Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pre-game Puckbag: P-Bruins vs. Albany Devils

Opening draw
The Providence Bruins will have a chance to pole-vault the idle St. John’s IceCaps for first place in the Atlantic Division on Sunday afternoon as they engage the Albany Devils at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

At 2-5-0, Albany is presently last in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. Their defense is tied with that of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the basement of the league, having authorized 28 opposing goals in its first seven games. This despite having already played six games on home ice.

In their lone away game so far, the Devils brooked a 6-1 shellacking at the hands of the Worcester Sharks last Saturday. They snapped a three-game losing streak in their most recent outing with a 5-2 triumph over the Adirondack Phantoms.

Notable names
Former P-Bruins and Providence College Friars captain Jay Leach will face the Baby Bs for the first time as an Albany Devil, though he spent substantial time in Lowell during a previous stint in the New Jersey system.

Leach, whose last game as a Worcester Shark was against Providence before a February trade, is off to a slow start, going pointless with a minus-4 rating in Albany’s first seven games.

Matt Anderson spiked his team-best scoring log to 3-3-6 with a goal and two assists on Saturday’s 5-2 home win over Adirondack. Linemate Stephane Vallieux and defenseman Eric Gelinas matched Anderson’s three-point output, which included two power-play strikes by Gelinas set up, in part, by Vallieux.

Veteran pivot Tim Sestito is second only to Manchester’s Richard Clune on the AHL’s penalty-minute leaderboard with 41, although he has yet to engage in a fight. His totals are compounded by three minors, three 10-minute misconducts and a five-minute major for boarding.

Albany center Adam Henrique was called up to the parent New Jersey Devils on Saturday after tallying one assist in three AHL appearances.

Goaltender Jeff Frazee has scraped the blue paint in two straight games for the Devils this weekend after rookie Keith Kinkaid was summoned to The Show. Maxime Clermont, another first-year pro, has yet to see game action.