P-BRUINS AIM TO EXTEND WIN STREAK TO THREE
Streaking Clubs Providence and Springfield Match-Up Today at The Dunk
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (32-21-2-1, 67 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Springfield Falcons (18-30-7-2, 45 PTS, 7th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in the teams' eighth of 10 regular season meetings in 2008-09. The P-Bruins have dominated the series thus far, winning seven of eight meetings against the Falcons.
Providence enters today's game riding a two-game winning streak after back-to-back division victories over the Manchester Monarchs and the Worcester Sharks by a combined 9-4 margin. The P-Bruins bested the Sharks 4-2 at the DCU Center last night with help from two third-period goals and three players with multiple-point evenings. Jeremy Reich (g, a), Brad Marchand (g, a) and Mikko Lehtonen (2a) each registered two points. In net, Tuukka Rask earned his fourth and the team's fifth straight road win, putting Providence over .500 (12-11-2-1) on foreign-ice for the first time since mid-November. Locally, the P-Bruins are tied for first in the AHL with 20 home wins, matched by the Hershey Bears, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Grand Rapids Griffins.
With Martin St. Pierre and Peter Schaefer missing time of late, Providence today called up Kirk MacDonald from the ECHL's Reading Royals. MacDonald began the season in Rhode Island, going scoreless in one P-Bruins game. He has since enjoyed a six-game stint with the Iowa Chops, scoring one goal, and the third-year pro currently leads the Royals with 21 goals in 44 games. MacDonald has 39 points for Reading, ranking third on the squad. He has been hot recently, tallying points in eight straight ECHL contests from January 10 to February 15, recording nine goals and 15 points along the way.
Springfield, meanwhile, ranks last in the AHL and also has a league-worst 7-17-3-2 mark on the road. The Falcons do, however, have points in three straight games at 2-0-1-0 and they are 2-3-1-1 since naming Rob Daum their new head coach on Febuary 10, replacing Jeff Truitt. Springfield edged the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 in a 10-round shootout last night. Dany Sabourin turned away 21 shots through regulation, plus another eight of 10 in the shootout for the win.
Providence has out-scored Springfield 29-15 in the season-series. Johnny Boychuk leads all scorers with 13 points, including a series-high nine assists. Martins Karsums, currently on recall to the Boston Bruins, has six goals in the set. Rask boasts a 5-0-0 mark with a 1.00 goals-against-average and a .958 save percentage. On the other side, Ryan Potulny has eight points (3g, 5a) and Devan Dubnyk is 1-6-0 with a 3.53 GAA.
Overall, the P-Bruins are led by Boychuk's 46 points and 33 assists. Lehtonen is first with 19 goals. Between the pipes, Rask is 24-17-0 with three shutouts and a 2.52 GAA. The Falcons are paced by Ryan Stone's 38 points. His 26 helpers are tied with Rob Schremp for first. Potulny has 22 goals. Dubnyk has seen the bulk of the action in the crease, going 15-30-1 in 47 games with two blankings and a 2.93 GAA.
On special teams, Providence ranks sixth on the power play (18.7%) and 14th with the penalty kill (82.6%) while Springfield is in the bottom handful of the league in both categories - 27th with the man-advantage (14.1%) and 25th when short-handed (80.4%).
Today is an Adam McQuaid Poster giveaway as the Providence Bruins Promotional schedule continues. After today's game, Providence plays its next eight contests on the road, beginning with a trip to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Tuesday night to face Manchester at 7 p.m. The P-Bruins are next home at The Dunk on Friday, March 13 for St. Patrick's Hat Night as the club 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 www.providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.