They’ve been together for a long time now, and we should probably find a nickname for them, but Brandon DeFazio-Scott Campbell-Blair Riley was pretty much everywhere tonight in this nutty little game.
They combined for 14 shots themselves. They drew penalties. They earned power-play time.
“Our line doesn’t change our mentality,” Campbell said. “We go out and try to pressure the puck hard, try to win puck battles and be tough to play against in the offensive zone.”
With the likes of Nino Niederreiter and John Persson out, someone had to fill those spots on the power play. Joey Diamond (who kept the shootout alive) and Sean Wiles got some chances, as did other mainstays, but that line got more time on the man advantage than it had.
And why not? They were everywhere.
“There’s a reason they complement each other,” Scott Pellerin said. “They work hard. You know what you’re going to get every shift they go out. They’re going to get scoring chances. Pucks are just not going in for them.”
It took a while for pucks to go in for any of them. It was 3-0 Springfield before they did. Matt Donovan scored just after a power play expired (0-for-10 ties for Bridgeport’s biggest oh-fer in team history, and had Nick Holden tackled Brock Nelson on the rush just a little earlier at the end of overtime, it’d have made for an 11th chance) with assists to DeFazio and Riley. Donovan and Nelson, after some more penalty exchanges, tied the thing up.
It was a huge point. The teams in shouting-distance playoff position all lost tonight, so Bridgeport, with 13 games left, is eight out of sixth, seven out of seventh, sixth out of sixth. Most of the teams in the way won, though, so it’s still 13th.
They’ll see how Nino Niederreiter is tomorrow; Pellerin said he rode the bike a bit today. He said Rick DiPietro starts Sunday. Meanwhile, Kenny Reiter’s GAA and save percentage in the past five starts, coming in: 1.96, .933. Now in six starts: 2.10, .929. A horrible slump. (Of course they scored half as many for him tonight as they had in those five.) Played well again.
Prescout. It’s better than the last time the Devils went to Syracuse a night before they came here, but still. Dropped them to 11th place (by points/non-shootout wins) or 12th (by points/points percentage), depending on your tiebreaking viewpoint. (They’re ninth on straight percentage.)
That was Curtis McElhinney’s 100th AHL win. Boyd Kane reached 500 points tonight.
Yale hockey suddenly needs help to get in the tournament.
And RIP, Loren Matthews.