P-BRUINS AIM TO CLOSE OUT WEEKEND WITH WIN
Providence Hosts Binghamton for Only Rhode Island Meeting of Year
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (31-32-3-1, 66 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Binghamton Senators (27-31-5-3, 62 PTS, 7th East) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' second of two regular season meetings in 2009-10. The P-Bruins won their only previous meeting with the Senators this season 6-4 on February 26 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Providence enters today's game having loss five straight games (0-4-0-1), most recently a 4-0 shutout Saturday night at the hands of the Adirondack Phantoms. Over the difficult stretch, the P-Bruins have been out-scored 19-7. Making matters worse, the teams Providence is chasing for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference continue to have success. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, currently in possession of the final postseason slot, have 73 points, seven ahead of Providence, thanks to five straight wins. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are next with 70 points, helped by a three-game point-streak (2-0-0-1), followed by the Hartford Wolf Pack at 67 points, aided by two wins in a row. Each team has between 12 and 14 games remaining in the regular season.
Binghamton is also on the outside looking in regarding a chase for the playoffs, though the Senators have fallen out of the thick of the race. Still, the Sens have played well of late at 5-1-1-0 over their last seven games to follow up a 1-7-1-2 stretch. Binghamton is led by former P-Bruins center Martin St. Pierre, who finished tied for first in points for Providence in 2008-09. This season, the four-time Canadian All-Star has 60 points, including a team-best 40 assists. Fellow Canadian All-Star Ryan Keller paces four 20-plus goal-scorers with 28. Defenseman Geoff Kinrade has a plus-25 rating. In net, Chris Holt (12-13-1, 4 SO, 3.01 GAA) and Mike Brodeur (10-10-2, 2 SO, 3.16 GAA) have virtually split time.
The P-Bruins continue to be led by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen's 22 goals and 48 points. Andy Wozniewski, also a PlanetUSA All-Star, has 30 assists to top Providence. Between the pipes, Dany Sabourin is 23-21-0 with three shutouts and a 2.68 GAA.
Head-to-head in the one-game season-series, Providence forward John Lammers has three goals while his linemate Zach Hamill has four assists and a plus-five rating. Binghamton's Josh Hennessy has one goal and two assists to St. Pierre's three helpers. Sabourin (1-0-0, 4.00 GAA) and Brodeur (0-1-0, 5.14 GAA) were the featured match-up.
On special teams, Providence sits 24th (15.5%) in the AHL on the power play and 25th (80.1%) on the penalty kill. Binghamton, meanwhile, is 13th (18.2%) with the man-advantage and ninth (83.9%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins are in action with four games next week, all on the road. Providence travels to Hartford on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tilt. The P-Bruins then face the Lowell Devils on Friday at 7 p.m., the Worcester Sharks on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and Hartford again on Sunday at 3 p.m. Providence is next home at The Dunk on Friday, March 26 against the Portland Pirates at 7:05 p.m. for Visor Night with visors free to the first 2,000 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.