P-BRUINS BEGIN SEASON'S SECOND HALF TODAY
Providence Hosts Hartford for Sixth of 10 Meetings
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (19-20-1-0, 39 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Hartford Wolf Pack (20-15-1-4, 45 PTS, 4th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' sixth of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, the P-Bruins are 2-3-0-0 against the Wolf Pack, including a 1-2-0-0 mark in Rhode Island.
Today's game marks the beginning of the season's second half for Providence as the club currently sits only six points out of a potential playoff spot. The Atlantic Division continues to be full of parody with spots two through seven separated by only 10 points from the Lowell Devils to Providence. The P-Bruins closed out the first half of the campaign with a 4-3 loss at the DCU Center last night as the Worcester Sharks rallied from down 3-1 for the victory, including two goals in the final 2:41 of regulation. The Wolf Pack, meanwhile, also start their second half and presently sit in the center of the division. Much of Hartford's first half can be summarized by great play on home-ice and a difficulty to succeed away from the XL Center. At home, the Wolf Pack are 13-3-1-2, among the best in the league, but just 7-12-0-2 on foreign ice. They lost last night in New York, 3-1 to the Albany River Rats.
Providence continues to be led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen and his 30 points, along with a team-high 11 goals. Fellow PlanetUSA All-Star Andy Wozniewski ranks first on the club with 20 assists. In net, Dany Sabourin, who made 51 saves in last night's loss, is 16-13-0 with one shutout and a 2.52 goals-against-average. On the other side, Hartford shows a balanced offensive attack with six players at 22 points or better. Leading the way is Canadian AHL All-Star Corey Locke with a league-best 47 points, including 17 goals and 30 assists. Between the pipes, rookie Chad Johnson is 12-7-2 with three shutouts, a 2.07 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
Head-to-head, Locke leads all scorers in the series with eight points through five games, including three goals and five assists. Dale Weise is second with seven points (4g, 3a) for Hartford. Providence is led by Lehtonen and his series-high five goals, along with an assist. Wozniewski has five helpers to his credit. In the crease, Sabourin is 1-1-0 with a 3.50 GAA while Johnson is 3-2 with a 2.54 GAA.
On special teams, Providence ranks 17th (16.%) in the league on the power play and 24th (80.9%) on the penalty kill. Hartford sits sixth on the man-advantage at 18.6% but just 27th (80.4%) in the AHL when short-handed.
Providence returns to action next weekend with three games, the first two on the road at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m. and then on Saturday at Hartford at 7 p.m. The P-Bruins are home on Sunday hosting Albany at 4:05 p.m. for Thundersticks Night, free to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under. To purchase 2009-10 season tickets, Flex Tix or individual game tickets, please call the Providence Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at www.providencebruins.com.