The Providence Bruins took a big step forward on the road over the weekend, returning home from a pair of games in Pennsylvania with four out of four points.
The P-Bruins dominated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 6-2, on Friday, then beat the Hershey Bears, 3-0, on Saturday.
Jon Gillies, who joined the team on a PTO on Wednesday, was the story of the weekend, stopping 58 of 60 shots. Gillies is playing for a contract, whether with the Bruins or another team.
“The one thing that I’m about and our staff is about — we’re big believers in transparency. We told him everything that was going to happen. He was going to get a chance to start and I couldn’t go beyond that,’’ coach Ryan Mougenel said after Gillies blanked Hershey.
“I think that’s the biggest thing you can do with someone who’s looking for those opportunities. There’s a lot of guys in that room and they’re all going through different experiences in their journey. I think he’s no different. There’s a lot of great goalies out there and not a lot of jobs. It’s a tough market, so it’s really great to see him having success. We’ll just keep plugging away.”
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— The line of Jesper Froden, Steven Fogarty and Oskar Steen had a terrific weekend.
— Red-hot Oskar Steen scored twice on Friday and recorded a pair of helpers on Saturday. He has 5-5-10 in his last five games.
— Steven Fogarty scored a goal and an assist on Friday, then scored twice – off beautiful setups by Steen and Froden — and assisted on another goal on Saturday.
— Jesper Froden has 2-5-7 in his last four games.
— Chris Wagner continues his excellent two-way play. He scored a goal in each game.
— John Moore had a strong weekend, too. He had primary assists on two power play goals on Friday.
— Jon Gillies’ save percentage after the two games is .968.
— Providence went three-for-five on the power play against the Penguins. The PP was 26th in the league a couple of weeks ago, but now is up to 13th, clicking at 21.1 percent.
— Zach Senyshyn scored his first goal of the year on Friday night.
— Matt Filipe had a big shot block as Providence guarded a one-goal lead in the third period against Hershey.
— At the Giant Center on Saturday night, a video tribute to Aaron Ness and Tyler Lewington – longtime Hershey Bears who are now with Providence – was played on the big board. Classy gesture by the Bears.
— Joona Koppanen made a nice play to Eddie Tralmaks, who went top shelf for Providence’s fifth goal on Friday night.
— Providence has killed 15 straight penalties. The PK is third in the AHL at 88.2 percent.
— The P-Bruins moved up to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They were seventh a week ago. With five straight games at home, they have a great opportunity to continue to move up.
— The P-Bruins had two clean breakaways on Saturday – Joona Koppanen and Jakub Lauko – and didn’t convert. In fact, both players missed the net.
— Slow start in Hershey. Providence was outshot, 8-2, in the first six minutes of the game.
— The team bus arrived home from Hershey at 3 a.m. on Sunday.
— Injured: Josiah Didier, Cameron Hughes, Victor Berglund, Troy Grosenick