P-BRUINS AIM FOR SEVENTH STRAIGHT HOME WIN
Providence Hosts Lowell Tonight to Begin Short Two-Game Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (14-7-1-0, 29 PTS, 1st Atlantic) host the Lowell Devils (10-8-1-2, 23 PTS, 4th Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for their third of 10 match-ups during the 2008-09 season. The P-Bruins and Devils are even in the set through two games with each club winning on home-ice.
Providence enters the weekend coming off of a busy stretch of seven games in 10 days during which the club was a successful 5-2-0-0 to climb to the top of the Atlantic Division standings. The P-Bruins have won three straight games and four of their last five with the only blemish being a 3-0 loss at Lowell's Tsongas Arena on November 26. In Rhode Island, the P-Bruins have played very comfortably with a 9-2-0-0 home record, including a current six-game winning streak.
Lowell, meanwhile, has been a good road team this year at 5-3-1-1 and the club has been solid overall of late with six wins in its last seven games. The Devils were last in action on Wednesday, defeating the Springfield Falcons 6-4 as Patrick Davis posted a goal and two assists. Chad Wiseman netted a goal in the win to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games. He has 12 points (6g, 6a) in his last 10 contests with points in nine. Nicklas Bergfors has also played well with seven points (4g, 3a) over his last six games.
The P-Bruins have found themselves a part of several transactions since last weekend with the losses of defensemen Johnny Boychuk, Matt Lashoff and Derick Martin, as well as goaltender Kevin Nastiuk, and the additions of blue-liner Josh Engel and left wing Ned Lukacevic. Boychuk, who leads all AHL defensemen with 23 points, and Lashoff were both recalled to the National Hockey League on Monday, making their season debuts for the Boston Bruins in a 3-1 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. Martin and Nastiuk, meanwhile, both returned to the ECHL to the Alaska Aces and Gwinnett Gladiators, respectively. Engel is a rookie and four-year product of the University of Wisconsin Badgers. He began this year with Gwinnett, scoring nine points (2g, 7a) in 17 games. Lukacevic returns to Providence, where he played five games earlier this year, after a 13-game run with the Reading Royals.
Providence is led offensively by Martins Karsums and Martin St. Pierre, each with 23 points. Karsums paces the team with 10 goals while St. Pierre leads all active P-Bruins with 16 assists. In net, Tuukka Rask is 9-5-0 with a 2.59 goals-against-average while seeing the bulk of the playing time. Kevin Regan is 5-3-0 with a 3.22 GAA.
Lowell's lone 20-point man is Jon DiSalvitore, who has five goals and a team-high 15 assists. Alexander Vasyunov shows seven goals in only 14 games. Between the pipes, Jeff Frazee is 5-1-1 with a shutout and a 2.00 GAA while Dave Caruso is 1-5-0 and a 3.32 GAA.
On special teams, Providence ranks fourth in the AHL on the power play at 21.1% and first in the league at killing penalties at 89.2%. Lowell is 24th with the man-advantage at 14.6% and 17th on the penalty kill at 82.7%.
Providence Bruins Promotional Nights, sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and your New England Dodge Dealers, continue tonight with Winter Hat Night with hats free to the first 2,000 fans, courtesy of Hockey Dog and Southcoast Health Systems. Providence has a rare Saturday off and remains home Sunday afternoon to welcome Springfield into town at 4:05 p.m. The game marks a Matt Lashoff Poster giveaway, free to the first 1,500 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. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.