GAME PREVIEW: AMERKS HOST FIRST-PLACE BRUINS TONIGHT AT BLUE CROSS ARENANov 23, 2022
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Americans (8-5-1-1) embark on another busy stretch of three games in four nights tonight when they host the league-leading Providence Bruins (10-2-2-2) for the only time this season at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Tonight represents the first time this season the Amerks will face an opponent outside the North Division after starting the campaign with 15 straight contests against divisional foes. After tonight, the two teams remain idle until Feb. 26 when Rochester makes its lone trip to Providence.
HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES SNAPSHOT
Tonight is just the 15th meeting between the Amerks and the Bruins over the last 13 years. Dating back to the 2007-08 season, Rochester has gone 3-8-2-1 during that span, including earning three out of a four possible points in two meetings with Providence last season.
Both teams boast nearly identical records this season when leading after the second period as Rochester is 5-1-1-0 while Providence shows a 6-0-1-0 mark in that regard. Additionally, both the Amerks and Bruins have winning records when being outshot by the opponent.
The Amerks are 0-2-1-1 in their last three visits to Providence compared to a 2-1-0-0 mark on home ice in the last five years.
Dating back to the 2007-08 season, there have been nine one-goal games over the previous 16 contests between Providence and Rochester, including five of the last six.
LAST TIME OUT
A two-point night by rookie forward Isak Rosen (1+1), which included the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, and a 26-save effort from goaltender Michael Houser powered the Amerks to a 3-2 victory over the Utica Comets Saturday at Adirondack Bank Center.
The Amerks flipped the script after falling victim on Friday night by the same score on home ice against the Comets to split the home-and-home series. Through the first four games between the intrastate rivals, each team has now won both at home and on the road. Overall, Rochester, which has points in seven of its last nine games, boast an 8-5-1-1 record through 15 games to remain in second place of the AHL's North Division standings.
Along with Rosen scoring his third goal of the season, Alexsandr Kisakov and Brendan Warren each netted their third to secure the win. By picking up two points, Rosen, who leads all Rochester rookies with four multi-point games, became the first Amerks rookie to reach double digits in points and 15th in the AHL this season. Mason Jobst, Matej Pekar, Jiri Kulich and Matt Bartkowski all recorded one assist.
Coming into tonight, 12 of the Amerks' 46 goals this season have come on the power-play, which are tied for 15th-most among any team in the AHL. By going 12-for-52 while on the man-advantage, Rochester is ranked eighth in the league with a 23.1% conversion rate.
The Amerks' 10 power-play goals at home are tied fourth-most in the league this season, going for 10-for-29 through their first seven home matchups.
YOUTH MOVEMENT LEADING ROCHESTER
Third-year forward Brandon Biro has emerged as the team's early-season leader, picking up where he left off last season with a team-high nine assists and 12 points through his first 12 games. Dating back to last season, the Sherwood Park, Alberta native has totaled 14 points (5+9) over his last 15 games and hasn't gone more than one game without a point over that span.
Second-year forwards Lukas Rousek, Isak Rosen and Linus Weissbach remain at a close second with 11 points each, including a team-high six goals from Weissbach. He comes into tonight with four points over his last nine appearances, including goals in three straight games over that span. His six goals are currently five off the league-lead.
By picking up two points Saturday, Rosen, who's tied for the team lead with four multi-point outings this season, continues to remain among the AHL's top-scoring rookies with 11 points (3+8) in 15 games. Coming into tonight, Rosen is tied for ninth in scoring amongst all first-year players while his eight assists are tied for fifth-most.
At just 18 years old, fellow first-year forward Jiri Kulich is among the youngest players in the AHL. Kulich, Buffalo's first-round selection (28th overall) in 2022, shows seven assists in his first 15 games of the season, tying him for eighth in the league among all first-year players in that category. He leads all Rochester skaters and is tied for second amongst all AHL rookies with 38 shots on goal.
HOME-COOKING FOR THE AMERKS
The Amerks have earned at least one point in six of their first seven home contests so far this season, boasting a 5-1-1-0 mark within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. Rochester opened the season with five straight home wins, marking the team's best start since 2006-07.
Four of the five victories this season in the Flower City have come when the team trailed entering the final 20 minutes of regulation while all five wins have come by way of four or more goals. Rochester has outscored its opposition 13-6 after the start of the third period and has outshot the visitors 57-53.
Rochester is one of only four teams to have just one regulation loss at home this season, joining Charlotte, Hershey and Cleveland in that regard.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
Providence comes into the matchup as arguably the AHL's top team with a 10-2-2-2 overall record and an AHL-best 24 points. The Bruins, who are one of only five teams to reach the 10-win mark, have points in 10 of their last 11 games dating back to Oct. 28, going 7-1-1-1 over that span, including a five-game win streak to open the month of November.
Highlighting Providence's dominant and impressive start to the season has been the team's performance on the road. The Bruins carry a perfect 5-0-0-0 record, having outscored the opposition 16-11 through their first five road matchups, and remain the only team in the league without a regulation loss.
Newcomer Vinni Lettieri, who's back in the Atlantic Division following two seasons in San Diego, paces all Providence skaters with nine goals while his 16 points also lead the team. A 2020 AHL All-Star selection and three-time 20-goal scorer, Lettieri has recorded a point in all but two games this season, and comes into tonight riding a season-long six-game point streak.
Providence Bruins vs Rochester Americans: Head To Head Stats
|Head to Head Record 2022-23 Regular Season||Providence 0-0-0-0||Rochester 0-0-0-0|
|Head to Head Record 2021-22 Regular Season||Providence 1-1-0-0||Rochester 1-0-0-1|
|Last 5 Years record between teams||Providence 4-2-0-0||Rochester 2-2-1-1|
|Providence vs. Rochester Last 5 Years record at Providence||Providence 3-0-0-0||Rochester 0-1-1-1|
|Providence vs. Rochester Last 5 Years record at Rochester||Providence 1-2-0-0||Rochester 2-1-0-0|
How the two teams match up
|Team Record||8-5-1-1 -- 18 points||10-2-2-2 -- 24 points|
|Division Ranking||2nd North||1st Atlantic|
|Conference Ranking||6th Eastern||1st Eastern|
|Past 10 Games||5-3-1-1||6-1-1-2|
|Last Game||3-2 W @ Utica (Nov 19 2022) Final||3-2 L vs Bridgeport (Nov 20 2022) Final OT|
|PP (Overall)||(12/52) 23.1%||(12/70) 17.1%|
|PP (Home)||(10/29) 34.5%||(7/53) 13.2%|
|PP (Away)||(2/23) 8.7%||(5/17) 29.4%|
|PK (Overall)||(12/46) 73.9%||(10/65) 84.6%|
|PK (Home)||(6/25) 76.0%||(7/47) 85.1%|
|PK (Away)||(6/21) 71.4%||(3/18) 83.3%|
|PP vs. Opp.||(0/0) 0%||(0/0) 0%|
|PK vs. Opp.||(0/0) 0%||(0/0) 0%|
|Leading Rookie||Rosen (3-8-11)||Merkulov (4-9-13)|
|Most PIM||Weissbach - 24||Lettieri - 18|
|Leading Scorers||Biro (3-9-12)||Lettieri (9-7-16)|
|Weissbach (6-5-11)||Merkulov (4-9-13)|
|Rousek (4-7-11)||Lysell (4-8-12)|
|Rosen (3-8-11)||Toporowski (5-5-10)|
|Jobst (2-7-9)||Carrick (1-9-10)|
|Last 5 Games||3-2 W @ Utica (Nov 19 2022) Final||3-2 L vs Bridgeport (Nov 20 2022) Final OT|
|3-2 L vs Utica (Nov 18 2022) Final||3-2 L vs Lehigh Valley (Nov 19 2022) Final SO|
|3-2 L @ Belleville (Nov 12 2022) Final SO||4-2 L vs Lehigh Valley (Nov 18 2022) Final|
|6-5 L vs Cleveland (Nov 11 2022) Final OT||5-3 W vs Charlotte (Nov 13 2022) Final|
|3-1 W @ Syracuse (Nov 9 2022) Final||5-2 W vs Charlotte (Nov 11 2022) Final|
|Leading After 1st||4-1-0-0||3-1-1-0|
|Leading After 2nd||5-1-1-0||6-0-1-0|
|Tied After 1st||2-2-1-1||4-1-0-2|
|Tied After 2nd||0-1-0-1||1-2-0-0|
|Trailing After 1st||2-2-0-0||3-0-1-0|
|Trailing After 2nd||3-3-0-0||3-0-1-2|
|Out Shooting Opponents||3-1-0-0||4-1-1-1|
|Out Shot by Opponents||5-2-1-1||6-1-1-1|