Preview: Islanders vs. PenguinsNov 19, 2022
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Islanders (7-3-3-0) look to get back on track and snap a four-game skid (0-2-2-0) as they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7-4-1-0) at 7 p.m. tonight inside Total Mortgage Arena. Last night, the Islanders outshot the Charlotte Checkers 39-18 and Hudson Fasching scored his sixth goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-1 setback to open the weekend. Trevor Cosgrove had four shots in his AHL debut and Nikita Soshnikov recorded one shot. Despite the setback, Bridgeport has points in 10 of its last 12 games and ranks fourth in the Atlantic Division standings.
HOCKEY & HOPS
Tonight is “Hockey & Hops,” featuring a pre-game beer tasting event from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Total Mortgage Arena concourse. Try some of the best beer in Connecticut with many local breweries in attendance. Packages are still available online and at the Yale New Haven Health Box Office, which include access to the pre-game party, a ticket to tonight’s game, a Bridgeport Islanders tasting glass and koozie.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Tonight’s game is the first of six meetings between the Islanders and Penguins this season, and the first of three in Connecticut. Bridgeport went 2-4-0-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2021-22, but was 2-1-0-0 in those games at home including back-to-back wins on Mar. 4th and 5th. The division rivals last met on Apr. 16th in Pennsylvania, where Simon Holmstrom had three points (two goals, one assist) in a 6-5 loss. All six meetings last season were decided in regulation.
VIEW FROM WILKES-BARRE
The fifth-place Penguins snapped a four-game slide with a 4-0 win against the Hershey Bears at home last night. AHL Goaltender of the Month for October, Dustin Tokarski, was magnificent with 26 saves, while four different players found the net including Drake Caggiula’s first as a Penguin. Tokarski leads the AHL in goals-against-average (1.38) and save percentage (.948) in eight outings. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leads the league in fewest goals allowed (25).
FASCHING STAYS HOT
Hudson Fasching scored his sixth goal of the season at 10:00 of the first period last night, tying him for the team lead with Andy Andreoff. All six of his goals have come at even strength. Fasching has three goals in his last three games including a two-goal performance in Hershey on Nov. 11th. The 27-year-old is tied for fourth on the Islanders in scoring with nine points (six goals, three assists) in 13 games.
The New York Islanders loaned Nikita Soshnikov to Bridgeport after he cleared waivers on Wednesday. The 29-year-old forward made his Bridgeport debut last night and recorded one shot against Charlotte’s Alex Lyon. Soshnikov played three NHL games to begin the season after signing a one-year deal on Sept. 21st. He spent each of the last three seasons in the KHL following parts of four years in North America between the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues organizations (2015-19). Last night was his first AHL appearance since Dec. 16, 2018 with San Antonio.
If Cory Schneider gets the nod in net tonight, it will mark his 199th career AHL appearance. Of course, most of his pro career has come in the National Hockey League, playing 410 contests between the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks over parts of 14 seasons. Schneider enters the day tied for seventh in the AHL in save percentage (.921), tied for 10th in goals-against-average (2.38) and shares sixth in wins (5).
Ruslan Iskhakov remains first among AHL rookies in assists (10) and points (14 - tied with Cleveland’s Kirill Marchenko)… Andy Andreoff is tied for the league lead in power-play goals (five)... Samuel Bolduc is tied for fourth among AHL defensemen in points (12) and is already just two points shy of his career high... Bridgeport is 4-0-1-0 in Saturday games this season.
New York Islanders (11-7-0): Last: 5-4 L at Nashville, Thursday -- Next: Tonight at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Worcester Railers (11-2-0-0): Last: 3-2 OTW vs. Greenville, last night -- Next: Tonight vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m.