Pregaming: Providence @ Portland

Niklas Svedberg and his sweet Godfather mask will be back between the pipes tonight for Providence.

The Providence Bruins will meet divisional rival Portland Pirates for the 10th and final time in the regular season tonight when they face off in Portland, Maine. Portland spent much of the season atop the Atlantic division – the position that Providence now comfortably holds with an 8 point lead.

Team Numbers

  • Providence (39-20-0-5) has 83 points in 64 games vs Portland’s (35-24-3-2) 75 points in 64 games.
  • Providence sits 1st in the Atlantic, 3rd in the East, an 4th overall in the AHL; Portland is 2nd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East, and 10th overall in the league.
  • Late 10: Providence is 7-2-0-1, Portland is 3-5-0-1.
  • Providence is 17-11-0-2 at away games; Portland is 21-8-2-1 at home.
  • Providence has 184 goals for and 163 goals against to Portland’s 189 goals for but 194 goals against.
  • That’s a goal differential of +21 for Providence and -5 for Portland.
  • Power Play: Providence is 8th in the AHL at 18.9%; Portland is 20th at 84.4%. Portland has let in a league-high 15 shorthanded goals-against; Providence has allowed 8.
  • Penalty Kill: Providence is 9th in the AHL at 84.6%; Portland is 11th at 84.4%.

Goaltending

Niklas Svedberg will be getting the start after sitting out last weekend. He has a record of 30-7-2 with a GAA of 2.26 and .922 save %. Svedberg has started 7 of the previous 9 games against Portland this season and has a record of 4-2-1 so far with a 1.99 GAA and a .930 save %.

Mark Visentin will get the start in net for the Pirates. He has a record of 12-11-1, a 2.92 GAA, and .906 save %. Visentin has played 5 of the 9 games against Providence earlier this season, with 3 other goaltenders getting the start between the pipes previously for Portland. Visentin has fared with a record of 2-3-0 versus the P-Bruins this year with a 2.82 GAA and a .913 save % in 5 games.

Leading Scorers

Ryan Spooner will return to the Poovidence Bruins after a brief call-up to Boston. He remains the leading scorer for the P-Bruins with 45 points (12 goals, 33 assists). His points and assists totals place him 2nd in the AHL active rookies. He also has 14 assists on the power play, which is good for 3rd in the AHL among rookies.

Jamie Tardif is 2nd in scoring with 39 points (27 goals, 12 assists), followed by Carter Camper‘s 38 points (7 goals, 31 assists), and the streaking Craig Cunningham (37 points with 22 goals and 15 assists). Cunningham has scored 11 points in 9 games (8 goals, 3 assists), including 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the last 2 games.

Torey Krug is 5th in Providence scoring, and 1st in Providence defense scoring with 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists). This point total places him 3rd among AHL rookie d-men.

For the Portland Pirates, Alexandre Bolduc leads them in scoring with 47 points (22 goals, 24 assists), followed by Andy Miele (39 points – 14 goals, 25 assists) and their top rookie scorer, Chris Brown (36 points – 24 goals, 12 assists). Close behind is Chris Conner with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) and top defense scorer David Rundbland (8 goals, 24 assists for 32 points).

Head to Head Match Up

In the previous 9 meetings this season, Providence has won 5 in regulation, lost 3 in regulation, and lost 1 in a shootout (5-3-0-1). They have gone 2-2 in away games, with their last win in Portland coming on December 1st when they beat Portland 5-2. The most previous meeting between the 2 teams was a 7-1 victory in Providence. The last 4 meetings between the teams has seen at least 7 goals scored total, with 7-1, 6-3, 5-2, and 6-1 scores all coming out of games since January 25th. Each team has won 2 and lost 2 of those high-scoring affairs.

Spooner, Zach Trotman, Trent Whitfield, Camper, and Christian Hanson have each been credited with game-winning goals against Portland this season. Spooner also leads in points against the Pirates this year, netting 10 in 8 games (4 goals, 6 assists) and has a rating of +5. 5 other P-Bruins each have 7 points against Portland this year: Cunningham and Tardif (each with 4 goals, 3 assists), Krug (3 goals, 4 assists), Justin Florek (2 goals, 5 assists), and Hanson (2 G, 5 A).

On the flip side, Portland’s Jordan Szwarz, Phil Lane, and Brown have had game-winning goals against Providence. Rob Klinkhammer, who is up with the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL, has by far the best record against Providence this season. Next in line is Jordan Martinook, who has 14 total points on the year, and 5 points in 6 games against Providence alone, as well as Brown, who has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in 7 games.

Roster Updates

Hanson, who hasn’t played since March 10th with a hand injury, is reportedly a “maybe” for tonight. Michael Hutchinson, on the other hand, will not dress as Svedberg’s back-up due to an upper-body injury. As a result, Adam Morrison was recalled from Utah of the ECHL earlier this week to fill in as Svedberg’s back-up.

The Bruins recently-signed Chris Casto, a defenseman fresh out of Minnesota-Duluth of the NCAA, is expected to join Providence, although it is not clear if he will play tonight.

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