Vinni Lettieri’s goal in overtime lifted Providence to a 2-1 win on Saturday. He leads the team in scoring with 11-13-24 in 25 games. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)
For the second weekend in a row, the Providence Bruins split their two games.
At home on Friday night, the P-Bruins let a two-goal lead get away in the third period and lost in overtime to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5-4.
In a rematch in Allentown on Saturday night, Providence managed to get rid of the sour taste of Friday night’s loss. They were outshot, 35-19, but pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Phantoms on Vinni Lettieri’s goal in OT.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— As has happened more than once this season, it was Vinny Lettieri to the rescue on Saturday night. He hounded Lehigh Valley’s Egor Zamula into an awful turnover, then skated in and tucked home the winner in overtime. Lettieri leads the team in scoring with 11-13-24 in 25 games.
— Brandon Bussi delivered another strong performance in Saturday’s win, stopping 34 of 35 shots. His .936 save percentage is the best in the league.
— Providence finished the weekend in second place in the Atlantic Division and in the AHL. They have 38 points and a .731 points percentage in 26 games. The only team ahead of them is Hershey, which has 41 points and a .732 points percentage in 28 games.
— Joey Abate had his best weekend of the season. He rattled the boards with solid hits throughout Friday’s game and he tied Saturday’s game with a breakaway goal.
— Joona Koppanen had a goal on Friday and made a good play on Joey Abate’s goal on Saturday night. He alertly fired the puck up to Abate behind the defense at the red line for a breakaway that ended up in the Phantoms’ net.
— In his last game before heading off to play for Sweden in the World Juniors, Fabian Lysell scored a goal and made a razzle-dazzle play to set up Sammy Asselin’s goal on Friday. He is tied for third among AHL rookies with 8-11-19 in 20 games.
— The power play chipped in with two big goals on Friday night. Providence was 30th in the league on the power play at the end of last weekend, but has now creeped up to 27th.
— Georgii Merkulov had two assists on Friday, including a perfect pass to Marc McLaughlin for a power play goal.
— The P-Bruins are 6-2-1-2 when trailing after two periods. They are 10-1-3-1 when outshot.
— They earned a point on Friday, but that was a game Providence should have put away before it got to OT.
— The P-Bruins had lost to Lehigh Valley once in regulation time, once in overtime and once in a shootout – all at home – before winning in OT against the Phantoms on the road on Saturday.
— Providence heads into what looks to be its toughest stretch of the season so far. The next seven games are all on the road and every opponent has a record above .500.
— They were outshot 6-0 in overtime on Friday.
— The P-Bruins had no power plays on Saturday. Zero, zilch, nada.
— Injured/ill: Johnny Beecher, Jakub Lauko, Eduards Tralmaks, Kyle Keyser, Matt Filipe
— The bus from Lehigh Valley arrived back in Providence at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday.