Jeff Hamilton scored with 6:04 remaining in regulation to lift Hartford to a 2-1 win over Bridgeport and into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Hamilton, who set an AHL record with 15 game-winning goals while skating for the Sound Tigers last season, has now registered nine game-winners this year.
Alexandre Giroux also scored for the Wolf Pack, his 24th of the season, and Jason LaBarbera made 21 saves to run his record to 26-12-1.
Rob Collins had the lone Bridgeport goal.
Hartford now has 86 points, two better than Manchester in the Atlantic. The Monarchs do have two games in hand.
Elsewhere on Friday:
Philadelphia assumed first place in the East Division as Jon Sim scored two more goals — his 10th and 11th in the last eight games — in a 4-2 win at Manchester… Mikael Tellqvist made 32 saves as St. John’s won its fourth in a row, 3-2 over Edmonton… Jon DiSalvatore recorded a goal and three assists as Worcester held off Albany, 6-5… Trent Whitfield tallied two goals and an assist for Portland in a 4-3 shootout win over Providence… Blake Sloan’s bank shot 30 seconds into overtime and Eric Manlow’s two goals during regulation powered Grand Rapids to a 3-2 win over Manitoba… Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves for his eighth straight win as Chicago beat Hamilton, 4-3… Matt Ellison had a goal and three assists as Norfolk trounced Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 6-0… Mark Hartigan scored twice to lead Syracuse past Hershey, 3-1… Rochester ran its home-ice points streak to 20 games (18-0-1-1) with a 4-3 win over Binghamton… Cam Ward needed only 17 saves to help Lowell post a 4-0 shutout of Springfield… Tomas Plihal scored the only goal in Cleveland’s 1-0 win over San Antonio… Joffrey Lupul recorded a goal and an assist for Cincinnati in a 4-2 victory at Utah.