Johan Sundstrom is expected to play for the first time since Jan. 19; John Persson and Ty Wishart are also supposedly ready to go, per Jamie’s tweet this morning, adding that Rick DiPietro’s in net.
Elsewhere: Via a retweet from old buddy Patrick Williams, a way to send good luck to Ronny Keller. A potential Pope is a hockey guy. Was looking for something else and was distracted by the name of the guy who led the Austrian League in scoring.
And RIP, Jewel Akens.
More in a bit.
–Bridgeport went 4-8-3-2 without Sundstrom. Which I point out just to say that that’s an odd-looking record, isn’t it? Lot of crooked numbers in a row.
–Brent Thompson received a two-game suspension from the NHL for abuse of officials after last night’s game against the Rangers. One shy of the three games the AHL gave him to end last year.
–Prescout, eventually. The Falcons are in Albany tomorrow.
–Via Jamie, lines, with a guess that pairs will go back to status quo ante Wishart injury:
D: Donovan-Wishart (A)
(know that much, at least)
R: Lewis. L: Goodman, Galvin.
–Nope: Huxley in, Combs out, Jamie notes.
–Bridgeport kills off an early Landry roughing penalty, and then Kabanov takes a hit from Tim Sestito that hurts him. Up slowly.
–Sounded like Bridgeport had the better of the chances on a Sundstrom delay of game penalty.
–Hrabarenka. Interference with Watkins. Chance 41. Here they go.
–Not 41. Josefson and, on the rebound, Anderson have chances. Was distracted at the end of the power play when AHL Live finally kicked in and the volume became normal… And now, as a Jay Leach shot deflects in (Whitney, perhaps), the volume gets louder. 1-0 Devils.
–Kabanov’s back out there.
–Devils lead it 1-0 after one; looks like they’ve got a 12-4 shots edge. Bridgeport had just two about 16 minutes in, then got a couple of more quickly.
–The second period begins with a Harri Pesonen penalty shot, and he scores 56 seconds into the second period. 2-0 Devils.
–It’s the first penalty shot DiPietro has faced as a Sound Tiger; they weren’t called as liberally back then as they are now.
–OK, Chance 42 on a Scott Parse slash. It’s the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything; maybe it’ll be a different kind of answer.
–And now Sislo off for a hold on Sundstrom: Chance 42 could be up to 88 seconds of five-on-three.
–The long regional nightmare is over. Niederreiter tips in a Donovan shot, and it’s 2-1 Devils, but Bridgeport has a power-play goal. Streak ends at 41.
–69 minutes, 58 seconds on the power play between goals.
–Now Aaron Ness goes to the net and ties the game on his own rebound. Just his third of the year.
–It’s 2-2 after two. Shots almost inverted (guessing the PPs helped that, but still), 11-6 Bridgeport in the second.
–The Devils sounded to be having the better of the play early in the third, but Bridgeport goes to its fourth power play; the tweets and the call say different things, so we’ll wait for the box score.
–An Albany rush goes for naught, but on the way back, there are too many Devils on the ice. Kind of coincidental that it happens here, two days after Bridgeport was convinced it had the Monarchs for too-many-men during a Sound Tigers power play but couldn’t get the referee to call it. The five-on-three passes without damage.
–Did I mention here that Victor Bartley’s making his NHL debut tonight? Victor Bartley’s making his NHL debut tonight.
–Sean Backman beats Kinkaid over the glove with 4:24 left in the game, unassisted, to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 lead.
–A turnover hands Backman an empty-netter with 18.4 seconds left.
–Three points for Backman, an actual power-play goal, and Rick DiPietro’s second win: Bridgeport 4, Albany 2, final.
–Bridgeport is five back with 19 to play. The Whale and Manchester are tied for eighth now with 62 points and 26 clock-running wins; I’ll let somebody else break the tie for me.
–How did they react to the power-play goal? Scott Pellerin said he and Eric Cairns went over to Eric Boguniecki, who runs the power play, and gave him a hug. Awesome.
Shots notwithstanding, he liked their first period, liked their compete level, liked their structure. “(The Devils) are a good hockey team. They play their system really well. We were prepared,” Pellerin said. “We challenged the guys to play hard against their system. Down 2-0, we got a power-play goal, and we were able to continue that hard work.” That PPG: “Finally. It was a deflection goal, you know? A shot with traffic. Something we’ve talked about. We were able to execute that play.” DiPietro “made some big saves late,” Pellerin said. “He kept it simple. I thought he looked good.”
He said Sundstrom and Persson got through well, noting that Persson made a great move on a breakaway only to be robbed by Kinkaid; Sundstrom, “I wouldn’t say he was conservative, but he played a smart, heady game.” The timing will continue to improve.