P-BRUINS HOPE TO END WINLESS DROUGHT
Providence Hosts Connecticut to Close Out Busy Week
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (23-26-3-1, 50 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Connecticut Whale (25-22-2-5, 57 PTS, 4th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' sixth of 10 regular season meetings in 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 2-3-0-0 against the Whale, but 0-2-0-0 in Rhode Island.
Providence enters play today in dire need of a win after dropping its fifth straight game on Saturday at Springfield by an 8-2 margin. Over the winless drought, the P-Bruins have been out-scored 22-9, with four of the five games coming on the road. At home, Providence has been much better of late, having won five of its last six dating back to Jan. 16. In Saturday's defeat, there were only a couple of bright spots to reflect upon as leading-scorer Jamie Arniel ended a stretch of 21 straight games without a goal by striking for his team-best 15th marker of the season. Meanwhile, the contest also served as the 900th professional game for P-Bruins veteran and road captain Trent Whitfield, spanning a career that began in 1998.
Connecticut, on the other side, sits in the thick of the playoff race, one point back of Worcester for third-place in the Atlantic. The Whale, the league's most physical team with an average of 21.7 penalty minutes per game, are one of the better teams in the division on the road at 13-9-0-4 and in the midst of a four-game trip outside of Connecticut. They are 1-1-0-0 thus far, following Friday's 3-2 win at Hamilton. The club, now with most of its key personnel back from NHL recall to New York, has won three of its last five after dropping three straight.
The P-Bruins, as mentioned earlier, are led by Arniel's 15 goals and 32 points, while the Whale boast four players with at least that point-total. Jeremy Williams is first, showing a team-best 23 goals, while Kris Newbury has a high of 32 assists. In net, Providence's Nolan Schaefer has seen the bulk of the time, going 9-15-1 with a 3.18 goals-against-average in his 27 games. AHL rookie Matt Dalton, his counterpart, is 7-7-0 with two shutouts and a 2.75 GAA. For Connecticut, there are four goalies on the active roster. Chad Johnson has appeared in 38 games, going 15-18-3 with two blankings and 2.68 GAA.
In the season-series, Providence's Max Sauve leads all players with four goals. On the other side, Williams has seven points to pace everyone and Newbury shows six assists. Between the pipes, Dalton is 1-1-0 with a 4.00 GAA to Cameron Talbot's perfect 3-0-0 mark, 1.00 GAA and .968 save percentage.
On special teams, the P-Bruins rank 29th (11.9%) in the league on the power play and 27th (78.1%) on the penalty kill, while the Whale are fifth (21.3%) with the man-advantage and 11th (83.9%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins get back into action on Wednesday in Portland at 6:30 p.m. before returning home on Friday to host the Pirates for Reds Hat Night at 7:05 p.m. 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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