Will do the rest from home — this post will transform at some point — but Nino Niederreiter left tonight’s game after the first period with an upper-body injury, Scott Pellerin said. Niederreiter took a hit in the first, got treatment between periods but couldn’t play the second. He’ll be evaluated Saturday.
“The five-on-three, the puck’s laying there,” Pellerin said. “The end of the game, the puck’s laying there. We just never get that last fire to put the puck in the net.”
Kenny Reiter’s support is fast approaching legend, or antilegend, or something: In his last five starts, with him in the net, he has allowed just 10 goals (there’s tonight’s empty-netter) on 150 shots. And Bridgeport has scored for him just six.
It almost doesn’t seem possible.
“The last, I don’t know, month or month and a half, I think we’ve gotten a lot better,” Matt Watkins said. “The goals against, we’ve been defensively way better. You need to do that to win.” And he’s right. Shots against have been mostly down after a season full of high numbers. They’ve cut down on the bad turnovers. The penalty kill hasn’t turned ’03-04 on us, but it has been better.
Still? “You’ve got to score,” Watkins added. “That’s the bottom line.”
Solid first AHL game for Sean Wiles, including a goal as Johan Sundstrom’s shot caromed in off his leg as he camped out in front of Michael Hutchinson (with help from Garnet Exelby). “I tried to prepare myself for getting this chance,” Wiles said. “I was happy to get it. Hopefully personally and as a team we’ll go forward from here.” Pellerin was happy with him. Had him out there at the end of the game.
That’s Bridgeport’s first five-on-four goal during Lent, by the way.
A pretty, um, interesting night on the PBroons’ Twitter feed. Tried to retweet them before the game, actually, but Twitter wasn’t working right for me, so belated congrats to Bobby Robins on his 200th AHL game.
Prescout, helpful to Bridgeport’s hopes in a small way. This, also helpful. Meanwhile and probably most importantly, this wasn’t going to help either way, but the way it ended just hurt Bridgeport. Seven points out of a playoff spot with 14 to go.
Missed it yesterday, but an accidental visit to Elite Prospects tipped me off: Sacred Heart’s Eric Delong signed an ATO with Elmira (ECHL).
Interesting reassignments: Danny Groulx to Chicago, Derek Joslin back to Worcester.
Until tonight, the phrase “Florida Gulf Coast University” called to mind one thing and one thing only: Mike Sellitto.
And onetime Beast of New Haven goalie Mike Fountain was expected in Syracuse on Friday as the Crunch played their 1,500th game. Fountain issued one of my favorite quotes for which I’ve ever been in earshot. It was 1998; he’d just moved up the AHL’s goalie-wins list. “This is a developmental league,” he said, “and I’ve been developing for many years now.”