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Slaney one point shy of AHL record

LOOKING BACK:
On Wednesday, Al Montoya made 29 saves in his return from a broken finger as Hartford improved to 6-0-1-2 in its last nine with a 4-1 win over Manchester… Martin Sagat scored twice as Toronto posted a 5-0 win over Grand Rapids… Greg Mauldin scored twice and Syracuse picked up five power-play goals on the night in a 7-4 defeat of Manitoba.

Wed 12/14
HARTFORD 4, Manchester 1… CLEVELAND 4, Rochester 2… TORONTO 5, Grand Rapids 0… CHICAGO 2, San Antonio 1… Milwaukee 5, OMAHA 4 (SO)… Syracuse 7, MANITOBA 4

Thu 12/15
No games scheduled

LOOKING AHEAD:
It’s been a strange few days in Wilkes-Barre, where the Penguins now turn their attention from their record start to holding onto first place in the East Division… The Pens, who will be coached this weekend by Rick Kehoe and Joe Mullen after Thursday’s shake-up in Pittsburgh, host Syracuse and Norfolk before visiting second-place Hershey on Sunday… Wilkes-Barre, with its .900 points percentage (21-1-2-1), is just three points ahead of the Bears in the both the East Division and the overall AHL standings… Penguins scoring leader Michel Ouellet was recalled by Pittsburgh on Thursday, but Lasse Pirjeta and Maxime Talbot were assigned to Wilkes-Barre… Hershey, Sunday’s opponent, comes into the weekend with one regulation loss in its last 20 games (14-1-2-3).

Rochester hosts North Division foe Grand Rapids on Friday (7:35 ET) to kick off a hectic weekend that includes a trip back to Cleveland on Saturday afternoon (the Americans lost there on Wednesday) and a return home for rival Binghamton on Sunday… Since the loss of Jason Pominville and Derek Roy to NHL Buffalo, the Amerks’ top scorer has been defenseman Nathan Paetsch, whose 25 points are the most of any blueliner in the AHL… The Griffins are coming off Wendesday’s 5-0 loss to the Marlies in Toronto, their worst shutout defeat since a 6-0 setback vs. the Toronto Roadrunners on Mar. 17, 2004… Grand Rapids’ Valtteri Filppula made his NHL debut with Detroit on Thursday… The Griffins are 12-3-0-2 against the North Division this season.

Peoria can tighten the race for first in the West Division with a pair of wins at Toyota Center this weekend, where Houston is 24-4-1-3 in its last 32 regular-season games… Trent Whitfield has a point in seven straight for Peoria (5g, 6a), and Mike Glumac also has 11 points in his last seven tilts (3g, 8a)… Patrick Lalime, a 2003 NHL All-Star, is expected to make his AHL debut in net for the Rivermen this weekend… Houston’s Erik Westrum, the AHL’s scoring leader with 39 points, is riding a five-game scoring streak, his third such streak of the year… Peoria ranks third in the AHL on the power play (20.9%), but Houston has killed off 48 of its last 49 shorthanded chances at home (98.0%).

(all times Eastern)
Fri 12/16
Norfolk at Binghamton, 7:05… Toronto at Cleveland, 7:05… Hamilton at Philadelphia, 7:05… Hartford at Providence, 7:05… Syracuse at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05… Lowell at Bridgeport, 7:35… Albany at Manchester, 7:35… Grand Rapids at Rochester, 7:35… Portland at Springfield, 7:35… Omaha at Milwaukee, 8:00… Chicago at Iowa, 8:05… San Antonio at Manitoba, 8:30… Peoria at Houston, 8:35

Sat 12/17
Rochester at Cleveland, 1:05… Bridgeport at Hartford, 7:00… Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00… Grand Rapids at Toronto, 7:00… Providence at Binghamton, 7:05… Albany at Portland, 7:05… Norfolk at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05… Philadelphia at Syracuse, 7:30… Manchester at Lowell, 7:35… Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00… Iowa at Omaha, 8:00… San Antonio at Manitoba, 8:30… Peoria at Houston, 8:35

Sun 12/18
Norfolk at Bridgeport, 4:05… Hartford at Lowell, 4:05… Albany at Portland, 4:05… Wilkes-Barre at Hershey, 5:00… Cleveland at Milwaukee, 5:00… Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 5:00… Hamilton at Toronto, 5:00… Omaha at Iowa, 6:05… Binghamton at Rochester, 6:05… Chicago at Peoria, 7:00

Mon 12/19
No games scheduled

Tue 12/20
No games scheduled

ALUMNI WATCH:
On Thursday, Pekka Rinne made 35 saves in his NHL debut as Nashville defeated Chicago, 5-3… Former Hamilton Bulldogs accounted for seven of the eight goals – including Fernando Pisani with two in the third period – in Edmonton’s 5-3 win over Montreal.

BY THE NUMBERS:
25 — AHL alumni, including 17 former AHL head coaches, now serving as bench bosses in the National Hockey League with Michel Therrien’s promotion to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts of nearly every AHL game… Visit theahl.com for details.