[Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr]

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 18 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 27-9-7-2 (63 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat Lehigh Valley 4-2 before defeating Utica 4-1. The Providence Bruins have two big games this weekend. Do not miss the action.

The hockey action starts Friday, February 10, 2023, when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Amica Mutual Pavillion. The hockey action wraps on Saturday, February 11, 2023, when the Providence Bruins travel to Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania, to take on the Penguins at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Do not miss the hard-hitting action.

Friday, February 10, 2023, and Saturday, February 11, 2023, Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME, AWAY)

The weekend series marks the third and fourth of six games that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Providence Bruins will have this season. The first battle saw the Bruins lose 2-1. Joona Koppanen scored the lone goal for Providence.

The second game saw the Bruins win 4-3. Georgii Merkulov, Mike Reilly, Connor Carrick, and Oskar Steen scored for Providence.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins skate into the matchup 20-19-2-3 (45 points). That is good for eighth in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. Over the past five seasons, this matchup has been favorable to the Providence Bruins. They hold a 12-5-1-1 record over that time, including 7-2-1 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Despite that record, this will be a difficult matchup for the spoked P.

The Pittsburgh affiliate boasts an impressive defense, giving up only 2.84 goals a game. Their problem is they only score 2.77 goals a game. Providence, on the other hand, nets 3.00 goals a game and gives up a measly 2.60 goals a game. Scoring early and often will go a long way to winning this game for Providence. The Penguins are 6-7-2 when trailing after the first period and 3-13-1 when down after two. Expect two closely contested matchups this weekend.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Georgii Merkulov is having an excellent rookie season for the Providence Bruins. The young forward has been one of the best players on the ice all season. In 41 games, he’s netted 11 goals while dishing out 19 assists for 30 total points. Merkulov has also registered a point in five of his last seven games. Look for him this weekend.

Fabian Lysell is having an excellent rookie season for the Providence Bruins. The Swedish forward came into the year as the top prospect in the Boston organization. He has not disappointed. In 29 games, Lysell has netted nine goals while dishing out 15 assists for 24 total points. Look for him this weekend.

Brandon Bussi is another Providence Bruin having an excellent rookie season. The young goalie is a huge reason for Providence’s success this season. In 20 games, Bussi is 14-2-4 with a .934 save percentage and a 2.19 goals-against average. Look for him this weekend.

The Providence Bruins are having an excellent season. They are positioning themselves perfectly for a playoff run later in the season. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. GO BRUINS!