Providence Hosts Hartford to Close 7 Games in 10 Days Stretch

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (13-7-1-0, 27 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Hartford Wolf Pack (9-9-0-2, 20 PTS, 7th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for their second of eight match-ups during the 2008-09 season. The P-Bruins lead the set after a 6-3 win over the Wolf Pack last Sunday in Rhode Island.

Providence snapped a three-game losing skid on the road and extended its overall winning streak to two games with its first shutout of the season last night, 2-0 at the Springfield Falcons. The P-Bruins jumped out to an early lead with both goals in the opening period and both scores generated by the club's top line of Martin St. Pierre, Vladimir Sobotka and Martins Karsums. Sobotka registered a goal and an assist in the game for his third multiple-point outing in his last four contests. Goalie Tuukka Rask earned the shutout with 27 saves, his fourth career shutout and his second during the regular season.

Hartford hosted the Manchester Monarchs last night and won 2-1 behind a two-goal third period and 26 saves from netminder Matt Zaba. With the win, the Wolf Pack ran their home record to 7-4-0-1 but they have struggled away from the XL Center at 2-5-0-1.

Three P-Bruins are tied for the team-lead in points at 22, including Karsums (9g, 13a), St. Pierre (6g, 16a) and defenseman Johnny Boychuk (4g, 18a). Karsums and Sobotka are tied for first on the club with nine goals while Boychuk's assist total paces his teammates and all American Hockey League defensemen. In net, Rak is 8-5-0 through 13 starts, showing a 2.57 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage.

The Wolf Pack are led by P.A. Parenteau's 21 points, including a team-high 10 goals. Artem Anisimov is second with 18 points, ranking first on the team with 12 helpers. Between the pipes, Miika Wiikman is 6-7-2 with a 2.75 GAA through 15 games, though Zaba (3-2-0, 2.61 GAA) has earned the start in three of Hartford's last four games.

On special teams, the P-Bruins rank fifth in the AHL on the power play, converting 20.4% of the time. The Wolf Pack are 22nd with a 14.7% success rate. Providence has excelled at killing penalties, sitting atop the AHL on the penalty kill at 89.1% while Hartford is in 24th place at 79.8%.

Today's contest is a Family Game where fans can purchase one ticket, one hot dog and one soda for one low price. Providence Bruins Promotional Nights, sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and your New England Dodge Dealers, continue Friday with Winter Hat Night as Providence hosts the Lowell Devils at 7:05 p.m. The P-Bruins have a rare Saturday off and remain home Sunday afternoon to welcome Springfield into town at 4:05 p.m. The game marks a Zach Hamill Poster Giveaway.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.