P-BRUINS HOST MONARCHS HUNGRY FOR POINTS
Providence Takes on Manchester to Wrap Up Two-Game Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (33-35-4-1, 71 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Manchester Monarchs (38-26-3-6, 85 PTS, 3rd Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' ninth of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, the P-Bruins are 1-7-0-0 against the Monarchs, including 1-3-0-0 in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins enter today's game still mathematically in the playoff hunt with seven games left in the regular season. Providence trails the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by nine points, with a game in-hand, and the Norfolk Admirals by seven points, also with a game in-hand. The Sound Tigers have lost two straight games this weekend, while the Admirals have dropped three in a row, but the P-Bruins have been unable to pick up ground with a three-game skid of their own, going 0-2-1-0. Providence last played on Friday night, a 2-0 shutout to the Portland Pirates, allowing both goals in the final 6:50 of regulation. P-Bruins goalie Dany Sabourin was among the stars of the game with 40 saves, but Providence was out-shot 42-17 and forced to kill eight penalties, limiting its offensive chances.
The Monarchs, meanwhile, have won three games in a row and four of five to move within seven points of second-place Portland in the Atlantic. Manchester also has a three-point cushion on the Lowell Devils in fourth after last night's 4-3 edging of the Adirondack Phantoms in New Hampshire.
Providence continues to be led by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen's 23 goals and 49 points, while fellow All-Star Andy Wozniewski has tallied 32 assists. In net, Sabourin is 25-24-0 with three shutouts, a 2.66 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. On the other side, Manchester is paced by Bud Holloway's 44 points and 26 assists. Rookie Corey Elkins leads the way with 19 goals. Between the pipes, Canadian All-Star Jonathan Bernier is 28-20-6 with eight shutouts, a 2.05 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Bernier's shutout total and save percentage lead the AHL, while his GAA ranks second.
Head-to-head, Holloway leads all players in the series with five points. His three goals are matched by Elkins and former Providence defenseman David Kolomatis has four assists for the Monarchs. In the crease, Sabourin is 1-3-0 with a 2.29 GAA to Bernier's 5-1-0 mark, three shutouts, 1.17 GAA and .967 save percentage.
On special teams this season, Providence sits 25th (15.0%) in the league on the power play and 22nd (80.4%) on the penalty kill. Manchester is seventh (19.3%) with the man-advantage and sixth (84.9%) when short-handed.
Providence gets back into action with three games next weekend, beginning Friday at The Dunk against the Worcester Sharks at 7:05 p.m. for Keychain Night. Keychains are free to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. On Saturday, the P-Bruins travel to Manchester for a 7 p.m. tilt, and then take on Portland on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Maine. 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.