The Providence Bruins lost two games in a row last week for the first time in this short season.
After falling to Bridgeport, 4-1, in Connecticut on Tuesday, the P-Bruins were beaten by Hartford, 3-1, in Marlboro on Thursday.
Despite the two losses, Providence’s magic number to clinch first place in the Atlantic Division is down to three points with four games left.
“The way I look at these last two losses, it’s very much a challenge for us to raise our game up. We’re certainly not playing as well as we were playing during the earlier part of the season and we’ve got a week here to figure out how to get back to where we were,’’ said coach Jay Leach.
“We need to look ourselves in the mirror and say this is not where we want to be. It’s not any mystery that we’re playing two teams that have improved.’’
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— Alex-Olivier Voyer gave Providence a momentum boost by getting the better of Parker Wotherspoon in a fight late in the second period against Bridgeport. Less than two minutes later, the P-Bruins scored their first (and only) goal of the game.
— Ian McKinnon livened up the game against Hartford. He made his presence felt with a handful of hard hits and he decisioned Wolf Pack heavyweight Mason Geertsen in a fight, landing a monster right hand after the two combatants traded blows. McKinnon is tied for the AHL lead in penalty minutes with 72 in six games.
— With a goal against Hartford, Paul Carey has scored twice in the last three games.
— Boston signed Brady Lyle to a two-year entry-level contract. With six goals, Lyle is tied for the AHL lead in goals by rookie defenseman.
— Jakub Lauko appeared to be injured after he had to be helped off the ice late in the game in Bridgeport, but he was good to go for Thursday’s game.
— The P-Bruins gave up two goals in 2:31 before the game was four minutes old in Bridgeport.
— Providence was outshot, 15-5, in the second period against the Sound Tigers.
— Fifteen straight games without a goal for Joona Koppanen.
— Joel Messner was hit with a rarely seen playing with a broken stick penalty against Bridgeport.
— Injured: Josiah Didier, Matt Filipe, Brendan Woods