PROVIDENCE – Zane McIntyre usually starts in goal on Friday night when the Providence Bruins kick off a 3-games-in-3-nights weekend, but tonight Jordan Binnington gets the call when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town.
The numbers so far this season clearly tilt in favor of Binnington, who is on loan from the St. Louis Blues. Along with a 10-1-1 record, he has an AHL-leading 1.55 goals-against average; his .940 save percentage is second. He was selected to play in the AHL All-Star Classic in Utica at the end of the month.
With losses in his last three starts, McIntyre is 11-8-2-1 with a save percentage of .893. Those numbers are way down from last season when McIntyre was a second-team AHL all-star with a .930 save percentage and a 21-6-2-2 record.
“Binner has had a heck of a start to the season. He’s earned the start tonight. Obviously, Mac hasn’t been able to find the wins that he was seeing last year and early on this season,’’ coach Jay Leach said this morning.
“By no means are we turning our back on Mac. It’s an opportunity for Binner to get a win tonight. At the end of the day, we’re in this business to win. The last one we had was Binner, and that’s why we’re going with him tonight. We’ll evaluate after that,’’ he said.
Anders Bjork won’t play tonight, but will be in the lineup on Saturday. He didn’t practice all week, as Boston gave him time off for the bye week.
McIntyre is the backup.
Scratches: Porter, Payerl, Hargrove, Bjork, Lauzon, Clifton
Providence is 1-2 against Bridgeport this season, with both losses at home.
The Sound Tigers have lost 4 in a row. In their most recent game, they were beaten by Hartford, 2-1, in a shootout on Wednesday.
Islanders prospect Josh Ho Sang, Bridgeport’s most dangerous forward, was a healthy scratch in that game.
“He has to learn to manage the puck better and play away from the puck. Too many turnovers,” coach Brent Thompson told Michael Fornabaio of The Connecticut Post. “It’s a team game. It’s making sure all five guys are on the same page. He’s got to learn to play that team game, which will help him be successful in the NHL.”
Said Ho-Sang: “They’re going to treat me however they want to treat me. At the end of the day, whatever they say is, kind of, law. It doesn’t really matter what I want to say about it or how I feel.
“I think they just want me to be the best version of me possible. That’s what everyone wants. They’re trying to figure it out.’’
The Sound Tigers will be without Sebastian Aho, Michael Dal Colle and Anthony Beauvillier. They’ve been recalled by the Islanders.
The P-Bruins visit Bridgeport on Saturday night before finishing the weekend with a home game against Springfield on Sunday.