Preview: Islanders at Bruins

Preview: Islanders at Bruins

Apr 1, 2023


The Bridgeport Islanders (30-26-7-1) complete a four-game road trip tonight with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins (40-15-8-2) at Amica Mutual Pavilion. The Islanders remain in the thick of a tight playoff battle with eight games left in the regular season. Bridgeport dropped to seventh place in the Atlantic Division on Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to Hartford at XL Center, which put the Wolf Pack slightly ahead of the Islanders in the division. Paul Thompson scored first at 13:07 of the opening period, but Bridgeport allowed each of the next four goals. Cory Schneider (18-9-3) made 24 saves. The Islanders open a back-to-back set of games tonight, hosting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 3 p.m. tomorrow.



The Islanders are three points behind Hartford for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot after the Wolf Pack defeated Providence at home last night, 5-0. However, the Islanders have two games in hand on Hartford. Bridgeport is six points behind Sunday’s opponent, the fifth-place Lehigh Valley Phantoms, with one game in hand. The Islanders’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 16. The Bruins and Hershey Bears have already clinched a playoff berth in the Atlantic Division.



Tonight’s game is the 11th of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Bruins this season, and the fifth of six in Rhode Island. Bridgeport is 5-5-0-0 against Providence so far and 3-1-0-0 in those games on the road, including three straight wins. The Islanders haven’t seen the Bruins since a convincing 7-1 win at Total Mortgage Arena on Mar. 2nd when Andy Andreoff scored two goals and Ruslan Iskhakov had three points (one goal, two assists).



The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 90 points in 64 games. Their magic number to win the division is down to just 14, but Providence suffered an ugly 5-0 loss in Hartford last night which snapped an eight-game winning streak. The Bruins remain on a four-game win streak on the road. Providence is led on the offensive side by forward Georgii Merkulov with 51 points (23 goals, 28 assists) in 60 games, which is also tied for most among all AHL rookies. Brandon Bussi is second among AHL goalies in save percentage (.927) and ranks fourth in GAA (2.33).



Seth Helgeson became Bridgeport’s all-time leader in games played on Wednesday when he made his 369th appearance with the franchise, breaking Mark Wotton’s previous record. It was Helgeson’s 587th career AHL game between Bridgeport and the Albany Devils. He is one of two players to participate in all 64 games so far this season (along with Jeff Kubiak). Helgeson made his Bridgeport debut on Oct. 7, 2017 and has 93 points (15g, 78a) since then.



Collin Adams has points in five of the last six games including an AHL career-high four-game point streak (2g, 2a) from Mar. 15th through Mar. 22nd. He added his sixth point (3g, 3a) in 14 AHL games this season with the primary assist on Paul Thompson’s goal Wednesday night. Adams began the year with the Worcester Railers (ECHL), where he notched 32 points (14g, 18a) in 30 games and was selected to the 2023 ECHL All-Star Classic in Norfolk, VA. Tonight’s contest is the 100th appearance of Adams’ professional career.



Arnaud Durandeau has four goals in his last three games and is tied for third on the team with a career-high 19 goals this season... Ruslan Iskhakov had a three-game point streak come to an end on Wednesday (2g, 1a), but still ranks third among all AHL rookies with 49 points (17g, 32a)... He also shares second among rookies in assists... Andy Andreoff has scored at least one goal in five of his last seven games and six of his last nine... Andreoff had 10 goals in March and has a career-high 31 goals this season, tied for second in the AHL.



New York Islanders (39-28-9): Last: 2-1 SOW at Washington, Wednesday -- Next: Tonight at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET
Worcester Railers (32-30-4-0): Last: 5-4 OTW vs. Adirondack, last night -- Next: Tonight vs. Adirondack, 7:05 p.m. ET

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