Monarchs welcome back Loktionov and Campbell
The Monarchs (10-8-3, 23 points, second place in the Atlantic Division) visit Providence tonight at 7:05, host Connecticut Saturday at 7 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena and close the weekend with a 3 p.m. visit from Worcester.
After a slow start, Providence (9-8-2, 20 points, fifth in the Atlantic) has started to play better hockey, amassing points in seven of its last 10 games.
The Bruins won the most recent meeting between the teams, 3-2 last month.
"They seem to have our number right now. We're really going to need a big effort to bounce back," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "We've got to find some consistency in our game. But we'll see some new faces in our lineup that I think will certainly be a big lift to this group."
The Monarchs will have a different look to the lineup this weekend thanks to two key players coming back from injury and a new addition.
Forward Andrei Lotionov and defenseman Andrew Campbell are expected to return from injuries. Veteran D-man Bryan Rodney was also added to the team earlier this week.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to find some chemistry that's going to be able to prove to be productive and some more defensively responsible play," Morris said.
Loktionov's playmaking ability will add some punch on the power play and Campbell is a shot-blocking machine and able penalty killer.
As for Rodney, the eight-year pro will provide an experienced presence on the blue line. "I like to play both ends of the rink. I like to help the power play move the puck," Rodney said. "Mostly, I just want to be a good teammate. You're going to hear me out there talking to my D partner, talking to my forwards I'm playing with and my goalie. I'm somebody that's going to give a hundred percent."
Saturday's visit from the Whale is the first meeting between the teams this season.
Fans can get a glimpse of an excellent young player in Chris Kreider, a Boxford, Mass., native and a Boston College product who made a splash with the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring.