2 loss in Bridgeport on Mar. 28, was its longest since capturing three straight from Dec. 29-31… Kyle Wilson sports a point in six of his last seven games (4-6-10)… Defenseman Josef Boumedienne, who had a 16-game scoring streak earlier this season, currently has a point in four straight games played (1-6-7)… After visiting Binghamton on Friday, the Bears play four of their last five games at the Giant Center, where they are 22-11-0-3 this season.
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Lowell, which scored four goals in a pair of wins last weekend, is now 15-0-1-1 on the season when netting four or more goals in a game… The Devils have notched a power play goal in seven consecutive games, going 11-for-39 (28.2%) over that span… Ryan Murphy is riding a four-game scoring streak (0-5-5) for the Devils… 2008 AHL All-Star Petr Vrana has posted consecutive three-point efforts (3-3-6) and has a point in four of his last five outings (5-4-9)… Nick Palmieri’s first professional goal was the game-winner in last Saturday’s 4-3 win over Worcester.
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Manchester has won six of its last seven games (6-1-0-0) and nine of its last 12 (9-2-1-0), pushing the Monarchs a season-high six games over.500 for the season (36-30-5-4)… Manchester continues to boast the league’s best power play at 23.7% and is 26-7-3-2 this season when scoring the game’s first goal… All-rookie forward Teddy Purcell had his seven-game scoring streak (4-7-11) snapped in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Bridgeport, but Marc-Andre Cliche extended his run to five games (3-2-5)… Brian Boyle, also a member of this year’s All-Rookie Team, has a goal in three of his last four outings (3-1-4).
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Bracken Kearns tallied the first multiple-goal game of his AHL career on Mar. 29, netting a pair in a 4-3 win over Manchester… That same night, forward Jamie Bates picked up an assist in his professional debut for the Admirals… With the additions of Bates and center Andrew Fournier, the Admirals have suited up a franchise-record 50 different players this season… Norfolk has been outshot in 20 consecutive games for a total margin of 752-471… The Admirals take on Albany twice this weekend, their final two home games of the season, before concluding the schedule with three road contests.
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Philadelphia is closing in on its first playoff berth since winning the Calder Cup championship in 2005… The Phantoms have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games and have not won consecutive games since capturing four straight from Feb. 9-15… When Jeremy Duchesne made his AHL debut in net for the Phantoms on Mar. 28 against Binghamton, he became the fourth different goaltender to play for Philadelphia in a three-game span, joining Scott Munroe, Martin Houle, and Michael TeslakJason DeSantis posted an assist for his first professional point in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Hamilton.
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Portland has gone four straight games without scoring more than two goals (1-3-0-0), the lone victory coming in a 2-0 shutout over Albany on Sunday… Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin turned aside all 25 shots he faced in that contest… Aubin is now 5-2-0 with the Pirates this season, and three of his five victories have come via the shutout… That win over the River Rats was Portland’s 26th home victory of the season (26-10-1-1), tying Chicago for most in the AHL… Brian Salcido’s assist on Sunday was his 50th point on the campaign (10-40-50), tying Nick Naumenko’s 2001-02 mark for most ever by a Pirates defenseman.
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Providence’s 5-3 win over Worcester on Sunday allowed the Bruins (50-16-3-4) to reach the 50-win plateau for the second time in franchise history and first since the 1998-99 campaign, when the B’s went 56-16-4-4 en route to the Calder Cup championship… The Bruins are 8-1-0-2 since suffering a season-high four-game winless skid from Mar. 1-7… Martins Karsums (1-3-4) and Matt Hunwick (0-3-3) are each riding three-game scoring streaks… The Bruins host division-rival Hartford on Friday in a clash of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams… Providence is 5-0-0-3 in its last eight games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
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2008 AHL All-Star Rob Schremp has netted the game-winning goal in three of Springfield’s last four regulation wins, including its 4-2 victory over Worcester on Wednesday… Schremp has now found the scoresheet in 11 of his last 13 games (6-10-16)… Rookie Liam Reddox tallied a season-high four points (1-3-4) in the winning effort against Worcester, playing a role in all four goals… Viacheslav Trukhno recorded 15 points (7-8-15) in 13 games during March… Rookie defenseman Cody Wild, who played his college hockey at Providence College, collected his first professional point in Providence on Mar. 28 as part of the Falcons’ 4-3 shootout win over the Bruins.
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton enters the season’s final week and a half tied for first place in the East Division, looking for its second division crown in the last three seasons… All-rookie goaltender John Curry has 22 wins on the season (22-9-3), tied for the third-highest single season total in Penguins history… Only Marc-Andre Fleury (26 in 2004-05) and Dany Sabourin (30 in 2005-06) have won more games in a campaign… Head coach Todd Richards picked up his 95th win behind the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton bench on Mar. 29, moving him to second place on the team’s all-time list… For a third straight year, the Penguins have currently tied a team record with 23 road victories.
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Worcester is winless in its last six games (0-5-1-0) and is just 6-15-2-3 since Feb. 10… The Sharks conclude the season by playing five of seven games at the DCU Center, where they are an even 14-14-3-4 for the season compared with 13-21-2-2 on the road… Third-year pro Tom Cavanagh, who has reached career highs in goals (17), assists (33), and points (50), was recalled by parent-club San Jose on Thursday and could make his NHL debut for the big Sharks in one of the team’s final two regular-season games… Forward Matt Jones, signed out of Merrimack College on Mar. 28, has a point in three of his first four professional games (2-1-3) for Worcester.