P-BRUINS AIM TO EVEN SET WITH DEVILS
Providence Hosts Lowell Tonight to Continue Busy Stretch
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (15-9-1-0, 31 PTS, 2nd Atlantic) host the Lowell Devils (11-9-1-3, 26 PTS, 4th Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for their fourth of 10 match-ups during the 2008-09 season. The Devils have taken two of the first three meetings, including the last two games by a combined 6-1 advantage.
Providence has dropped two of its last three games overall after winning three straight. Most recently, the P-Bruins began a busy stretch of eight games in just 12 days with a 2-0 loss at the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday. Tuukka Rask was strong in net with 31 saves while allowing just one goal for Providence but Hartford goalie Miika Wiikman was a tad sharper, earning a 15-save shutout. The loss was the first in three games against the Wolf Pack this season. The defeat also snapped five-game point-streaks for both Martins Karsums and Martin St. Pierre.
The P-Bruins lead the Atlantic and sit second in the AHL with 10 wins on home-ice but the Devils enter the contest confident on the road at 6-3-1-1. Moreover, Lowell has been hot of late at 7-2-0-2 in its last 11 games, despite a recent two-game winless slide (0-1-0-1). Rookie netminder Jeff Frazee has yet to lose any of his nine starts in regulation this season and is 6-1-2 overall, along with a 1.98 goals-against-average and .940 save percentage. The latter totals lead all active AHL goalies. He recently won six consecutive games, a club record, from November 21 to December 5, including two wins over the P-Bruins.
Lowell will have some changes to its line-up tonight since the teams' last meeting one week ago with the additions of forwards Barry Tallackson and Pierre-Luc Leblond from the New Jersey Devils. Tallackson scored 22 goals for Lowell a year ago. Out tonight for the Devils are both Rod Pelley and Anssi Salmela due to suspension.
Providence is led offensively by St. Pierre's 27 points, including a team-high 20 assists. Karsums ranks first with 11 goals, tied with Vladimir Sobotka who is currently on recall to the Boston Bruins. Between the pipes, Rask is 10-7-0 with one shutout and a 2.43 GAA to his credit, along with a .920 save percentage. Lowell is paced by Jon DiSalvatore's 21 points, also leading his club in helpers with 16. Alexander Vasyunov has scored eight goals to top the Devils.
On special teams, the P-Bruins sit second in the AHL on the power play, converting 21.6% of the time, while the Devils are in 24th place at 14.4%. Providence is first on the penalty kill at 89.0%, well ahead of Lowell's 79.8% success, also ranked 24th in the league.
Providence Bruins Promotional Nights, sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and your New England Dodge Dealers, continue tonight with Vladimir Sobotka Bobblehead Night, courtesy of 2nd Time Around Sports, NBC 10 and WEEI. The P-Bruins are away again Saturday, traveling to New Hampshire to face off with the Manchester Monarchs at 7 p.m. Providence wraps up the weekend Sunday, completing a home-and-home set with Manchester at 4:05 p.m. for Zach Hamill Poster Night.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.