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).
|Divison||4th Atlantic||3rd Atlantic|
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.
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
Players in italics are injured and won't play today.
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%.
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.