WHO: Connecticut Whale (28-18-5-5, second in AHL’s Northeast Division) at Portland Pirates (25-25-3-3), fifth in Atlantic Division)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Cumberland County Civic Center


WHALE NOTES: After going winless in January, Connecticut has won nine of its last 12 games to rekindle its chances of obtaining one of the eight playoff berths out of the AHL’s Eastern Conference. The Whale rank sixth among 16 teams. Right wings Andre Deveaux, who has five goals in six games, and Mats Zuccarello, who has four points in his last six games, played prominent offensive roles during the recent surge. Defenseman Wade Redden is back in the lineup after missing two months because of injury.

PIRATES NOTES: Since reeling off four consecutive wins in January, the Pirates have lost 10 of 14 games and rank 12th in the race for an Eastern Conference playoff berth, four points behind eighth-place Albany. Portland is 2-1-1 against the Whale. Both wins came during the Whale’s January swoon. Forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot has points in seven of his last nine games. Ryan Duncan, in his first AHL season, has five points in his last five games. The return of center Alexandre Bolduc and rookie defenseman David Rundblad from week-long call-ups by the NHL parent Phoenix Coyotes should provide a boost.

– Paul Betit