Providence Bruins Preview: Happy Birthday Lindblad!

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Providence Bruins host Worcester Sharks for the 10th game between the two teams this season. Providence is hanging on to the 8th place seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Providence Bruins need every point they can get. Providence has just 10 games left in the regular season. After getting shutout by the ninth-place Hershey Bears in a frustrating loss on Friday night, the P-Bruins have a chance to regain a 5-point lead as they hold down the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference this afternoon versus the Worcester Sharks. The Sharks did the Bruins a huge favor last night by defeating the Bears in regulation.

Providence has the benefit of a day off as they did not play on Saturday and the Sharks are playing their third game in three days, but the Sharks are 8-2-0-0 in their last 10.


The Eastern Conference standings as of Sunday, March 23, 2014.

Friday: Hershey 2, Providence 0

The loss on Friday night was infuriating. The Bruins outchanced the Bears for the majority of the game, but gave up a power play goal in the first and second period. The penalties were poor penalties, and the goals were poor goals. But the worst part was that the Bears just overpowered the small, young Bruins team as they pressed to score.

The Bears defensemen used their size and strength against the quick, small P-Bruins team. Although Providence got a high volume of shots on net or attempted shots on net, they rarely were able to get to the rebounds left by Hershey goaltender David Leggio. They were easily pushed off the puck in every zone and overpowered along the boards.

The only upside from Friday was that Ryan Spooner was flying and looked really good. His line was the only one that made consistent threats.

Preview: Worcester @ Providence, 3pm EST

Today is the 10th game in a 12-game season series between the P-Bruins and Sharks. Providence is 6-1-1-1 against the Sharks this season, but have lost the last two in overtime and a shootout (March 7th and 14th).

Matchup


Worcester Providence
GP 63 65
Record 31-28-2-1 33-23-2-7
Points 66 75
Divison 4th Atlantic 3rd Atlantic
Conference 10th 8th
Last 10 8-2-0-0 4-4-1-1
Home 16-13-0-1 16-11-2-3
Away 15-15-3-0 17-12-0-4
GF 162 205
GA 188 188
PP 16.7% 21.5%
PP Rank 17th 4th
PK 83.0% 79.8%
PK Rank 12th 24th
SHGF 3 5
SHGA 9 3
PIM/G 18.1 15

The Sharks are 8-2-0-0 in their last 10, and although at 66 points, they are a long-shot for the playoffs, they will certainly look to get every win possible. It will be a real challenge for Providence and they need to show they want to win and more importantly, are good enough to win.

Scoring Leaders

This season against the Sharks, Koko has 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points in 8 games. Ryan Spooner and Craig Cunningham each have 9 points - Spooner with 3 goals and 6 assists in 5 games and Cunningham with 2 goals and 7 assists in 9 games. Nick Johnson has 8 points in 6 games against the Sharks this yaer, while Seth Griffith, Justin Florek, and Ben Youds each have 7 points.

The P-Bruins leading scorers this season can be seen in the table below. Koko is third in the league in rookie scoring. Seth Griffith is tied for sixth. Koko is also in the top 20 in overall AHL leading scorers.

Freddie Hamilton and Dan SaSilva each have 6 points versus Providence this year. Hamilton has 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, while DaSilva has 1 goal and 5 assists in 8 games. Brodie Reid has 5 points in 7 games while Danii Tarasov, Dylan DeMelo, and Travis Oleksuk each have 4 points.

Hamilton leads the Sharks in scoring on the season with 37 points in 53 games (19 goals, 18 assists).


Providence Bruins Leading Scorers

GP Goals Assists Points P/M
Alexander Khokhlachev 55 19 31 50 10
Seth Griffith 58 19 24 43 -1
Craig Cunningham 65 21 19 40 -5
Nick Johnson 40 17 21 38 16
Ryan Spooner 39 8 28 36 9
Justin Florek 61 15 18 33 14
David Warsofsky 54 6 26 32 8
Joe Morrow 46 5 21 26 -5
Matt Fraser 36 17 7 24 -2
Matt Lindblad 45 8 15 23 -2
Blake Parlett 53 4 19 23 -2
Anthony Camara 57 9 13 22 2
Ben Youds 46 2 18 20 6
Mike Moore 65 7 12 19 11
Zach Trotman 43 5 13 18 10
Jared Knight 53 4 14 18 1
Bobby Robins 57 5 8 13 -2
Tyler Randell 37 4 6 10 1
Chris Casto 42 2 7 9 7
Tommy Cross 52 3 4 7 -10
Andrew Cherniwchan 24 4 2 6 1
Alexander Fallstrom 25 2 4 6 -2
Rob Flick 45 1 5 6 -5

Players in italics are injured and won't play today.

Goaltending

Malcolm Subban is 5-0-1 this season agains Worcester. He has a GAA of 2.11 and save% of 0.923.

Niklas Svedberg is 1-2-0 against the Sharks this year, with a 2.30 GAA and 0.931 save%.

This season, Svedberg is 21-15-3 with a 2.77 GAA and 0.907 save%. Subban is 12-8-4 with a 2.39 GAA and 0.916 save%.

Sharks goalie Troy Grosenick is 3-3-0 vs Providence this year with a 3.28 GAA and 0.844 save%. Harri Sateri is 0-2-1 with a 4.58 GAA and 0.851 save% against the P-Bruins this season.

Grosenick is 14-11-0 this season with a 2.73 GAA and 0.902 save%. Sateri is 17-20-1 this season with a 2.92 GAA and 0.892 save%.

Lineup Notes

Good news for the P-Bruins is that Nick Johnson is returning to the lineup today for the first time since early February, when he suffered an "upper body injury" (concussion). He lead the team in scoring at the time of his injury.

Subban is starting in net for Providence.

The game game be watched on AHL Live and begins at 3pm.

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