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Providence Bruins Preview: Third in a Row vs Portland

The P-Bruins look to rebound from two straight losses to the Pirates, including a shootout loss on Wednesday - and they need to do it without their top four scorers.

Ben Youds has six points in the last three games and leads all P-Bruins in scoring vs Portland this year.
Ben Youds has six points in the last three games and leads all P-Bruins in scoring vs Portland this year.
Chris Rutsch / HWP

For the third time in less than a week, the Providence Bruins will play divisional opponent Portland Pirates. They will look to avoid losing for a third straight game against the Pirates as the P-Bruins cope with the loss of their top four scorers. Ryan Spooner, Nick Johnson, and Matt Fraser are obviously on recall in Boston for at least a few more weeks, and Alexander Khokhlachev has the most untimely hand injury ever, which he suffered last Sunday against Portland and is expected to miss a few weeks as well.

Tonight: P-Bruins (13-8-1-3) vs Pirates (9-9-1-3), 7:05pm EST

Last Sunday, Portland snapped the P-Bruins five game winning streak with a 4-2 loss at The Dunk in Providence. On Wednesday, the Pirates beat the P-Bruins in a shootout despite trailing the entire game, including a two goal deficit at two different points in the game. Providence received scoring from only defensemen on Wednesday in their first full game without the top four scorers.

To compensate for the forward injuries (Tyler Randell has a groin injury as well, and Anthony Camara brilliantly sustained an upper body injury in an ill-advised fight last weekend), Providence has brought up forward Andrew Cherniwchan from the South Carolina Stingrays. Per the Stringrays announcement:

Cherniwchan, 24, scored eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 17 games with the Stingrays this season including four goals and two assists in his last two contests, earning him ECHL Player of the Week honors. The Hinton, Alberta, native joined the Stingrays at the end of the 2011-12 campaign and totaled 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists) in 72 games. Prior to turning pro, Cherniwchan completed a four-year collegiate career at Northern Michigan University picking up 84 points (35 goals, 49 assists) in 146 games.

Cherniwchan was a teammate of P-Bruin Justin Florek at Northern Michigan University. He will play on the third line centered by Alexander Fallstrom along with Bobby Robins tonight (via Mark Divver).

Head to head this season, Providence is 1-1-1-1 against Portland. After beating them 5-2 in the first meeting of tghe season back on October 12, they lost in overtime on November 17th, in regulation December 8th, and in a shootout December 11th. Niklas Svedberg, who is getting the start tonight according to Mark Divver, is 1-1-0-0 against the Pirates, while Malcolm Subban is 0-0-1-1.

This will be game five out of eight between the two teams this season.

Game Notes

Portland Providence
Record 9-9-1-3 (22 pts in 22 GP) 13-8-1-3 (30 pts in 25 GP)
Division 5th in Atlantic 3rd in Atlantic
Conference 13th in Eastern 7th in Eastern
League 24th 11th
Last 10 4-4-1-1 6-3-0-1
Home/Away Away: 6-4-1-0 Home: 5-5-1-1
PIM/Game 18.3/G 17.4/G
Goal Differential -11 (58 GF, 70 GA) +6 (90 GF, 84 GA)
Leading After 1st Period 6-2-0-2 6-0-0-1
Tied After 1st Period 1-1-1-1 5-0-1-2
Losing After 1st Period 2-6-0-0 2-8-0-0
Leading After 2nd Period 4-0-1-1 9-0-1-2
Tied After 2nd Period 2-0-0-1 3-1-0-0
Losing After 2nd Period 3-9-0-1 1-7-0-1
Record in 1-Goal Games 4-2-1-3 7-2-1-3
Record in 2-Goal Games 2-2-0-0 0-1-0-0
Record in 3-Goal Games 2-3-0-0 4-4-0-0
Record in Shootouts 2-3 4-3

Special Teams

Portland Providence
Power Play 22nd, 15.1% (13-for-86) 3rd, 23.9% (22-for-92)
Home/Away PP Away: 16.7% (7-for-42) Home: 22.0% (11-for-50)
Penalty Kill 4th, 86.7% (12 GA on 90 PKs) 28th, 75.0% (21 GA on 84PKs)
Home/Away PK Away: 83.7% (7 GA on 43 PKs) Home: 76.5% (12 GA on 51 PKs)
Shorthanded Goals For 4 1
Shorthanded Goals Against 1 0

Lineup Notes

As reported by Mark Divver, here are tonight's lines for Providence:

Craig Cunningham - Carter Camper - Jared Knight

Justin Florek - Matt Lindblad - Seth Griffith

Bobby Robins - Alexander Fallstrom - Andrew Cherniwchan

Jack Downing - Scott Campbell - Rob Flick

Chris Casto will be rehabbing his injury by spending the weekend in South Carolina with the Stingrays. Tonight, the six defensemen will be Tommy Cross, Mike Moore, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky, and Ben Youds.

Leading Scorers

Providence Portland
Player Goals Assists Points Player Goals Assists Points
Carter Camper 4 13 17 Andy Miele 7 10 17
Joe Morrow 3 14 17 Chris Brown 4 9 13
Craig Cunningham 9 7 16 Tobias Rieder 9 3 12
David Warsofsky 2 13 15 Brendan Shinnimin 4 8 12

This doesn't include injured or recalled players, so as you can see, Portland should have the clear advantage (yet they don't really, because their top scorers still have fewer points than P-Bruins 4th-7th top scorers). However, this should be an opportunity for many P-Bruins forwards - especially the likes of Knight and Griffith.

Head-to-head in the previous four meetings this year, Andy Miele has six points (one goal, 5 assists) against the P-Bruins. Brandon Gormley has one goal and four assists for five points, while Tobias Rieder and Chris Brown each have three points.

For Providence, Ben Youds leads the team in points against the Pirates. He has a goal and four assists for five points in four games. Johnson and Spooner each have three points, but obviously aren't available, along with Chris Casto and Alexander Khokhlachev, who each have two points against Portland.

Craig Cunningham also has two points against Portland this year with a goal and two assists but a -2, along with two points each from Joe Morrow, Justin Florek, Matt Lindblad, Zach Trotman.

Goaltending Matchup

Svedberg will get the start tonight. Svedberg is 9-4-2 this season with a .901 save percentage and 3.12 GAA. Against the Pirates, he is 1-1-0 with a .915 save percentage and 2.51 GAA in two games played.

All three Portland goaltenders have faced Providence this season. Mark Visentin got the win on Wednesday. He is 7-8-2 with a /914 save percentage and 2.76 GAA.

Mike Lee is 0-2-1 and has a .872 save% and 3.81 GAA. Louis Domingue is 2-0-0 with a .936 save% and 2.27 GAA. Both his wins came against Providence.

Weekend Schedule

- Saturday December 14, 2013 @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 7pm EST.

Other News

The Providence Bruins announced via their facebook yesterday that they will be doing another "P-Bruins Cribs" feature. Last season, they did this episode with rommates Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight, and Torey Krug. The newest episode, which has no airdate announced as of yet, will feature roommates Malcolm Subban, Matt Lindblad, and Alexander Fallstrom.

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