P-BRUINS REMAIN IN HUNT FOR PLAYOFFS
Providence Hosts Portland in Final Rhode Island Meeting of the Year
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (33-34-4-1, 71 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Portland Pirates (39-22-6-4, 88 PTS, 2nd Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' seventh of eight regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, the P-Bruins are 3-3-0-0 against the Pirates, including 1-2-0-0 in Rhode Island.
Providence remains in the hunt for the playoffs with eight games remaining in the regular season, though their road is a daunting one. The P-Bruins sit nine points behind the Atlantic's fifth-place team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and seven points back of the East Division's Norfolk Admirals, who rank fourth. The Sound Tigers have done little to help the P-Bruins of late, going 8-1-1-0 in their last 10 games, while the surging Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have overtaken the Admirals for third in the East thanks to a 6-2-1-1 run. In Providence's last 10, the club is 2-6-1-1, though it has collected points in three of its last four contests at 2-1-1-0.
The P-Bruins continue to be hampered by injuries with Jamie Arniel, Drew Fata, Drew Larman, Lane MacDermid and Adam McQuaid all missing considerable time since mid-February. Call-ups have also hindered Providence's progression in the standings with high-scoring forwards Brad Marchand and Trent Whitfield both on recall to the Boston Bruins. The P-Bruins have welcomed in two new forwards this week to help the depleted line-up, Olivier Labelle from the ECHL's Reading Royals and Devin Timberlake from the Brown University Bears. Among the active bodies, Providence is led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen's 23 goals and 49 points. Fellow All-Star Andy Wozniewski is first with 32 assists. In net, Dany Sabourin is 25-23-0 with three shutouts, a 2.67 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage.
Portland, with points in five straight games at 3-0-1-1, sits five points behind the Worcester Sharks for first in the Atlantic and seven points ahead of the third-place Manchester Monarchs. The Pirates are paced by Mark Mancari's 67 points, including 25 goals. His 42 assists are tied for first with rookie All-Star Tyler Ennis. Ennis leads all AHL rookies with 65 points. Between the pipes, Jhonas Enroth is 28-18-1 with five shutouts, a 2.37 GAA and .919 save percentage.
In the season-series, Wozniewski leads Providence with seven points, including five assists, while Mancari paces all players with nine points, totaling seven helpers. Several players have three goals apiece. In the crease, Sabourin is 2-2-0 with a 3.01 GAA to Enroth's 3-1-0 mark, 1.91 GAA and .947 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks 24th in the AHL on both the power play (15.3%) and the penalty kill (80.2%). Portland, meanwhile, is second in the league with the man-advantage at 21.0% and 13th (82.4%) when short-handed.
After a rare Saturday off, Providence welcomes Manchester into The Dunk on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. for a Family Game. Fans can buy one ticket, hot dog and soda for one low price. To purchase 2009-10 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.