P-BRUINS FIGHT FOR PLAYOFF LIVES
Providence Hosts Connecticut in Hopes of Avoiding Elimination
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (32-34-3-3, 70 PTS, 5thAtlantic) host the Connecticut Whale (38-27-2-6, 84 PTS, 3rd Atlantic) thisafternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams’ ninth of 10 meetings thisseason. On the year, the P-Bruins are 3-4-0-1 against the Whale, but just0-3-0-0 in Rhode Island.
Providence enters play today in need of a win as any type of loss versusConnecticut would officially eliminate the club from playoff contention. TheWhale currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic and the P-Bruinstrail their division rival 14 points with just eight games to play.
Providence is coming off of a 4-1 loss against Binghamton last nightin upstate New York, as the B-Sens scored four unanswered goals after AlainGoulet opened the game’s scoring. The loss helped Binghamton further secure itshold of a playoff spot in the Atlantic as a crossover team from the EastDivision, while also unfortunately bringing Trent Whitfield’s impressive10-game point-streak to an end.
Connecticut, meanwhile, dropped a 5-1 decision at home to Bridgeporton Saturday, ending its five-game winning streak. The Whale come into today’saction as the most penalized team in the AHL and also one of the toughest roadopponents in the league with a 20-12-0-4 record.
Jamie Arniel's 20 goals and 44 points lead the P-Bruins, while ZachHamill has a team-high 32 assists. On the other side, center Kris Newbury isthe Whale’s leader in points (56) and assists (41), while Jeremy Williams haslit the lamp 29 times.
In net, P-Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin is 25-14-2 with a 2.53 GAA, .911save percentage and two shutouts this season. He’s appeared in 10 games forProvidence, going 6-2-1 with a 2.39 GAA. Backup goalie Michael Hutchinson is10-10-1 with a 3.33 GAA, .898 save percentage and one shutout. On the otherend, Connecticut goalie Dov Grumet-Morris has an 11-3-1 record with a 1.93 GAA,.926 save percentage and one shutout. Fellow Whale net-minder Cameron Talbot is11-6-2 with a 2.56 GAA, .913 save percentage and two shutouts.
Williams leads all Connecticut scorers with ten points and five goalsagainst Providence this season. Newbury’s seven assists are a season-serieshigh. Maxime Sauve is the P-Bruins’ leader with six points and five goals, whileHamill has five assists against the Whale.
Talbot has the best record (3-0-0), GAA (1.00), and save percentage (.968) ofany goalie in the season-series. Grumet-Morris has a 2-0-1 mark againstProvidence with a 2.54 GAA and .912 save percentage. On the P-Bruins’ side,Khudobin has the best stat line of anyactive Providence goaltender against the Whale, going 0-0-1 with a 2.78 GAA and.897 save percentage.
The P-Bruins rank 29th in the AHL on the power play (13.4%)and 28th on the penalty kill (78.1%). The Whale are fifth on theman-advantage (19.8%) and 11th when killing off penalties (83.5%).
The P-Bruins travel to Portland for a 7:05 puck drop on Tuesday, then host theWhale again Friday at 7:05 for Visor Night. Visors are free to the first 2,000fans. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins'ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website atprovidencebruins.com.
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