Preview: Providence @ Springfield

Tonight the Providence Bruins travel to Springfield to take on the Falcons in a rematch of last Sunday’s 4-1 loss. Despite out-shooting the Falcons 48-24 in the game – and 21-4 in the 2nd period alone – the P-Bruins scored just 1 goal on Curtis McElhinney. McElhinney’s 47 saves were a career high, and he currently leads the AHL in wins (17) and shutouts (6). Last Sunday he was opposed in net by Michael Hutchinson for the 1st time this season, having faced Niklas Svedberg in the previous 2 games against Providence.

The P-Bruins are 18-13-0-2 on the season and remain tied in 3rd place in the Atlantic division with the Manchester Monarchs. The Springfield Falcons are 19-9-3-3 and have a comfortable lead in 1st place in the Northeast division. Providence is 9-5 against Northeast division opponents this season and 2-2 against Springfield. In the previous 4 meetings this season, the teams have combined for 21 goals, with Springfield edging Providence 11-10.

In the last 10 games, Providence is 5-5 and Springfield is 5-4-1-0. At home, Springfield is 8-5-1-3 while Providence is 9-6-0-0.

Springfield’s power play is 8th in the league at 19.2%; Providence is 21st at 15.3%. Springfield’s penalty kill is also ranked better at 7th in the AHL at 85.2%; Providence is 26th at 80.3%.

Springfield averages 3.29 goals per game – 4th best in the league – and only allows 2.44 goals against per game – 2nd best in the league. Providence is 21st in goals per game with 2.55 and 13th in goals against with 2.79.

Providence is still 1st in the league in shots per game with 34.06, but with last week’s loss to Springfield as a prime example, Providence does not have a good record when out-shooting opponents: they are 6-10-0-2.

Providence will continue to be without the services of Chris Bourque, Jamie Tardif, Ryan Spooner, Lane MacDermid, David Warsofsky, and Matt Bartkowski to Boston Bruins training camp. They also lost Jared Knight and Zach Trotman to injury last night. Things wouldn’t be looking so good for Providence, but that’s what I thought last night too – and they scored 5 goals in the 1st 2 periods. So you never know. The puck drops at 7 pm!

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