Providence Bruins (16-10-1-5) @ Manchester Monarchs (22-7-1-4), 7pm EST
The last time these two teams met was December 7th, when Providence finally got their first win of the season against Manchester in a 7-2 victory. Prior to that, the Monarchs had won all five games including two wins in a shootout. Providence will be shorthanded tonight with only 17 skaters plus two goalies available to play, but it's okay because I once saw the Monarchs win a game with only 16 skaters.
Both teams are looking to make it two wins in a row. Providence last played on Sunday in a 5-4 win over the Springfield Falcons. Anthony Camara had the game winning goal and Niklas Svedberg got the win.
|Record||16-10-1-5 (38 points) in 34 GP||22-7-1-4 (49 points) in 32 GP|
|Division Rank||2nd in Atlantic||1st in Atlantic|
|Conference Rank||6th in Eastern||1st in Eastern|
|Home/Away||Away: 10-5-0-3||Home: 11-3-1-1|
|Leading After 1||8-1-0-2||10-1-0-1|
|Trailing After 1||3-9-0-0||4-3-0-0|
|Tied After 1||5-0-1-3||8-3-1-3|
|Leading After 2||11-0-1-3||17-0-0-3|
|Trailing After 2||1-9-0-1||3-4-0-0|
|Tied After 2||4-1-0-1||2-3-1-1|
Nick Johnson was recalled on an emergency basis to the Boston Bruins today, leaving Providence with only 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Mark Divver just reported that another forward, Alexander Fallstrom, will also be out tonight. That means they will only be able to dress 10 forwards and 19 players total.
I am unsure of the lines, but the healthy forwards are: Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, Rob Flick, Seth Griffith, Jared Knight, Anthony Camara, Bobby Robins, Scott Campbell, and Jack Downing.
Without Kevan Miller, the Providence Bruins defensive corps comes down to David Warsofsky, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Mike Moore, Tommy Cross, and Steve Spinell. Chris Casto remains injured.
Other injuries include Matt Lindblad and Alexander Khokhlachev. Koko has been out since the beginning of December, but according to Mark Divver, he may be back as soon as this weekend or next weekend.
Carter Camper is riding a five game point streak, where he had recorded three goals and five assists for eight points in that span. It has catapulted him to the top of P-Bruins scoring with 25 points, finally surpassing the long-inactive Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser.
The second leading scorers on the team are Craig Cunningham and defenseman Joe Morrow with 21 points each. Morrow's 21 points ties him for fifth in the AHL in scoring by defensemen, and his 18 assists are 4th best among AHL defensemen.
In the six previous games versus Manchester this season, Seth Griffith, Jared Knight, and David Warsofsky lead the P-Bruins in scoring with five points each. The Monarchs' Brandon Kozun has three goals and six points in six games, while Jordan Weal has seven points followed by Tanner Pearson with six points all against Providence.
The starting goaltenders tonight will be Jean-Fracois Berube for the Monarchs, making his 21st consecutive start in net, and Niklas Svedberg for Providence.
This season against Providence, Berube has played two games with a 1-1 record, a 4.15 GAA and 0.847 save percentage. On the season, Berube has a 13-6-2 record, a 0.919 save per center, and a 2.35 GAA.
Svedberg has a 1-1-2 record against the Monarchs this year, with a 3.32 GAA and 0.895 save percentage. Svedberg's season record is improving, with 12-5-3 record and one shutout. His GAA is 2.97 and save percentage is 0.904.
Providence has a decisive advantage in power play numbers. They are ranked fourth in the AHL with a 22.6% rate on the man advantage, while the Monarchs are surprisingly bad on the power play. They are ranked 27th in the league. Their power play is slightly better at home with a 16.3% success rate. On the road, the P-Bruins are also above their season average on the power play at 24.1%.
The Monarchs have a mediocre penalty kill, ranked 14th in the league, with a 83.7% kill rate. Providence is worse, though, ranked 28th at 76.7%. This number is slightly better on the road (78.7%).
Even with a poorly ranked power play, the Bruins need to stay out of the penalty box if they want to keep up with the Monarchs tonight. And Niklas Svedberg needs to show what he displayed last Friday in his first shutout of the season. He knows he will be getting another recall to Boston at some point...let's hope he shows that he is desperate to earn it.
Note: The photo accompanying this article belongs to Brandon Deneault and was used with his permission. Visit his flickr here.