P-BRUINS TAKE ON THE LEAGUE’S ELITE
Providence Hosts AHL-Leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Tonight
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (15-18-3-1, 34 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (30-8-0-0, 60 PTS, 1st East) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' second of two regular season meetings in 2010-11.
The P-Bruins and Penguins last matched up in Pennsylvania last weekend on Jan. 8, a 2-1 overtime win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Providence received a goal from captain Jeremy Reich just 39 seconds into the game, matched nearly seven minutes later by Joe Vitale on the other side to even the game. After playing to a scoreless tie for the rest of regulation, Pens forward Dustin Jeffrey capitalized on a breakaway with 2:02 remaining in overtime to give his club the win. Despite the loss, P-Bruins goalie Nolan Schaefer was the star of the show, making 50 saves, while Brad Thiessen earned the win behind 18 stops.
Providence played the following day, a 5-3 loss to Binghamton in the team's only game since, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has yet to play again entering tonight's game. The Penguins have won five straight contests to become the league's only 30-win, 60-point team, and they enter the game with an AHL-best 13-3-0-0 road record. On the other side, Providence is 5-12-1-1 in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins are led offensively by Jamie Arniel's 14 goals and 25 points, while Zach Hamill has chipped in a team-best 21 assists to bring him just one point shy of 100 for his professional career. Hamill also enters play riding a six-game point-streak. In net, Schaefer has seen the bulk of the action, going 6-11-1 with a 3.32 goals-against-average and .894 save percentage. Providence's line-up will be a little lighter on defense tonight after rookie Matt Bartkowski's second NHL promotion in less than a week. He was recalled by Boston on an emergency basis this morning.
Meanwhile, the Penguins are paced by Jeffrey's 38 points - good for seventh in the league - and 23 assists, while Eric Tangradi shows a high of 16 goals. Thiessen has shined between the pipes with an AHL-best 17 wins and two shutouts, along with a 2.06 GAA and .921 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks tied for 29th (11.7%) in the league on the power play and 26th (78.4%) on the penalty kill, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton sits 18th (15.9%) on the man-advantage and 17th (82.1%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins are next in action on Saturday when the club travels to Connecticut for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Whale. Providence then wraps up the weekend on Sunday at The Dunk versus Worcester at 4:05 p.m. for Silly Band Night with silly band packages free to the first 1,000 kids age 12 and under. 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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