Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Penguins goalie Tyler Gauthier was halfway to Olneyville after Fabian Lysell faked him out and deposited the puck in the net in the shootout on Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Even with their lineup depleted by injuries, illness and callups, the Providence Bruins won both of their games over the weekend and took over first place in the Atlantic Division.

Returning from the All-Star break on Friday night at home, the P-Bruins rallied from two goals down and beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-3, in a shootout.

In Pennsylvania on Saturday, Providence came from behind again and beat the Penguins, 3-1, scoring all three goals on the power play. It was their 5th straight win.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

— As of the end of the day on Sunday, Providence was in first place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points and a points percentage of .713. They are two points ahead of Hershey, which has a .691 points percentage. Only Calgary with 68 has more points than the P-Bruins.

— Providence has the best road record in the AHL at 19-4-2.

— Georgii Merkulov’s hot streak continues. The Russian rookie has goals in 5 straight games, 7 goals in the last 7 games and 4 game-winning goals in the last 5 games. His one-timer on the power play has become a weapon. On Friday, with Boston coach Jim Montgomery in the building, he had 2-1-3. On Saturday, he had 1-1-2. Merkulov is fourth in the AHL in scoring among rookies with 14-21-35 in 43 games.

— In his first AHL shootout attempt since December 2016, Mike Reilly made a nifty backhand move for the decisive goal in Friday’s win.

— With Josiah Didier creating chaos in front of the net, Fabian Lysell scored his 10th goal of the season on Friday. Later, he faked Pens’ goalie Tyler Gauthier out of his pants and scored in the shootout. He has points in 5 consecutive games.

— Justin Brazeau had a strong game on Friday with an assist and a game-high 7 shots. He set a perfect screen  in front of the net on Georgii Merkulov’s second goal on Friday.

— Sammy Asselin found Jack Ahcan with a nice pass and Ahcan buried a power play goal in Saturday’s game.

— The power play went 3 for 5 on Saturday. On the road, the P-Bruins are 8th in the AHL at 23 percent.

— Chris Wagner has points in 5 straight games, including an empty-net goal on Saturday.

— Kyle Keyser made a pair of great stops on Tyler Fedun late in Friday’s win and finished with 30 saves. He stopped 6 of 7 shootout attempts.

— Keith Kinkaid kicked out 26 of 27 shots on Saturday.

— Patrick Shea, up from Maine on a PTO, recorded an assist in his first game.

BAD

— At home, the power play is 31st in the league at 12.8 percent.

— After hitting the post on his shootout attempt on Friday, Oskar Steen is 0 for 10 in the shootout in his four seasons with Providence.

— Tough turnover by Mike Callahan on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s goal on Saturday.

— The penalty kill gave up 2 goals on 2 penalties on Friday night.

UGLY

— Injured/sick: Vinni Lettieri, Luke Toporowski, Joona Koppanen, Eddie Tralmaks, Johnny Beecher, Matt Filipe

Mike Reilly made a move to his backhand to score the decisive goal in the shootout on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

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