Pregaming: Providence @ Worcester

Tonight is the final game between Providence and Worcester this season. Goaltender Harri Sateri will be getting his 7th start in a row and only his 3rd against Providence this season. Jamie Tardif looks to keep the P-Bruins successful power play rolling.

Providence faces off against the Worcester Sharks tonight in Worcester in the 12th and final meeting between the teams this season. Providence, looking to extend their current winning streak to 5 games (and win streak over Worcester to 6 straight) leads the season series 6-3-0-2, but all of the games have been nail-biters. 5 have gone to shootouts, with Providence having the 3-2 edge in shootouts. Their last meeting on March 9th in Worcester also ended in a shootout and Providence skated away with a 4-3 victory.

The P-Bruins have 63 of 76 games under their belts and have earned a 39-19-0-5 record thus far. They sit atop the Atlantic division, 2nd in the Eastern Conference, and 3rd in the AHL.

Worcester is coming off of a loss. They have played 60 games but only have 63 points with a 28-25-1-6 record, placing them 4th in the Atlantic division and 12th in the East. They sit 6 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, which is currently occupied for the Hershey Bears, who have 69 points.

Read more after the cut!

Team Stats

  • Last 10: Providence is 8-1-0-1; Worcester is 5-4-0-1
  • On the road, Providence is 17-10-0-2; at home Worcester is 12-11-1-4
  • Average Goals Per Game: Providence ranks 13th with 2.87, Worcester 23rd with 2.53.
  • Average Goals Against per Game: Providence allows the 4th fewest goals per game (2.51); Worcester is 16th (2.80).
  • In their 11 meetings this season, Providence has scored 29 goals against Worcester; Worcester has scored 26 against Providence.
  • Average Shots per Game: Providence is 1st in the league in shots per game (33.87); Worcester is 17th (29.95).
  • Average Shots Against per Game: Providence allows the 7 fewest shots against per game (28.79); Worcester is 17th, giving up an average of 30.22 shots against per game.

Special Teams

  • Power Play: Providence is 9th in the AHL (18.5%); Worcester is 18th (16.2%).
  • Providence is 12-for-54 on the PP against Worcester this season (22.2%), but has allowed 2 shorthanded goals against. Worcester’s PP is 8-for-44 vs Providence this year (18.1%).
  • Penalty Kill: Providence is 8th in the AHL (84.9%); Worcester is 18th (82.6%)
  • PIM: Worcester ranks 6th in the AHL in average penalty minutes per game (20.55); Providence is 13th (17.17).
  • Providence has 73 fighting majors this season, which is 3rd most in the AHL; Worcester has 66, which is 8th in the league.

Providence had a power play goal last night, giving them 10 power play goals in the 10 games since the start of March. They have scored at least 1 power play goal in every game – except for March 15th and 2nd, both versus Springfield. Both games went to a shootout with each team getting 1 win and 1 shootout loss.

The P-Bruins 10-for-40 in the month of March, which is 25% success rate, is not as impressive as their penalty killing. Last night’s power play goal by Bridgeport was the first power play goal the P-Bruins have allowed in the month of March. The previous 9 games boasted 31 straight penalty kills before Springfield broke the streak last night. Although the PK in March is not perfect, it is still pretty close at 36-for-37. To off-set last night’s PK goal given up, Providence also notched a short-handed goal.

Goaltending Matchup

Michael Hutchinson is getting his 2nd start in a row tonight. Niklas Svedberg is dressed as back-up but may have lingering flu symptoms from earlier this week, when he missed a practice due to feeling unwell. Coming off of a win last night in which he gave up just 1 goal, Hutchinson is looking for his 10th win of the season. He has a record of 9-12-3, 1 shutout, 2.33 GAA, and .913 save %.

Hutchinson has played 5 of the 11 games against Springfield this year, posting a 2-2-1 record – including 1 shootout win and 1 shootout loss. He has faced 134 shots in those games and given up 12 goals, which works out to a .918 save % and 2.34 GAA.

The Sharks presumed starter is Harri Sateri. He is 13-14-3 this season, with 1 shutout, a 2.59 GAA and .912 save %. Sateri has shouldered the last 7 straight starts in a row for the Sharks in lieu of their starting goaltender, Alex Stalock, getting recalled to the San Jose Sharks.

Sateri has only played 2 of the previous 10 against Providence this season, but has played well in both. His 1st game, he faced 50 shots, stealing a win in the shootout. His 2nd game resulted in a shootout loss. In those 2 games, Sateri has a GAA of 2.31 and a save % of .947.

Scoring Leaders

Current scoring leaders for Providence:

  • Jamie Tardif – 38 points (26 G, 12 A), has 6 points (4 G, 2 A) vs Worcester this year.
  • Carter Camper – 37 points (6 G, 31 A) has 6 points (1 G, 5 A) in 6 games against the Sharks this year.
  • Craig Cunningham – 35 points (22 G, 13 A). Cunningham scored 2 goals last night and has scored 2 game-winning goals already against Worcester this season. He has 9 points (6 G, 3 A) in the 11 games vs the Sharks this year.
  • Torey Krug (defense) – 33 points (9 G, 24 A), 5 assists against Worcester. Before his mini-point streak was ended last night, Krug had recorded 7 points in 5 games.
  • Justin Florek – 25 points (10 G, 15 A), 5 points 3 G, 2 A against Worcester.
  • Streaks: Colby Cohen has has an assist in 3 straight games; Graham Mink has 4 points (1 G, 3 A) in his last 4 games.

Worcester’s scoring leaders:

  • Bracken Kearns – 38 points (17 G, 21 A). Has 6 points (5 G, 1 A) in 11 games against the Bruins this season, including 1 game-winning goal.
  • Jon Matsumoto – 29 points (13 G, 16 A). Leads the Sharks in scoring against Providence with 7 points (2 G, 5 A) in 11 games, including 1 GWG that came in the final minute so a tie game to give Worcester an upset win in Providence. (He also did this at least one other time this season against Manchester, so basically watch him to the very last seconds of the game).
  • Matt Tennyson (defense) – 25 points (5 G, 20 A), 3 assists in 11 GP vs Providence.
  • Brodie Reid – 21 points (10 G, 11 A), 5 points (2 G, 3 A) in 7 games this year vs Providence.
  • John McCarthy – 20 points (9 G, 11 A), has 3 points (2 G, 1 A) vs Providence this year.
  • Freddie Hamilton – 20 points (8 G, 12 A), just 1 point against Providence this season.
  • Yanni Gourde – 13 pts (8 G, 5 A), 4 points (3 G, 1 A) versus Providence this season. He has 3 points in his last 3 games.

Face Offs

Thanks to the Providence Bruins broadcaster Nick Bove, we can start looking at faceoff stats since the AHL doesn’t provide any. Last night, Camper was 8-for-13 in the faceoff circle; Trent Whitfield was 8-for-16; Alex Khokhlachev was 3-for-5; Alex Fallstrom was 3-for-7; Tardif was 2-for-6; Cunningham was 4-for-4; Kyle MacKinnon was 3-for-3. Providence came out with the edge in the face-off circle last night 31-25, including 12-3 in the 3rd period. In last night’s case, face-off, on paper, show correlation with goals scored (they had 2 in the 3rd period) and obviously the win.

Lines and D-Pairings

The lines from last night will presumably be the same tonight. They were:

  • MacKinnon – Khokhlachev – Tardif
  • Max Sauve – Camper – Cunningham
  • Florek – Fallstrom – Robins
  • Hirschfeld – Whitfield – Mink

The d-pairings:

  • David Warsofsky – Kevan Miller
  • Garnet Exelby – Zach Trotman
  • Krug – Cohen

A Providence win tonight would be a great way to start off their 7-game road trip that will extend into mid-April.


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