Pregaming: Providence @ Bridgeport

Carter Camper, pictured here against the Sound Tigers earlier this season, had 3 points against Bridgeport when Providence beat them 5-4 on January 11.

Providence Bruins, 22-16-0-3=47 points in 41 games, 2nd in Atlantic division, 5th in Eastern Conference

@ Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Baby NY Islanders), 19-19-2-2=42 points in 42 games, 4th in Northeast division, 12th in Eastern Conference

Tonight, Bridgeport and Providence meet for the 4th time this season. Bridgeport has won 2 of the previous 3 meetings this season. Providence was victorious in the most recent match-up, which took place on January 11, when they skated away with a 5-4 win.

Providence has all the momentum coming into tonight. They are 5-4 in the last 10; Bridgeport is 2-7-1-0. Providence is riding a 2-game winning streak prior to the All-Star break; Bridgeport is coming off of a 5-0 shutout at the hands of the Norfolk Admirals. Bridgeport’s leading scorer, Nino Niederreiter (19 goals, 17 assists) recently asked for a trade because he is unhappy playing in the AHL.

Bridgeport does have one advantage: their power play is ranked 6th (20.3%) while Providence’s is 24th at 15.3%. Providence’s penalty kill is mediocre at 16th overall in the league, an 82.5% success rate. Bridgeport’s is ranked lower, at 22nd, for 81.1% success rate.

Look for Niklas Svedberg to get the start in net for the P-Bruins tonight. The rookie goaltender is 18-6-2-1 this season, posting a 2.34 GAA and 0.921 save %. Jordan Caron will also suit up for the 2nd straight game after returning from injury. Colbey Cohen will play in his first P-Bruins game since he sustained an injury in early December, while Christian Hanson will miss the game with the flu. He will be replaced with Tyler Randell.

Leading scorer Jamie Tardif (20 goals, 9 assists) is 1 point away from 30 points on the season. Carter Camper, with 19 assists, surpassed Ryan Spooner (18 assists) as the team leader in that category, finally showing offensive spark after a tough early portion of the season. Spooner has one of the highest +/- ratings on the team with +8. And while the Boston Bruisn and Buffalo Sabres NHL game promises to be a boxing match, Bridgeport and Providence have had some brutal clashes in the past – notably between two of the leading fighters in the AHL in Bobby Robins and Nathan McIver (to name a few). Just take a look at the score sheet from the November 18 game in Providence.

The game starts at 7:00 pm tonight!

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