NEW-LOOK P-BRUINS HOST RIVAL PIRATES
Providence Welcomes in Portland with New Faces in Line-Up
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (10-10-2-1, 23 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Portland Pirates (14-8-1-1, 30 PTS, 3rd Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' third of 12 regular season meetings in 2010-11. The P-Bruins are 1-1-0-0 against the Pirates this season, most recently falling 5-1 at The Dunk on Nov. 28.
Providence enters play tonight with a few new faces in the locker room and a few familiar ones continuing their careers elsewhere. The week was full of transactions for the P-Bruins, beginning with Boston's assignment of rookie Jordan Caron to Rhode Island on Monday. The right wing and former first round pick had appeared in 20 games for the parent Bruins to begin the year, chipping in three goals and four assists, but became a victim of a numbers game with veteran Marc Savard returning from injury. Meanwhile, the Bruins giveth and taketh away as Providence's top defenseman Steve Kampfer earned his first career promotion to the NHL on Wednesday after Mark Stuart was injured on Tuesday. Kampfer had suited up for 20 P-Bruins contests, ranking second on the team in scoring with 16 points, including three goals and 13 assists.
The week got a little crazier for Providence on Thursday, however, as Boston announced it had traded long-time P-Bruins forwards Jordan Knackstedt, Jeff LoVecchio and Levi Nelson in a pair of separate deals. Knackstedt, who had seven goals and 12 points in 22 games this year, was dealt with LoVecchio to Florida's organization for defenseman Sean Zimmerman and a conditional seventh round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Zimmerman joins Providence from Rochester, where he was scoreless in seven games this year. He had a career-year in 2009-10 with San Antonio, totaling nine points and 105 penalty minutes. Nelson, meanwhile, was sent to the Tampa Bay system in exchange for left wing Juraj Simek, who notched 21 goals and 36 points for the Admirals a season ago. The fourth-year pro had three goals and nine points in 21 contests for Norfolk this season.
The P-Bruins are led offensively by Jamie Arniel's 10 goals and 17 points, while Zach Hamill leads all active players with 11 assists. In the crease, Michael Hutchinson is 7-4-0 with a 2.73 goals-against-average and .909 save percentage, seeing the bulk of the action.
Portland, meanwhile, comes into play this evening riding a three-game losing streak, going 0-2-0-1 since its win at Providence. The Pirates are without their top two scorers as both Mark Mancari (12g, 14a), who had a hat trick against Providence earlier this year, and rookie phenom Luke Adam (11g, 8a) are up in Buffalo. Portland most recently played on Tuesday, falling 4-2 to Worcester. The club has been out-scored 14-9 over its skid, with Jhonas Enroth occupying the net for all three games.
The Pirates are paced by Matt Ellis' 18 points, including 14 assists, while Paul Byron and Derek Whitmore each have seven goals to lead the active team. Between the pipes, Enroth is 6-6-1 with a 3.16 GAA and .901 save percentage, while David Leggio is 8-2-0 with a 3.08 GAA and .907 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks 26th in the league on both the power play (13.3%) and the penalty kill (79.4%). Portland, meanwhile, is 22nd (15.8%) on the man-advantage and tied for 17th (82.1%) when short-handed.
Providence travels to Springfield for a 7:30 p.m. tilt on Saturday to kick off a home-and-home series. The club returns home to The Dunk on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. versus the Falcons for Lip Balm Night. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins' ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.
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