P-BRUINS TAKE AIM AT 3-0 SERIES LEAD
The Providence Bruins host the Worcester Sharks this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Finals series. The P-Bruins lead their Route 146 rivals in the best-of-seven set 2-0 after most recently taking Wednesday night's Game 2 by a 4-2 margin at the DCU Center.
Through the first two games, Providence All-Star Martin St. Pierre leads all players with four points with his two goals being matched by Worcester's Jamie McGinn for first overall. Severall players have two assists apiece to share the lead. In net, Tuukka Rask is a perfect 2-0 with a 1.90 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage while Thomas Greiss is 0-2 with a 2.86 GAA and .898 save percent. On special teams, the P-Bruins are 2-for-6 (33.3%) on the power play and 4-of-5 (80%) with the penalty kill to the Sharks' respective 1-for-5 (20%) and 4-of-6 (66.7%) totals.
With six straight wins, the P-Bruins find themselves in a position similar to that of last season when the club swept the Manchester Monarchs in the Division Semifinals and took a 2-0 lead in the Division Finals over the Portland Pirates before falling in four consecutive games, a fate the team can immediately avoid with a win tonight. The Sharks, meanwhile, can reflect back to this year's Division Semifinals when they were down 2-0 to the Hartford Wolf Pack before winning four straight to advance to the present round. No team in American Hockey League history has ever come from down 2-0 to win two series in a row.
Overall in the postseason, Providence is led by St. Pierre's nine points and six assists, while Marchand and Johnny Boychuk share the goals lead at three. Worcester is paced by Riley Armstrong's nine points and eight assists, along with Dan DaSilva's three goals. In net, Rask is 6-1 with a 1.41 GAA and .952 save percentage to Greiss's 4-4 mark, 2.14 GAA and .920 save percent. On special teams, the P-Bruins power play ranks sixth at 18.5% (5-for-27) while the Sharks are 11th at 12.2% (5-for-41). The penalty kill has Providence standing tall at 92.0% (23-of-25), second in the league, and Worcester at seventh at 83.8% (31-of-37).
The 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs continue with Game 4 of the Atlantic Division Finals Saturday night in Worcester at 7:05 p.m. Should there be a Game 5, the series will return to Rhode Island on Monday for a 7:05 p.m. start. To purchase tickets for P-Bruins playoff action or for more information, call (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.
Atlantic Division Finals Series Game by Game Notes (Providence Leads Series 2-0)
Game 1 (3-2 Providence in OT in RI): The P-Bruins extended their winning streak to five games with captain Jeremy Reich's unassisted overtime goal 6:19 into the extra session. Providence had previously scored in each of the first two periods to take a 2-0 lead on goals by Martin St. Pierre and Brad Marchand (PP). Worcester winger Jamie McGinn, assigned to the Sharks by San Jose earlier in the day, made his 2009 postseason debut and erased the Providence lead with a pair of goals, one in the second period (PP) and the other with 5:21 remaining in regulation. St. Pierre and Marchand each recorded a goal and an assist while Worcester's Jason Demers tallied a pair of helpers. In net, Tuukka Rask earned his fifth straight win with 35 saves and Thomas Greiss saw an end to his four-game win streak despite 24 blocked shots. Worcester out-shot Providence 37-27 but the P-Bruins held the edge, 6-2, in overtime. Each team scored once on the power play, Providence in three chances and Worcester in four opportunities.
Game 2 (4-2 Providence in MA): The P-Bruins took a 2-0 series lead behind goals in all three periods, including two in the final stanza. Martin St. Pierre gave Providence a 1-0 lead with just 57 seconds left in the first, providing the P-Bruins a brief lead before Worcester's Riley Armstrong netted his first goal of the postseason 3:42 into the second to tie the game. Johnny Boychuk put Providence ahead again less than four minutes later with his club on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:55. The goal was scored just 19 seconds after the two-man attack began. Kirk MacDonald extended the P-Bruins lead to 3-1 early in the third. Dan DaSilva brought the Sharks back within a goal but Wacey Rabbit iced the game with an empty-net goal with 40 seconds remaining. St. Pierre (g, a), Rabbit (g, a) and Jeremy Reich (2a) each enjoyed multiple-point games. The teams combined for 94 penalty minutes (49-45 Worcester), all but 16 occurring in the final minute of the game after Rabbit's goal.Boychuk took a game-high eight shots as Providence out-shot Worcester 33-24. The P-Bruins scored once in three man-advantage chances while holding the Sharks scoreless on their lone power play. Tuukka Rask earned the win with 22 saves and Thomas Greiss suffered the loss with 29 stops.