Brandon Bussi came on in relief and nailed down a win in Springfield on Saturday, then pitched his first AHL shutout in Bridgeport on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)
The good times are rolling for the Providence Bruins.
After winning all three of their games this week, the P-Bruins were in first place in the Atlantic Division and led the American Hockey League in points with 18 and points percentage with .818 as of Sunday night.
They started the week with a 4-3 shootout win against the Utica Comets on the road. Providence was down by three midway through the game but rallied to tie it with a late goal and then won in the 11th round of the shootout.
On Saturday night in Springfield, Providence trailed by a goal but again came from behind to win a 3-2 decision against the Thunderbirds. That victory was notable in that all three goal-scorers – Fabian Lysell, Luke Toporowski and Joey Abate — and winning goalie Brandon Bussi are rookies. “The kids make us go,” said coach Ryan Mougenel.
In Bridgeport on Sunday, the P-Bruins got a third-period power play goal and rode back up I-95 with a 1-0 victory.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— With Keith Kinkaid on recall with Boston and Kyle Keyser out with an injury, Brandon Bussi came up from the ECHL and delivered terrific performances in the wins in Springfield and Bridgeport.
With the game on the line late in the third period on both nights he made sparkling saves to preserve the lead.
He finished the weekend with a 2-0 record, .961 save percentage, 1.10 goals against and his first AHL shutout.
— Connor Carrick scored his first goal with the P-Bruins – it was the game-winner in Bridgeport – and registered assists in Utica and Springfield. He has 1-6-7 in 10 games.
— Joey Abate’s first goal as a pro was the game-winner in Springfield and it was a beauty. He took the puck off a Thunderbirds defender then fired a wrister to the top shelf.
— Joona Koppanen scored in the 11th round of the shootout to win the game in Utica.
— Luke Toporowski continues to be a revelation. He scored goals in Utica and Springfield. The goal against the Thunderbirds came at the end of a strong 200-foot shift. He is third on the team with 5-4-9 in 10 games.
— Fabian Lysell turned on the afterburners, flew in on a breakaway and put Providence in the lead at 1:44 of the first period on Saturday. He’s second on the team with 3-7-10 in nine games.
— Chris Wagner scored a big goal to tie the game against the Comets with 2:41 left in the third.
— Providence killed all nine shorthanded situations in the three games. The PK is fourth in the AHL at 87.8 percent.
— They’ve won all five of their road games so far.
— Providence’s next five games are at home. They don’t play outside Rhode Island again until Nov. 23.
— After a brilliant performance in stopping 10 of 11 shooters in the shootout win in Utica, Kyle Keyser left the game in Springfield in the first period with a leg injury.
— Providence gave up two goals in 59 seconds late in the first period in Springfield.
— They mustered only two shots in the first period on Sunday.
— Seven of Providence’s 11 games so far have been against Springfield (4) and Bridgeport (3). A little more variety would be nice.
— Injured/ill: Kyle Keyser, Nick Wolff, Georgii Merkulov, J.D. Greenway, Matt Filipe