It was a very productive week for the Providence Bruins. They reaped five of six points from a three-game stretch that included a bus ride to Canada and back followed by two home games.
After making the 750-mile round trip to Laval for just one game, the P-Bruins earned a point in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Rocket on Wednesday. Back home, they shut down a good Belleville team, 2-0, on Friday and beat Binghamton, 3-1, on Saturday.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** As of Monday morning, Providence is tied in points with Hershey with 79. With nine games left, the P-Bruins and Bears are five points ahead of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the race for the last Atlantic Division playoff slot.
*** On Saturday night, the P-Bruins made two spectacular passing plays for goals. Paul Carey to Kyle Cumiskey, then Gemel Smith to Trent Frederic to Jordan Szwarz. Beautiful.
*** The line of Carey, Szwarz and Smith was dominant against Binghamton.
*** Carey was in on all three goals against the Devils with two goals and an assist. He leads the team in scoring with 21-29-50 in 52 games.
*** Szwarz reached the 20-goal mark for the third straight season on Friday, then added his 21st on Saturday.
*** Zane McIntyre played very well with 28 saves in the loss in Laval and then recorded his second shutout of the year and the 11th of his P-Bruins career on Friday. He is tied with Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen for the franchise record.
*** The P-Bruins put the clamps on the Senators on Friday, allowing only 14 shots, including just 1 in the third period.
*** It was a good week for special teams. Providence scored a power play goal in all three games and killed all 11 penalties against them.
*** Stuart Percy scored his first Providence goal in Laval. And Cooper Zech earned his first assist as a pro.
*** Three very challenging road games await Providence this week: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday; Syracuse on Friday; and Hershey on Saturday.
*** It had been a few weeks between delay of game calls for shooting the puck into the stands, but Providence picked one up in Laval.
*** Department of Shaky Officiating: The holding call against Jeremy Lauzon in the third period on Saturday was not one of referee Jason Williams’ best moments. Anton Blidh was whistled for slashing late in Friday’s game. Even Belleville’s play-by-play guy called it a “very cheesy’’ penalty.
*** You don’t often see a cross-check to the head as bad as Darren Archibald’s on Trent Frederic on Friday night. Archibald received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Looked suspension-worthy to me.
*** Injured: Anton Blidh, Urho Vaakanainen, Cameron Hughes, Anders Bjork.