Anton Stralman played his first game for the P-Bruins and his first AHL game since the 2008-09 season on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins).
The Providence Bruins took three of four points out of the weekend and, while that’s nothing to complain about, it could have been four out of four.
Opening the weekend on the road on Friday, Providence came from behind in the third period against the Hartford Wolf Pack to earn a 5-3 win.
At home on Sunday and facing a Wolf Pack team that was playing its third game in three days, the well-rested P-Bruins didn’t really get engaged until midway through the second period. A stronger start might have gained them a regulation win instead of a 4-3 overtime loss, but there are going to be games like this in the course of a long season.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— Providence finished the weekend with a solid hold on second place in the Atlantic Division. With 54 points, they are three behind the first-place Hershey Bears and 10 ahead of the third-place Charlotte Checkers.
— Vinni Lettieri had a goal and an assist on Friday and a pair of goals on Sunday. He has 4-1-5 in his last three games. Tied for third in the AHL with nine power-play goals, he continues to lead the team in scoring with 16-17-33 in 38 games.
— Marc McLaughlin scored the winning goal on a power play and added two assists on Friday. On Sunday, his clean win on an offensive zone draw led directly to Vinni Lettieri’s shorthanded goal. Playing his best hockey of the season, McLaughlin has 3-4-7 in his last 5 games.
— Brandon Bussi gave up four goals in Sunday’s OT loss, but if not for his stellar play in the second period, the Wolf Pack could have jumped ahead by three or four goals. He finished the game with 38 saves and continues to have the best save percentage in the AHL at .933.
— Chris Wagner and Vinni Lettieri put the team on their backs in the second period on Sunday as the P-Bruins played their way back into the game after being dominated by the Wolf Pack in the first half of the period.
— Connor Carrick scored on a rip from the point off a Chris Wagner pass and assisted on Vinny Lettieri’s second goal on Sunday. He had a game-high six shots on goal.
— Luke Toporowski made a pretty move to beat Louis Domingue on a penalty shot on Friday.
— Jack Ahcan has assists in five straight games, including a perfect setup on Marc McLaughlin’s GWG on Friday.
— The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Chris Wagner flattened 6-foot-7 Matt Rempe with a check with 7:50 to go on Friday.
— The power play went a combined 3 for 7 on Friday and Sunday. That’s progress as the PP moved up one slot to 30th in the AHL.
— Jakub Lauko continued his good play with a goal on Friday night. He also took a solid stab at scoring a “Michigan” goal on Sunday.
— Anton Stralman played his first game for the P-Bruins and his first AHL game since the 2008-09 season on Sunday.
— The P-Bruins are heading into a difficult weekend. After playing at home on Friday against – who else? – Hartford, Providence will play at Utica on Saturday night, then return home in the wee hours for a Sunday afternoon game against Syracuse.
— The cross-checking penalty on Oskar Steen with 4:15 left on Sunday was a head-scratcher. Maybe Steen deserved a penalty for something on the play, maybe he didn’t, but it couldn’t have been a cross-check as Steen had only one hand on his stick when he engaged with the Hartford player.
— In the first half of the second period on Sunday, Providence was outshot, 12-1, as Hartford totally dominated. The P-Bruins were outshot, 14-5, in the third period.
— P-Bruins will play Hartford for the fifth straight time on Friday. C’mon man!
— Injured: Mike Reilly, Matt Filipe