Travis St. Denis gets a one-game suspension for sending Aaron Ness to the hospital. If you play by the old “one playoff game=two regular-season games” standby for suspensions, it’s roughly in line with a couple of suspensions from plays here in December, similar plays with less-catastrophic results: Stephen Gionta got three games for a bump that sent WBS’ Thomas Di Pauli into the sideboards and left him injured, and Steven Fogarty of Hartford got two games for sending Jeff Kubiak into the endboards and leaving him out almost a month.
The Bears somewhat vaguely updated Ness’ condition, but all indications are he’s doing OK; he’s out of Bridgeport Hospital and will be heading back to Hershey tonight.
It’s maybe only a bit surprising, after 93:36 of hockey last night, that Kubiak’s replacing St. Denis (more or less straight up, just kicking Matt Lorito to the wing) is the only change from last night’s Sound Tigers lineup. They have bodies; they have not been afraid to use them. But then, that Ryan Bourque-Jones-Gionta line has become their go-to checking line, used almost all night against Riley Barber and Mike Sgarbossa in Game 1, and that’s where you’d likely make changes. So there you go. They will switch in net, though; Jeremy Smith gets the call.
The Capitals called up Ilya Samsonov to be their third goalie tonight after his brilliant night last night; Vitek Vanecek gets the Game 2 start. Liam O’Brien returns from his suspension for the Bears and joins that top line with Barber and Sgarbossa, and they rearrange a few wingers. Brian Pinho comes out. The Bears swap a few defensemen as well, Colby Williams and Tobias Geisser in; Joey Leach and Ness out.
Meanwhile, Yannick Rathgeb has been quietly assigned to the Swiss national team. He hadn’t played here since March 23.
Bellows – Stevens – Ho-Sang
D: Aho-Burroughs (C)
F: O’Brien-Sgarbossa (A)-Barber
D: Johansen-Lewington (A)
R: Jenken, South. L: Marquis, K.Briganti.
Bridgeport scratches (believed healthy unless noted): Gillam, Casto, Cornell, Quenneville, Carpenter, Eansor, Hitchcock, B.Holmstrom (veteran), Jobst, Sislo (veteran/lower), St. Denis (suspended 1/1), Turcotte.
Fourth playoff suspension in team history: Kevin Colley got two suspensions totaling four games in 2004, a year after Eric Godard got a game for three instigators racked up during the regular season.