The Providence Bruins swept all three of their games over the weekend, firming up their hold on the fourth and final playoff slot in the Atlantic Division.
The P-Bruins started with a very solid 4-2 win over a good Wilkes-Barre / Scranton team on Friday. They beat Laval, 3-0, on Sunday, then edged Bridgeport, 3-2, on Monday. All three games were at home.
“There’s not much better than a six-point weekend,’’ said P-Bruins coach Jay Leach. “We had a really tough week. We put the work in. I think we were unhappy with the weekend before, so the guys recognized that and went to work.’’
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— With Monday’s win, Providence has a .604 points percentage. They are just behind third-place Charlotte (.608) and ahead of Springfield and Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, both with .547.
— Josiah Didier had a tremendous game on Friday night. He scored his first goal of the season and was a rock on defense, blocking numerous shots, especially after the Penguins pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. “His effort, from the beginning of the season til now, has been the same every night. We rely on him. Our players watch him play the right way and they follow suit,” said Leach.
— Oskar Steen is playing his best hockey of the season. He had two assists on both Friday and Monday and has 2-7-9 in his last 10 games. “It’s taken him some time to get used to the league. That’s normal,’’ said Leach. “He’s clearly more comfortable. He’s not thinking, he’s playing. He’s inside. He’s a little scrappy from time to time, which is good. He works and he pays attention to detail. He’s coming along pretty nice.’’
— The P-Bruins are getting excellent goaltending. Dan Vladar, who posted his third shutout with 32 saves on Sunday, leads the AHL with a .934 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average. Max Lagace is ninth in the league with a .918 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against average. His 19 wins is second in the AHL.
— Providence scored the first goal in all three games.
— Brendan Gaunce has goals in three straight games and points in four straight.
— Joona Koppanen chipped in with a big insurance goal in Friday night’s win.
— Brett Ritchie rocked a Laval player on the forecheck in the third period on Sunday, leading to a Providence goal.
— Ryan Fitzgerald has goals in two straight games and points in three straight.
— Robert Lantosi has gone 10 games without a goal.
— The P-Bruins had no power plays in Friday night’s game. Wilkes-Barre / Scranton had four.
— Zach Senyshyn has gone three straight games without a shot on goal.
— Providence was outshot, 16-6, in the third period against Laval.
— Injured: Peter Cehlarik, Chris Breen, Jakub Lauko, Brett Ritchie