A little bit of everything in Season 13, Game 2, from wacky short-handed goals to big late penalty kills to fights in defense of a teammate — and yourself.
Joe Finley was in on a few of them, especially the PK and the fights. He took a hit from Zack Stortini in the first that led to a scuffle; at the end of the second, after Ryan Strome took a hit, Finley laid one on Joseph Cramarossa after the buzzer and got Stortini again.
“I’m going to take exception to that,” Finley said. “There are plenty of guys on our team willing to step up.”
They did step up in general, pulling things together a bit more than they did in Saturday’s opener. A big penalty kill — with the double minor and the minor overlapping, it was five consecutive minutes — made sure of one point, and the Bonus Round earned them the second.
“I think if you look at the way we came out, our structure was a lot better than (Saturday) night,” Scott Pellerin said, noting that there are still adjustments to be made and players have to be more consistent. “The guys competed hard.”
A wacky second period, with oddball short-handed goals, but all in all Bridgeport outshot the Admirals 14-8 in the second and outscored them 3-2.
“Obviously (John Gibson) is a great goalie,” Strome said. “If it wasn’t for him, we could’ve had more. We played well in the second.”
Day off tomorrow; back at it Tuesday, when Brett Gallant will be evaluated further. Pellerin said “he’s not a hundred percent.”
Early in overtime Mat Clark drove to the right post and I think got a piece of a rebound. If he had scored again I’m pretty sure I was just going to go home, ’cause that story totally would’ve written itself.
Strome had a night, again. Won three draws on a late-first power play that helped lead to six shots on goal. (He ended up with seven himself in all, as did Aaron Ness, who played a nice game; Calvin de Haan had five). He undressed Nolan Yonkman early in the second period but couldn’t get to the net. On a power play soon after that, he made a backhand pass from the left side to the slot that was almost a carbon copy of the one Saturday night to set up Lee, feeding Joey Diamond, but Gibson stopped him. Strome also got some time on the penalty kill late in regulation, after the five-on-three, with Riley Wetmore. (He and Anders Lee have often gotten the last PK shift, heading back to even strength.)
Pretty sure — and I meant to ask, but — that was Norfolk assistant Jarrod Skalde that Pellerin shook hands with after the game. They played together in the Devils’ organization at the very least.
Edit: Neglectful not to mention that Sudsie Maharaj, former Islanders goalie coach, was back in the house. He’s working with Anaheim now. Nice to see him. Dave Baseggio also around the past two nights.
Best part of tonight’s shootout: No trick-shot dipsy-doodle slow-to-a-crawl spinorama all-star-game lunacy. Breakaways. Perfect. (I have a little mini shootout rant to deliver at some point. Next dipsy-doodle.)
From yesterday, former Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack centerman Mark Lee is back on these shores for the first time since 2008-09.
Until Tuesday, unless events warrant.