Transactions: Hartford (2) pregame

It was the Wolf Pack whose roster changed a half-dozen or so times between the teams’ last two meetings. This time it’s the Sound Tigers’ changing in three places. Michael Dal Colle and Ryan Hitchcock return from different directions; Tanner Fritz goes back up to the Islanders.

Fritz had been taking penalty-kill faceoffs and filling the net-front role on the power play after they moved Kieffer Bellows out of there the past few games; see what they do with that spot tonight.

Dal Colle gets reunited with Connor Jones and Josh Ho-Sang. Scott Eansor moves to fill the hole in the middle that Fritz left, with Bellows joining him and Steve Bernier, and Ryan Bourque moves into (roughly) Eansor’s old spot.

Meanwhile, Bridgeport enters the second quarter of its season tonight. At 11-5-2-1, this is the sixth-best record through 19 games in 18 seasons. The top four all made the playoffs; the fifth, 2016-17, went on to be a fine season but fell just short in a strong division*.

Same lineup for Hartford, down to the goalie, apparently. The Rangers sent Tim Gettinger back to the Wolf Pack this evening after their loss to Washington (Ryan Strome’s first goal for a New York team since March 13, 2017), but, um, not in the lineup for some reason. (What, traffic wasn’t bad coming up! I also forgot it was a 7:30 start after UConn basketball, so I’ve been sitting here awhile**.) It’s Hartford’s Teddy Bear Toss night, returning the favor.

F: Dal Colle – Jones – Ho-Sang
C.Bourque-St. Denis-Sislo
Bellows-Eansor-Bernier (A)
D: Toews-Burroughs (C)
Wotherspoon-Helgeson (A)
Vande Sompel-Aho
G: Smith

F: Beleskey-Holland (A)-Meskanen
Schneider (C)-O’Donnell-St. Amant
D: O’Gara (A)-Bigras
G: Tokarski

R: Markovic, O’Quinn. L: K.Briganti, Galvin.

This should be the box.

Bridgeport scratches (believed healthy unless noted): Casto, Rathgeb, Hitchcock, B.Holmstrom (veteran).

Brent Thompson’s 400th game as Sound Tigers coach, Alan notes.

*-The 2002-03 team might’ve gotten itself into the top six had there been a shootout; they had 23 points with four ties. The 2011-12 team, even as rough as things were through New Year’s, had 22 points through 19. The only teams that really turned things around off the first quarter (though for them the first-quarter mark came one game later under the old 80-game schedule) to reach the playoffs were 2005-06 and 2009-10, both with 17 points. The worst record through 19: 2013-14, 5-10-1-3. And You Were Surely Not Wondering (Or At Least I Hope You Weren’t) But It’s Right In Front Of Me: Bridgeport is 7-7-1-3 in all-time Game 19s.

**-If you wondered where all this Game 19 stuff came from.

Michael Fornabaio