Providence Hosts Manchester Today in Back Half of Home-and-Home Series

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (16-9-1-1, 34 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Manchester Monarchs (11-10-0-4, 26 PTS, 6th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for their second of eight match-ups during the 2008-09 season. The Monarchs took the teams' first meeting last night, 5-4 in a shootout at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Providence fell behind early in last night's game after Wacey Rabbit was given a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct 5:06 into the opening period. Manchester responded by scoring two power play goals in a 31 second window, the first by Viatcheslav Voynov at the 6:04 mark and the second by Brian Boyle. The P-Bruins rebounded from the three-goal deficit with two goals in each of the second and third periods while out-shooting the Monarchs 32-14 over that span and 43-33 for the game. The game was decided in the shootout by Vladimir Dravecky's strike for Manchester. Providence received eight points from the line of Martin St. Pierre (g, 2a), Peter Schaefer (g, 2a) and Mikko Lehtonen (g, a), all at even-strength. Lehtonen was promoted to the top line in the absence of Martins Karsums, called up to the Boston Bruins earlier in the day.

Karsums made his National Hockey League debut last night against the Atlanta Thrashers at the TD Banknorth Garden, skating ten shifts for 8:52 minutes of ice-time, much of the time with former Providence linemate Vladimir Sobotka. Karsums finished with a minus-one rating and was assigned to Providence following the game.

The P-Bruins continue to be led offensively by St. Pierre, who has 31 points and a team-high 22 assists. St. Pierre's point total ranks fifth in the AHL. Karsums is second on the club with 27 points and first with 11 goals. Between the pipes, Tuukka Rask is 11-7-0 with a 2.29 goals-against-average. He received a night off last night in favor of Kevin Regan. Rask has allowed just two goals over his last three games.

Manchester's Gabe Gauthier is first on his team with 19 points, including a club-best 16 helpers. Trevor Lewis has seven goals to lead all active Monarchs with Teddy Purcell currently with the Los Angeles Kings. In net, Jonathan Bernier (6-5-2, 2.89 GAA) and Jonathan Quick (5-5-2, 2.81 GAA) have each appeared in 13 games this season.

On special teams, Providence has dropped to fifth in the league on the power play at 20.1% thanks to a recent 1-for-20 slide. Manchester sits 20th in the AHL at 15.2%. The P-Bruins, meanwhile, are second on the penalty kill at 87.6%, five spots ahead of the Monarchs, who have killed 85.0% of their penalties.

Providence Bruins Promotional Nights, sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and your New England Dodge Dealers, continue today with Zach Hamill Poster Night. The P-Bruins return to action with four games next week, beginning Wednesday at the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7 p.m. Providence is home Friday hosting the Toronto Marlies at 7:05 p.m. before traveling to face the Portland Pirates Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The P-Bruins close the weekend next Sunday afternoon by welcoming the Springfield Falcons into town at 4:05 p.m. Friday and Sunday are both Family Games where fans can purchase one ticket, one hot dog and one soda for one low price.

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 www.providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.