P-BRUINS WRAP UP SEASON-SERIES WITH PLAYOFF-BOUND PIRATES
After Portland Eliminated Providence from the Playoffs in the Last Match-up, the P-Bruins Seek Revenge
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (35-36-3-3, 76 PTS, 5th Atlantic) play the Portland Pirates (46-23-6-2, 100 PTS, 1st Atlantic) tonight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the final time this season. In 2010-11, the P-Bruins are 3-8-0-0 against the Pirates, with two of their wins - and a 2-3-0-0 overall mark - in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins beat the Connecticut Whale 3-2 last Friday night before splitting a home-and-home series with the Worcester Sharks to close out the weekend. In the final match-up against the Sharks, Maxime Sauve netted the lone P-Bruins goal, Alain Goulet notched an assist and Anton Khudobin made 40 saves.
The first-place Pirates, who are also second overall in the AHL to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, have won their last two games, most recently beating the second-place Manchester Monarchs 6-5 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Wednesday. For the third year in a row, a Pirate won the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial (Rookie of the Year) Award as Luke Adam grabbed the honors on Thursday. Adam leads all AHL rookies with 32 goals and he has also spent considerable time in Buffalo. Current Buffalo Sabres blue-liner Marc-Andre Gragnani received the Eddie Shore Award for the AHL's most outstanding defenseman.
Since the last P-Bruins game, Providence has added four players and lost two. Steve Kampfer was assigned to Providence by the Boston Bruins for the AHL season's final weekend, while forwards Carter Camper, Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner have all signed amateur tryout agreements with the Baby B's. This will be the first taste of pro hockey for all three youngsters. Meanwhile, defensemen Ryan Donald and Alain Goulet were assigned to the ECHL's Reading Royals for the playoffs.
Jamie Arniel's 49 points and 23 goals both lead the P-Bruins, while Zach Hamill is the team's assist leader with 32. Portland's leading goal and point producer (Mark Mancari, 32-32-64) and its team-leader in assists (Gragnani, 12-48-60) are both currently with the parent club, the Sabres. Among active players, Adam tops the goals and points categories with a 28-32-60 scoring line. Mark Parrish paves the way in helpers (16-33-49).
Providence's Khudobin is 26-16-2 with a 2.50 GAA, .913 save percentage and a pair of shutouts this season. He has a 7-4-1 record with one shutout, a 2.30 GAA and .920 save percentage with the Baby B's. Back-up goalie Michael Hutchinson is 12-10-1 with a 3.18 GAA, a .902 save percentage and one shutout.
David Leggio is the Pirates' team-leader in wins (22, with a 22-10-0 record), shutouts (3), GAA (2.76) and save percentage (.913). Back-up net-minder Jeff Jakaitis has a 5-3-0 record, has allowed an average of 3.33 goals per game and saved 90% of opposing players' shots, splitting time between Portland and Worcester. Three of his five professional wins have come against the P-Bruins.
Trent Whitfield and three other skaters - Arniel, Paul Byron and Jacob Lagace - are tied with the most goals in the season-series, each lighting the lamp four times. T.J. Brennan leads the two teams head-to-head with eight assists, and also leads in points with 11. Jordan Caron leads all P-Bruins with six assists against the Pirates, while he and Whitfield are tied with eight points apiece versus Portland.
In net, Khudobin is 0-2-0 this season against the Maine skaters, and has a 3.50 GAA to go along with an .867 save percentage. Hutchinson has the only victory against Portland among active P-Bruins goaltenders and owns a 1-3-0 mark overall. Hutchinson has a 4.13 GAA and has blocked 88.4% of the shots from the Pirates in 2010-11. Leggio is 2-1-0 versus Providence and has recorded a 1.68 GAA thus far, with a series-leading .939 save percentage. Jakaitis is unbeaten when facing the P-Bruins this year, picking up a win with the Sharks and two with the Pirates. In those three contests, he has a 3.24 GAA and a .910 save percentage.
The P-Bruins rank 29th in the AHL on the power play, converting 13.3% of the time in man-up situations. They currently stand in 27th league-wide on the penalty kill (78.7%). The Pirates are 13th on the man advantage (18.8%) and 16th killing off penalties, leaving opponents empty-handed 82.4% of the time with an extra man.
The P-Bruins hit the road for the last time this season on Saturday. It will be a 7 p.m. contest against the Springfield Falcons. Providence will be home for the final game of the season on Sunday, hosting the Manchester Monarchs with a 4:05 p.m. puck drop. It's Stress Ball Night, with fans receiving the special giveaway item as the leave the arena. 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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