The Providence Bruins defeated the Springfield Falcons 5-4 on Sunday afternoon, giving them two wins in three games on the weekend and improving their overall record to 16-10-1-5 (38 points, 6th in the East). The first game, which was played Thursday, was a 6-0 shutout of the Worcester Sharks. They played again on Saturday evening, losing 3-1 to the Adirondack Phantoms, but rebounded today against a top Eastern Conference team.
Thursday: Providence 4, Worcester 0
Niklas Svedberg made 34 saves and got his first shutout of the season, earning first star honors and a recall to Boston. There were several fights in this game, and Rob Flick was ejected for abusing an official, although he received no suspension. Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, and Seth Griffith each had two points.
1st 3:33: Camper (5) assisted by Griffith and Florek. 1-0 Providence.
1st 17:55: Campbell (1, SHG), unassisted. 2-0 Providence.
2nd 6:16: Camara (3) assisted by Cunningham. 3-0 Providence.
3rd 13:02: Griffith (7, PPG) assisted by Cunningham and Camper.
Saturday: Providene 1, Adirondack 3
I didn't actually watch this game, but from what I hear, it seems that it was a frustrating loss. They out-shot the Phantoms 39-27, but were unable to beat goaltender Carsen Chubak. In the end, they were the victims of their own terrible penalty kill, giving up three power play goals on eight penalty kills. Ben Youds was in the box for the first goal, Robins for the second, and Camara for the third. Malcolm Subban made 24 saves on 27 shots.
It's hard to fault the team for this one considering the circumstances. They only had 19 players, rather than 20, because of the recalls of David Warsofsky and Nick Johnson, and the last-minute recall of Zach Trotman left them with no options other than to only dress five defensemen. Injured players don't travel with the team, and they literally had no one left in Adirondack. Recalls from South Carolina of the ECHL weren't possible because of the last-minute Trotman recall.
1st 7:47: Cunningham (11) assisted by Camper and Cross. 1-0 Providence.
3rd 12:18: Brandon Alderson (5, PP) assisted by Alt and Flanagan. 3-1 Adirondack.
Sunday: Providence 5, Springfield 4
This was a big win by Providence over one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. It was the fifth of 10 between these two teams and Providence had won only one of those games, and lost two of them 5-2 both times. It was a pleasant surprise when Niklas Svedberg, Nick Johnson, and Zach Trotman were returned from the recall to Boston in time for the game. Svedberg didn't have a great game, but the Springfield goaltender Jeremy Smith had an awful game, making only 17 saves on 22 shots.
1st 11:10: Camper (6) assisted by Griffith and Trotman. 1-0 Providence.
2nd 0:50: Camper (7) assisted by Joe Morrow. 2-0 Providence.
2nd 8:17: Florek (8, PPG) assisted by Cunningham and Camper. 3-2 Providence.
3rd 5:37: Robins (4) assisted by Andrew Cherniwchan and Camara. 4-2 Providence.
3rd 7:48: St. Denis (8) assisted by Cody Goloubef and Boyce. 4-4.
3rd 14:37: Camara (4) assisted by Youds and Morrow. 5-4 Providence.
(All GIFs made by me.)
Providence took four of a possible six points out of this weekend, and ended it on a very high note. They have been dealing with the losses of their top scorers and defensemen to recalls frequently. It's unlikely Ryan Spooner will ever return to the AHL, and the same can now be said about Kevan Miller.
Players that have needed to step up to fill the scoring gap left by Spooner, Matt Fraser, and Johnson did so this weekend. Camper had 3 goals, 2 assisted, and 9 shots on net. Cunningham had 1 goal, 3 assists, and 8 shots. Florek had a goal and an assist and a team-high 11 total shots. Bobby Robins even pitched in with a goal.
Rookies Camara and Griffith have found their scoring touches, as Camara had 2 goals and 1 assist and Griffith had 1 goal and 2 assists.
With injuries to centers that have now made Alexander Khokhlachev and Matt Lindblad miss a substantial amount of time, Cunningham has been filling in at center and doing a good job. Today the lines were as follows:
Johnson - Camper - Griffith
Florek - Cunningham - Knight
Camara - Fallstrom - Robins
Cherniwchan - Flick - Jack Downing
Morrow - Trotman
Mike Moore - Youds
Tommy Cross - Steve Spinell
Malcolm Subban as backup
Miller was a healthy scratch because he's about to get recalled to Boston, and Warsofsky did not play either despite returning from recall with Trotman and Johnson.
Aside from the abysmal game plagued by bad penalties on Saturday, there are not too many negatives to take away from this weekend. The team blew a two-goal lead twice Sunday but were able to find a way to get the fifth and deciding goal, not allowing Springfield to get a goal with the extra skater on while pulling the goaltender.
Jared Knight continues to struggle to score. He was one of six Providence Bruins to play in all three games without recording a point (the others being Cross, Downing, Fallstrom, Flick, and Moore). He didn't see much playing time in the third period against Springfield.
On special teams, the P-Bruins were average. Aside from giving up three power play goals to Adirondack, Providence was able to kill all the penalties in their two wins. They gave up three power play goals on 17 penalty kills. On the power play, they went 2-for-12.
Next Game: Tuesday December 31 @ Manchester Monarchs, 7pm EST.
The next game is against the first place Monarchs on New Years Eve. They will look to follow up on Sunday's win as well as the first win they had against the Monarchs this season, a 7-2 victory back on December 6th.