- P-BRUINS WEEK IN REVIEW: 11/14/18 – 11/20/18
- Nov 20, 2018
P-BRUINS WEEK IN REVIEW: 11/14/18 – 11/20/18
Nov 20, 2018
P-BRUINS WEEK IN REVIEW: 11/14/18 – 11/20/18
Despite dealing with injuries and NHL call-ups, the Providence Bruins split their pair of weekend games against two of the top teams in the AHL. Overall, the P-Bruins are 3-1-1 in their last five games and have seemingly got out of an early season slump. While they are still at the bottom of the standings, three games against division opponents in the coming week could help them raise their point total up from 14.
The P-Bruins had a pair of home games this weekend, starting with a matchup against the high-scoring Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night. Depleted defensively against the top goal-scoring team in the league, Providence came roaring out of the gates with four first period goals to take a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes. The Phantoms offense continued to chip away as the game went on and, despite holding their own for most of the game, eventually got to the young Bruins defense. A pair of goals in both the second and third period helped Lehigh Valley come all the way back and take a 5-4 regulation win.
Saturday’s game did not get easier as Providence welcomed the Rochester Americans to town for their only meeting of the season at the Dunk. The Amerks were another team on fire entering play and they got off to a 2-0 start in the second period. The P-Bruins did not quit, answering Rochester’s second goal minutes later with a power play goal from Jordan Szwarz. Cameron Hughes evened the score early in the third to send the game to overtime, and Ryan Donato needed only 69 seconds in the extra frame to light the lamp for a 3-2 Providence win.
Injuries shake up roster
Injuries at both the NHL and AHL level shook up the P-Bruins lineup and forced Providence to acquire new talent. Boston’s blue line continues to be plagued by injury, so in addition to Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril the team also promoted Connor Clifton to the NHL. Clifton made his NHL debut and played in a pair of games for Boston, but Chris Breen out for Providence the team needed more defensemen for the weekend. Desmond Bergin and Chris Carlisle each signed PTOs and played over the weekend after spending most of the season in the ECHL. While neither player cracked the scoresheet, Bergin was a plus-one and on the ice for two of Providence’s goals while Carlisle was not on the ice for any of the Amerks’ tallies.
After Boston announced that Patrice Bergeron would miss at least four weeks with an injury, the organization recalled Colby Cave for the second time this season. If he plays for Boston, he would become the seventh player to skate with Providence and Boston this year as he did not appear in a game during his first NHL stint of the season. Cave has easily been Providence’s best player all year, leading the club with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points and a plus-nine rating. He scored in each of the team’s games this weekend and is averaging over a point per game. Cave is a huge loss for Providence as he not only leads in scoring but is relied on defensively as one of their top penalty killers. Thanks in part to his efforts, the P-Bruins lead the AHL in penalty kill percentage as they have stopped 89.2% of opponent’s power plays.
In addition to Cave, Hughes and Peter Cehlarik were the only other Bruins to post points in each of the team’s pair of games. Hughes netted goals Friday and Saturday to tie Cave for team lead with six on the season and has been a nice source of production as a rookie. He is second on the team overall in scoring despite not seeing a ton of time on the power play, as all but one of his 11 points have come at even strength. Cehlarik earned a pair of assists over the weekend, and although he hasn’t found the back of the net as much as he’d like is still producing for his teammates. He has eight assists and nine points in 13 games, a pace that would shatter his career-best total in helpers.
Donato posted a multi-point game Saturday, setting up the team’s first goal with a perfect pass on the power play and ending the game with a 3-on-3 overtime goal. After not lighting the lamp in his first three AHL games, Donato now has four goals in four games and continues to be a force on the power play. Of his six points on the season, two have come via power play goals and one has come via a helper on the man-advantage. Saturday was also a good day for Zane McIntyre who had his best game of the young season. He stopped 27 of 29 shots, both season highs, and has won each of his last two decisions. He is now two wins from tying John Grahame’s franchise record of 67 victories in net.
Providence has a trio of road games this week and will need to improve their play away from the Dunkin Donuts Center as they are just 1-5-2 as the visitor this year. That lone road win came in Hartford where the P-Bruins will travel to Wednesday at 7pm for the third time this season to take on the Wolf Pack. They then kick-off their post-Thanksgiving schedule in Pennsylvania, taking on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday at 7:05pm and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Sunday afternoon at 3:05pm.
- - - - -
The Providence Bruins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, playing their home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Spanning more than 25 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.
For all the latest Providence Bruins news and updates visit ProvidenceBruins.com or follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/providencebruins or Twitter at twitter.com/AHLBruins.
- - - - -