P-Bruins Shut Out by Lehigh Valley

The Providence Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night 2-0 in their final trip of the season to the PPL Center. The P-Bruins were shutout for the fifth time this season while Jordan Binnington made his 24th start of the season in net. Despite losing, a loss by Bridgeport in their game dropped Providence’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to six.

Lehigh Valley had the better of the early chances highlighted by Mikhail Vorobyev’s shot that rang off the left post. Though they didn’t score on it, Providence used a power play seven minutes in to gain some offensive momentum and get the better of the remaining first period chances. They had nine of the final 11 shots in the period and outshot the Phantoms 10-7 overall. However, Binnington and Lehigh Valley goalie Dustin Tokarski made some great stops to keep things scoreless after one.

The Phantoms dominated the second period offensively, spending most of the period in the attacking zone and outshooting the P-Bruins 19-1. They grabbed the first goal of the game 3:26 into the period on a fast-developing play. Phil Varone won the face off out to Will O’Neill at the blue line, and he sent the puck to Greg Carey at the center point. Carey’s booming slap-shot beat Binnington for his 29th goal of the year to make it 1-0 Phantoms. Binnington made some tremendous saves throughout the period, keeping the Providence deficit at one entering the second intermission.

The P-Bruins offense rebounded a bit in the third, but ultimately couldn’t get one by Tokarski. Late in the period, each team exchanged rapid-fire chances in transition that the Phantoms eventually took advantage of. After a 4-on-2 developed, Colin McDonald fed the puck to an open TJ Brennan. After using a drag move, he beat Binnington for his 13th goal of the season and Lehigh Valley went on to a 2-0 win.

Binnington stopped 32 of 34 shots while Tokarski stopped all 22 shots he faced. Providence was 0-3 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins continue their four-game road trip tomorrow night in Wilkes-Barre when they face off against the Penguins at 7:05pm.

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The Providence Bruins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, playing their home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Spanning more than 25 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.

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