Since a 1-5-1 stretch in mid-December, the Providence Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the American Hockey League. They’ve gone 10-3-1-1 since then. They were a smoking 8-1-1-1 in January and haven’t lost a game in regulation time since Jan. 5.
Over the weekend, the P-Bruins won their final two games before the AHL All-Star break, coming from two goals down to beat Charlotte, 5-3, on Friday, and erasing a one-goal deficit in the third period to defeat Springfield, 3-2, on Saturday.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** The win over Springfield lifted Providence into fourth place, the last playoff slot in the Atlantic Division.
*** With two more victories over the weekend, Zane McIntyre has won eight straight starts and 10 of his last 12.
*** Trent Frederic scored twice and added an assist against Charlotte.
*** Paul Carey undressed Charlotte defenders and the goalie on his pretty shorthanded goal on Friday.
*** Zach Senyshyn scored the game-winner and set up another goal against Springfield.
*** Gemel Smith has been a key addition with 16 points in 17 games. He scored a goal on Friday and had 1-2-3 on Saturday.
*** The P-Bruins outshot Springfield, 23-3, in the second period. At one point in the second period, they worked the puck around the Thunderbirds’ zone for two straight minutes without giving up possession.
*** Jakub Zboril had two assists on Saturday, including a very nice cross-seam pass to Smith for a power–play goal.
*** Jordan Szwarz, Providence’s representative in the All-Star Classic, made a gorgeous pass to Kuhlman for a goal on Friday. He won a couple important defensive zone draws while the P-Bruins were protecting a one-goal lead in the final minutes on Saturday.
*** Jay Leach used his timeout after the P-Bruins fell behind by two early against Charlotte. As Leach noted afterward, the team played two awful shifts coming out of the timeout. But then the tide turned and Providence rallied to beat the AHL’s top team.
*** Special teams shone. The power play went 3 for 6. The penalty kill went 7 for 7, including 4 for 4 against Springfield’s best-in-the-league PP.
*** The P-Bruins took two more delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass, one on Friday and another on Saturday.
*** Providence is in for a test next weekend: Two road games against Charlotte.
*** Injured: Jeremy Lauzon, Ryan Fitzgerald, Anders Bjork.