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Eastern Conference notebook

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Albany’s 4-1 win at Toronto on Dec. 30 was its 20th win of the season and came in its 37th game… It is the fastest that a River Rats team has reached 20 wins since the 1998-99 season, when the club finished 46(w)-26(l)-6(t)-2(otl)… Keith Aucoin scored Albany’s second shorthanded goal of the season in that win over the Marlies, and it turned out to be the game-winner… Jerome Samson is tied for the rookie lead and tied for second among all skaters with nine power play goals on the season… Goaltender Michael Leighton has allowed two goals or fewer in four straight starts (3-1-0).
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The Senators are winless in four straight games (0-3-0-1), one shy of their season high… Binghamton is also 1-5-1-2 in its last nine road games and will travel to face Atlantic Division foes Portland and Manchester this weekend… The B-Sens are 5-2-1-0 all-time against Manchester… Rookie winger Shawn Weller notched his first professional goal on Dec. 28 at Philadelphia, a game the Senators lost in a shootout, 3-2… Defenseman Lawrence Nycholat collected his 250th career AHL point with a goal on Dec. 29 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
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Reigning Rbk/AHL player of the week Jeff Tambellini has a goal in four straight games (6-2-8) and in eight of his last nine outings (12-3-15)… Tambellini had not recorded any multiple-goal efforts in 22 games this season prior to doing it three times in a six-game span from Dec. 16-28… His four shorthanded goals on the campaign are tied with Sean Bergenheim in the Sound Tigers’ all-time record book for most in a season… Goaltender Mike Morrison’s 35-save blanking of Hartford on Dec. 29 moved him into a tie for second in the league with three shutouts on the season.
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Hartford is 0-2-0-1 against league-leading Providence this season but 15-2-0-1 against the rest of its fellow Atlantic Division teams… Despite Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Portland, the Wolf Pack have gone 11 straight divisional games without losing in regulation (9-0-0-2)… Hartford notched five goals in a span of 10:31 on Sunday in Manchester after having been blanked for the previous 111:10… The Wolf Pack’s 2-0 loss in Bridgeport on Dec. 29 snapped a six-game winning streak at the Arena at Harbor Yard… Hugh Jessiman, a 2003 first-round draft pick, has a point in three of his last four outings (2-2-4).
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Wednesday’s 3-1 loss at Worcester snapped a three-game winning streak and marked the Bears’ first game against an Atlantic Division club this season… Goaltender Davis Parley made his first AHL start of the campaign in that game… In Monday’s 2-1 win over Philadelphia, Grant Potulny scored just eight seconds after the opening face-off, marking the Bears’ fastest goal to begin a game in their 70-year history… Goaltender Daren Machesney holds a three-game winning streak and has posted a 1.00 GAA and .965 save percentage over that span.
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Lowell has picked up a standings point in six straight games (4-0-1-1)… The Devils’ four-game winning streak from Dec. 22-30 tied a franchise record, as the club also won four straight from Nov. 12-19, 2006… In both streaks, all four wins came against divisional opponents… Trevor Kell posted a goal and an assist in his AHL debut as part of Lowell’s 4-3 shootout loss to Springfield on Wednesday… Lowell plays its next four games against Philadelphia, Hartford, and Springfield, against whom the Devils have a combined record of 1-7-1-1 this season.
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Manchester is winless in four straight home games since posting a 4-0 win over Portland on Dec. 14… The Monarchs still hold the AHL’s best power play overall (27.7%) and at home (31.7%)… Rookie Teddy Purcell has a point in five straight games (1-6-7) and six of his last seven outings (3-7-10)… Purcell is far-and-away the AHL’s rookie scoring leader with 44 points (12-32-44) in 34 games… Teammate Brian Boyle is second on the rookie leaderboard with 30 points (14-16-30)… Manchester is the lone AHL team yet to allow a shorthanded goal this season.
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Norfolk’s current nine-game losing streak is the club’s longest in franchise history… The previous record was a seven-game slide in February 2002… Team captain Dan Jancevski skated in his 500th career AHL game on Dec. 28, a 4-1 loss to Hershey… Second-year winger Radek Smolenak recorded his first AHL multiple-point game with a pair of assists in the Admirals’ 6-3 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on New Year’s Eve… Norfolk hosts Bridgeport for a pair of games this weekend… The Admirals have only scored two goals in four games against the Sound Tigers this season, both of them coming in a 2-1 win at the Scope on Oct. 27.
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Philadelphia’s 3-2 shootout win over Binghamton on Dec. 28 was its 11th straight over the Senators dating back to February of 2005… The Phantoms played Hershey on New Year’s Eve for the third time in four years and dropped a 2-1 decision… Rookie winger Steve Downie, selected 29th overall by Philadelphia in the 2005 draft, notched his first career multiple-goal game as part of the Phantoms’ 6-3 win at Norfolk on Dec. 27… Philadelphia boasts the league’s top penalty-killing unit at 87.0%.
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Portland has registered a standings point in six straight games (4-0-1-1) and is 6-1-1-1 in its last nine contests to pull within two points of Hartford for second place in the Atlantic Division… Geoff Platt has at least one goal in three of his last four games (5-0-5) and became the sixth different Pirate to notch a multiple-goal game on Dec. 27 at Manchester… The Pirates welcome Binghamton to the Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday… Second-year pro Andrew Ebbett leads the Pirates with 37 points (9-28-37) in 36 games.
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Pascal Pelletier, the CCM/AHL player of the month for December, is currently riding a six-game scoring streak (5-4-9) and has a point in 13 of his last 15 games (13-9-22)… Pelletier leads the league with 21 goals and ranks fourth with 42 points… Rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask has started seven straight games (6-1-0) and has allowed two goals or fewer in five of the seven contests… The Bruins have AHL-best numbers in both average shots per game (34.40) and average shots allowed (23.83)… The Bruins bring a four-game winning streak into weekend road games against division-rivals Springfield and Worcester.
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Springfield’s 4-3 victory at Lowell on Wednesday was its third straight shootout win after dropping its first three shootouts of the season… It ended the Falcons’ seven-game winless skid (0-5-2-0) and goaltender Jeff Deslauriers’ personal five-game drought (0-5-0)… Rookie Colin McDonald had two goals in the game, his first multiple-goal showing as a professional… Rob Schremp assisted on all three of Springfield’s regulation goals, giving him five points in his last two games (1-4-5) and a team-high 39 points (9-30-39) for the season.
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s current nine-game winning streak, in which it has outscored opponents 41-16, matches a franchise record that was previously set from Oct. 5-29, 2005… Penguins forwards Tim Brent (4-14-18) and Nathan Smith (5-7-12) both have a point in all nine games of the current streak… Goaltender John Curry, the Rbk Edge/AHL rookie of the month for December, is 5-0-0 with a 1.40 GAA during the surge… The Penguins’ 6-3 home win over Norfolk on Dec. 31 was their 17th straight over the Admirals at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza, dating back to the 2004-05 campaign.
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Rookie winger Devin Setoguchi netted his first AHL points with a pair of assists in Worcester’s 3-2 win at Manchester on New Year’s Eve… Setoguchi, selected eighth overall by San Jose in the 2005 draft, had already recorded 10 points (8-2-10) in 24 games for the parent Sharks this season… That New Year’s Eve win moved the Sharks to 3-0-1-1 against the Monarchs this season heading into their match-up in Worcester on Friday… Mike Iggulden (1-5-6) and defenseman Tom Walsh (0-4-4) both bring three-game scoring streaks into the weekend… Captain Graham Mink has three goals in his last two games (3-1-4).