P-BRUINS HOME FOR LAST TIME BEFORE BREAK
Providence Hosts Rochester in First of Two Regular Season Meetings
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (24-17-2-1, 51 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Rochester Americans (14-24-0-3, 31 PTS, 7th North) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in the teams' first of two regular season meetings in 2008-09. The P-Bruins lead the all-time series 14-11-1, including an 8-4-1 record in Rhode Island.
Providence snapped a three-game losing skid with a dominating 5-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center last night. The P-Bruins finished with a plus-19 rating as a team, led by Wacey Rabbit's plus-three mark. Rabbit had two assists in the win while Jeremy Reich scored two goals, matching his career-high of 14. The captain last had that many markers in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons for the Syracuse Crunch. Tuukka Rask was also stellar, earning top star honors with 39 saves. The P-Bruins return home today, where they continue to rank atop the league with 16 home victories.
Rochester, in its 53rd season in the AHL, has yet to find its way out of last place in the North Division all year. The Americans sit last in the entire AHL with their 14 wins and 31 points but they have been playing better of late with a 6-2-0-1 record in their last nine games. Rochester has struggled on the road at 5-13-0-2 but won in its last contest, 5-3 on Friday night at the Manchester Monarchs. Of the Amerks' 14 wins, 11 have come from Canadian All-Star Mike Brodeur, who is 11-4-1 with two shutouts. His 2.01 goals-against-average ranks third in the AHL and his .934 save percentage is good for second.
The P-Bruins are led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Martins Karsums' 17 goals and 40 points while Canadian All-Star starter Johnny Boychuk is first among active P-Bruins with 26 assists. Fellow Canadian All-Star Martin St. Pierre, who has 28 helpers at the AHL level, is currently playing for the Boston Bruins. In net, Rask is 18-15-0 with three blankings and a 2.51 GAA.
The Americans are paced by Janis Sprukts' 24 points. He is tied with Stefan Meyer for the club-high in goals with 11 and Jason Garrison is first with 19 assists. Chris Beckford-Tseu has seen the bulk of the action in the crease, appearing in 20 games with a record of 3-12-1, along with a 3.78 GAA.
On special teams, Providence continues to rank in the top 10 in the league on both the power play (8th, 19.5%) and the penalty kill (10th, 84.3%) while Rochester is 28th in the AHL in both categories at 11.8% and 79.6%, respectively.
Today is Lukoil Thunderstick Night. Thundersticks are free to the first 1,500 fans. Providence has only one more game before the All-Star break, traveling north to face the Springfield Falcons next Saturday at 7 p.m. The P-Bruins are next home on Friday, January 30 for Rhode Island Lottery Hat Night as Providence hosts the Portland Pirates 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 providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.