Preview: Islanders vs. BruinsNov 19, 2023
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Islanders (4-9-1-0) host the defending regular-season champs of the Atlantic Division to complete a three-game weekend series this afternoon. Puck drop between the Islanders and Providence Bruins (6-6-1-2) is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Total Mortgage Arena. Last night, the Islanders tested Hershey Bears goaltender Clay Stevenson with 25 shots, but failed to score in a 4-0 loss at home. All kids 12 and younger are eligible to receive a $10 ticket, as the Islanders look to bounce back this afternoon.
TICKETS: Available here
WATCH ONLINE: www.ahltv.com
LISTEN LIVE: https://isles-radio.mixlr.com/
GAME AT A GLANCE
Today’s game is the second of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Bruins this season, and the first of six in Connecticut. Providence earned a 4-2 win at home in the series opener on Oct. 18th, despite Kyle MacLean’s first professional two-goal performance. Georgii Merkulov had two points (one goal, one assist) and Michael DiPietro made 23 saves for the P-Bruins. Bridgeport will host four of the next five meetings against Boston’s affiliate including a rematch next Saturday night at Total Mortgage Arena. The Islanders went 2-4-0-0 against Providence at home last season.
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
Head coach Ryan Mougenel’s team has lost back-to-back games and ranks seventh in the Atlantic Division, six points ahead of the Islanders and one point behind the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Last night at home, the Bruins suffered a 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, despite Reilly Walsh’s first goal of the season and 25 saves from Michael DiPietro (2-2-0). Providence went 0-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the kill. The Bruins are led offensively by second-year forward Fabian Lysell with 12 points and eight assists. Justin Brazeau and Luke Toporowski co-lead the club in goals (5). Between the pipes, Long Island native Brandon Bussi is fifth among all AHL goaltenders in saves (256). The Bruins begin a four-game road trip today that runs into December.
FORMER BRUIN FIRED UP
Sam Asselin, who spent each of the last four seasons with Providence, will face his former team for the second time today. Asselin saw a three-game point streak come to an end last night, but enters today’s game with eight points in his last nine contests (four goals, four assists) and five points in his last four (one goal, four assists). Asselin is tied with Ruslan Iskhakov for the team lead in goals (4), and paces Bridgeport in power-play goals (2) and shooting percentage (4-for-18, 22.2%). He recorded 65 points (23 goals, 42 assists) in 166 career games over four seasons with the Bruins.
Otto Koivula scored his first goal of the season and added an assist in Hershey on Friday. In doing so, he moved into sole possession of fourth place in both points (152) and assists (95) on Bridgeport’s all-time lists. Koivula is just four points from tying Jeff Hamilton (2002-06) for third place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. He is five assists from tying current Hershey defenseman and former Bridgeport captain Aaron Ness (2010-15) for third in helpers.
Jeff Kubiak has two goals in his last three games... Bridgeport had outshot its opponents in six straight games prior to last night... Bridgeport’s penalty kill is 12-for-13 in its last five games, and ranks fourth in the AHL overall at 88.0%.
New York Islanders (6-6-5): Last: 5-4 SOW at Calgary, last night -- Next: Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. ET
Worcester Railers (5-5-2-1): Last: 4-2 W vs. Cincinnati, last night -- Next: Today vs. Maine, 3:05 p.m. ET