P-BRUINS LOOK TO CLOSE OUT 4-IN-5 WITH THIRD WIN
Providence Wraps up Season-Series at Home against Sound Tigers
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (30-31-3-2, 65 PTS, T-5th Atlantic) host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-36-3-5, 50 PTS, 7th Atlantic) today at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the clubs' final meeting of 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 6-2-1-0 versus the Sound Tigers and 3-0-1-0 against them in Rhode Island.
Providence had won four games in a row prior to last night's 5-4 loss in Portland, including two victories against Bridgeport. In yesterday's game, Colin Stuart netted the game-winner with just 1:22 remaining in regulation to send the P-Bruins home with a defeat, a crushing loss for a resilient Providence group that clawed back to tie the game on three separate occasions.
With the loss, the P-Bruins sit nine points behind third-place Connecticut for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. With a win today and a Whale loss in regulation at Worcester, Providence can climb to within seven points with 13 games to go in the regular season.
Meanwhile, after getting hammered 7-0 in Manchester last night, Bridgeport has now dropped eight games in a row, going 0-7-0-1. The Sound Tigers' lone point came in a 4-3 shootout loss at Providence on Friday. They are a dismal 3-22-2-3 since Jan. 2.
Providence's Andrew Bodnarchuk and Kirk MacDonald will return from their respective three-game suspensions today after the altercations last Sunday in a 6-0 win over the Sound Tigers. The squad also has Matt Bartkowski back, who was assigned to Rhode Island late yesterday afternoon and in time for the team's game in Portland.
Jamie Arniel's 41 points are a P-Bruins team-high, while Max Sauve is first on the team with 19 goals. Zach Hamill leads the P-Bruins in helpers with 29. Sound Tigers right winger Rhett Rakhshani leads his team with 44 points. Rakhshani is tied with current New York Islander Justin DiBenedetto for the Bridgeport lead in goals with 15. Rakhshani is also the assists leader, setting up 29 teammates' goals.
Providence goalie Anton Khudobin is 23-13-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .910 save percentage on the 2010-11 season, most of it with the Houston Aeros. Michael Hutchinson is 10-8-0 with one shutout, a 3.13 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Sound Tigers goalie Mikko Koskinen has a 7-19-1 record and a 3.79 GAA with a .882 save percentage. Joel Martin has a 1-11-0 record with a 3.98 GAA, saving 86.5% shots directed his way. Alex Petizian is a new addition to the Sound Tigers' net. He has appeared in two games for Portland this year and has an 0-1-0 record to go with his 4.88 GAA and .891 save percentage.
Hamill leads all scorers in the season-series with three goals and four assists. Arniel has the most goals against the Sound Tigers (4). For Bridgeport, Rhett Rakhshani (3-3-6), Robin Figren (2-4-6) and Mark Katic (0-6-6) are tied with six points each against Providence.
Between the pipes, Hutchinson is 2-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA and .964 save percentage against the Sound Tigers. Koskinen has a 1-2-0 mark versus Providence to go with a 2.75 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Khudobin and Martin have each played two games against today's opposing team.
On special teams, the P-Bruins rank 28th (13.4%) in the league on the power play and 28th (78.4%) when short-handed, while the Sound Tigers are seventh on the man advantage (19.5%) and 22nd on the penalty kill (81.1%).
The P-Bruins will be back at home at 7:05 pm against the Worcester Sharks on Friday for St. Patty's T-Shirt Night, free for the first 2,500 fans into The Dunk. 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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