Providence Hosts Syracuse to Close Out Season-Series

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (25-24-3-0, 53 PTS, 5th Atlantic) host the Syracuse Crunch (22-25-3-3, 50 PTS, 6th East) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' second of two regular season meetings in 2009-10. In the only previous meeting between the clubs, the P-Bruins edged the Crunch 2-1 in a shootout at Syracuse on November 13, 2009.

Providence enters play today with wins in four straight games and six of seven overall to vault them into a potential playoff spot for the first time since December 11, 2009. The P-Bruins have risen from seventh in the Atlantic at the start of the weekend and are now in a three-way points tie with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Last night, Providence bested Springfield 3-1 on the road, pushing the club's road point-streak to five games at 4-0-1-0. Syracuse, meanwhile, fell 2-0 at the hands of the Manchester Monarchs. The Crunch have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning-streak. They currently sit eight points out of a potential playoff spot.

The P-Bruins are led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen's 44 points, including 19 goals and 25 assists. In net, Dany Sabourin is 21-17-0 with three shutouts, a 2.38 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage. On the other side, Derek MacKenzie, who recently saw his 11-game point-streak come to an end, has 34 points to pace the Crunch. Jared Aulin is first on the squad with 15 goals and Brendan Bell has tallied 25 assists. Between the pipes, Kevin Lalande is 16-13-2 with one shutout, a 2.76 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

Head-to-head, P-Bruins forward Jeff LoVecchio and Crunch forward Tom Sestito each have one goal in the series. In the crease, Sabourin is 1-0-0 with a 0.92 GAA against Syracuse while Lalande is 0-0-1 with a 0.93 GAA versus Providence.

On special teams, Providence sits 17th (17.4%) in the AHL on the power play and 18th (81.6%) on the penalty kill. Syracuse is 20th (16.8%) with the man-advantage and 14th (82.2%) when short-handed.

Providence is back in action with three games next weekend, including a pair of home tilts with the new Abbotsford Heat. The P-Bruins host the Heat on Friday at 7:05 p.m. for Winter Hat Night with hats free to the first 3,000 fans. Providence is in Manchester on Saturday for a 7 p.m. start. The P-Bruins return to The Dunk to take on the Heat at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday for Andrew Bodnarchuk Poster Night. Posters are free to the first 1,000 fans. 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.

On behalf of the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, the Providence Bruins would like to thank all you fans for your help in providing energy assistance to thousands of families this winter. Thank you and "Warm Thy Neighbor."