P-BRUINS LOOK TO EXTEND WIN STREAK
Providence Hosts Houston to Close Busy Four-Game Week
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (21-14-1-1, 44 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Houston Aeros (17-14-1-6, 41 PTS, 6th West) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' final regular season match-up of the year. The P-Bruins lost 4-2 to the Aeros to begin the short season series on Halloween night at the Toyota Center.
Providence concludes its four-game week today riding a two-game winning streak after out-scoring the Hershey Bears and Springfield Falcons by a combined 12-4 margin. Five P-Bruins have points in both games, led by Martins Karsums' two goals and three assists after back-to-back multiple-point outings. The potent Providence offense has tallied goals in seven straight periods entering this afternoon's affair, including a pair of penalty shot goals, one by each Jeremy Reich (Friday) and Matt Marquardt (Saturday). The last time an AHL team scored penalty shot goals in consecutive games was February 21 and 23 of 2007 when the Binghamton Senators' Josh Hennessy and Matt Koalska turned the trick. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask and Kevin Regan are each riding successful streaks in net for the P-Bruins - Rask has won three straight home decisions while Regan is unbeaten in regulation in his last four appearances (1-0-1).
Houston has had a busy week, hosting the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday before flying from Texas to Massachusetts to take on the Worcester Sharks on Wednesday. The Aeros then traveled to New York to face Binghamton on Friday and battled the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night. A long bus ride put the Aeros in Rhode Island today riding a two-game winless skid (0-1-0-1).
The P-Bruins continue to be led offensively by Karsums' 37 points, including a team-high 15 goals. Johnny Boychuk paces active Providence players with 24 assists with Martin St. Pierre still on recall to the Boston Bruins. In net, Rask is 15-12-0 with a 2.51 goals-against-average in 27 of Providence's 37 games.
The Aeros' Corey Locke has registered a team-best 39 points and leads all active Houston players with 13 goals. Locke also paces the squad with 26 helpers. Nolan Schaefer, brother of Providence's Peter Schaefer, and Barry Brust have split time in the crease this year with Schaefer 9-10-3 (2.61 GAA) in 23 games to Brust's 8-5-3 mark (2.26 GAA) in 21 contests.
On special teams, Providence ranks in the top 10 on both the power play (6th, 19.8%) and the penalty kill (7th, 84.7%). The P-Bruins' 39 man-advantage goals, however, rank third in the AHL. Houston sits 14th in the league on the power play, converting 16.5% of the time while the Aeros are fourth on the penalty kill, successful at an 86.2% rate.
Providence is back in action Wednesday at the Manchester Monarchs, facing off at 7 p.m. The P-Bruins return home to The Dunk for a pair of games next Friday and Sunday, hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for Zach Hamill Bobblehead Night and welcoming the Lowell Devils into town at 4:05 p.m. Sunday for Vladimir Sobotka Poster Day.
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.