P-BRUINS HOME FOR LAST TIME UNTIL 2009
Providence Hosts Springfield to Wrap Up 2008 Home Schedule
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (17-12-1-1, 36 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Springfield Falcons (12-13-3-1, 28 PTS, 5th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for Providence's final home game of 2008. The P-Bruins and Falcons are matching up for the sixth of 10 meetings on the year. Providence leads the set 4-1-0-0.
Providence, the top team on home-ice in the Atlantic Division with a 12-4-0-0 mark, enters today's game coming off of a 4-2 defeat in Maine to the Portland Pirates Saturday evening. Veteran Peter Schaefer continued his success on the top line with two points despite the absence of play-making center Martin St. Pierre. The pivot was recalled to the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins prior to the game, departing the club with a team-high 35 points, good for a second-place tie in the AHL. Johnny Boychuk added a goal for Providence on the power play last night but offense was hardly the story by the end of the game as the P-Bruins and Pirates combined for 96 penalty minutes, 49 assessed to Providence. Captain Jeremy Reich and Byron Bitz each earned 17 penalty minutes for second altercations midway through the third period.
Springfield, meanwhile, has dropped two straight games and has won only three of its last 13 contests. Last night's game marked a 3-1 home loss to the visiting Toronto Marlies, the squad Providence topped in a shootout Friday afternoon. Devan Dubnyk continues to be a mainstay in the Falcons' lineup, having appeared in 28 of Springfield's 29 games. He has a 12-15-1 record with one shutout and a 3.01 goals-against-average on the season. The Falcons have, however, received forwards Rob Schremp (2g, 18a) and Gilbert Brule (8g, 4a) back from the Edmonton Oilers over the last nine days, providing a boost to their offense.
Without St. Pierre, the P-Bruins' offense is led by Martins Karsums' 29 points, including a team-high 11 goals. Boychuk sits first on the team with 21 assists, ranking second among league defensemen. Between the pipes, Tuukka Rask is 12-10-0 with two shutouts and a 2.44 GAA in 22 games. He has appeared in 11 of Providence's last 12 contests.
The Falcons' offense is carried by Ryan Potulny's 25 points, helped by a club-best 15 goals. Schremp is first with 18 assists.
On special teams, Providence ranks ninth in the AHL with the man-advantage, converting 19.0% of the time to Springfield's 19th-place rating at 15.2%. With the penalty kill, the P-Bruins are fourth at an 86.8% success rate while the Falcons are last in the 29-team circuit at 79.5%.
After today, Providence is on the road for three straight game, beginning next Friday, December 26, at the Worcester Sharks. The P-Bruins face-off with the Lowell Devils on December 27 before then traveling to New Hampshire to battle the Manchester Monarchs on December 31. Providence is next home on January 2, hosting the Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m.
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.