P-BRUINS HOST FIRST OF THREE STRAIGHT AT HOME WITH TIGERS
After Rare Saturday Off, Providence Hosts Struggling Bridgeport
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (27-30-3-2, 59 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-33-3-4, 49 PTS, 7th East) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' eighth of 10 regular season meetings in 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 4-2-1-0 versus the Sound Tigers and 1-0-1-0 against the Islanders' affiliate in Rhode Island. Each of the last five games in the series has been in Connecticut.
Providence won the first game of the weekend on Friday night, notching its first victory of the year against the Charlotte Checkers in four tries. The P-Bruins were led by several of their new faces, including goalie Anton Khudobin, who made 25 saves for his first win in a Providence uniform. Another new Bruin, Stefan Chaput, scored against his former club, while alternate captain Trent Whitfield scored twice and added an assist. After a rare Saturday off, Providence enters today's game with points in five of seven for a 4-2-0-1 record.
Bridgeport has lost its last four games, with the last Sound Tigers' last win coming against the P-Bruins on Feb. 23. Their last road win was a 6-3 triumph on Jan. 22 at the DCU Center against the Worcester Sharks. Since then, Bridgeport is 0-8-0-1 away from home. Hampered by call-ups and injuries, the Sound Tigers are just 3-19-2-2 in the New Year. Most recently, Bridgeport was thumped 8-3 in Portland on Saturday, and the club has been out-scored 20-8 over its last four contests.
Jamie Arniel's 38 points are a P-Bruins team-high, while Max Sauve is first on the club with 17 goals. Bridgeport's Rhett Rahkshani leads his team in points with a 13-26-39 scoring line. Justin DiBenedetto, currently with the big club on Long Island, has the most goals of any 2010-11 Sound Tigers skater with 15.
Providence goalie Michael Hutchinson is 10-8-1 with one shutout, a 3.13 goals-against-average and a .903 save percentage, while newcomer Khudobin is 20-12-1 with a 2.56 GAA and .911 save percentage. His first 19 wins came as a member of the Houston Aeros. Bridgeport goalie Mikko Koskinen has a 7-18-1 record and a 3.80 GAA, along with a .878 save percentage. Joel Martin leads the team with a .879 save percentage and a 3.39 GAA, recording a 1-9-0 mark.
Arniel (3-2-5) and Zach Hamill (1-4-5) are tied for the Providence lead with five points apiece against Bridgeport this year, while Rob Figren (2-3-5) and Rob Hisey (2-3-5) each have five points versus the P-Bruins.
In net, only one active goalie from each team has faced today's opponent. Hutchinson is 2-0-0 against Bridgeport with a 0.98 GAA and a .964 save percentage, while Koskinen is 1-2-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .911 save percentage versus Providence.
On special teams, the P-Bruins rank 29th (12.5%) in the league on the power play and 28th (77.5%) on the penalty kill, and the Sound Tigers are seventh (20.4%) on the man advantage and 19th (81.5%) when killing penalties.
The P-Bruins will host the Sound Tigers twice more next weekend, beginning at 7:05 pm on Friday for St. Patty's Hat Night. Hats are free to the first 3,000 fans. Providence hits the road on Saturday for a contest in Manchester. On Sunday, Bridgeport will be in town again for Plush Snoopy Night, free to the first 1,000 fans. 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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