Preview: Islanders vs. Phantoms

Preview: Islanders vs. Phantoms

Feb 10, 2024


The Bridgeport Islanders (13-26-5-0) face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (19-18-5-2) for the first time all season, gearing up for a 7 p.m. puck drop at Total Mortgage Arena tonight. The Islanders will wear their ‘Fisherman’ third-jersey design. Last night, Julien Gauthier scored a goal just 39 seconds into his Bridgeport debut, but Hartford answered with each of the next four tallies in a 4-1 loss at the XL Center. Robin Salo and Otto Koivula collected the assists, while Jakub Skarek (4-17-4) made 25 saves. The Islanders enter tonight’s contest 14 points behind the seventh-place Phantoms in the Atlantic Division standings.


TICKETS: Available here!




Tonight’s game is the first of six meetings between the Islanders and Phantoms this season, and the first of three at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport went 3-4-0-1 against Lehigh Valley last season and 1-3-0-0 in those games at home. The two teams haven’t met since Bridgeport earned a 6-4 victory on Apr. 12, 2023 at Total Mortgage Arena.



The Phantoms returned from the All-Star break with a 5-4 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night at home. Brendan Furry, Jon-Randall Avon, Wade Allison, and Rhett Gardner all scored in regulation before the Phantoms secured their victory in a four-round shootout. Between the pipes, Felix Sandstrom (9-6-2) earned his second straight win with 19 saves. Forward Cooper Marody leads Lehigh Valley in points (37) and assists (27) in 44 games, and is tied for third in the AHL in power-play points (19). Olle Lycksell paces the club in goals (13) but was recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 22nd. Lehigh Valley enters tonight’s action just two points behind Springfield for a playoff spot.



Julien Gauthier was loaned to Bridgeport by the New York Islanders last Saturday and scored his first goal with the team less than a minute into his debut last night. He redirected Robin Salo’s blue-line shot near the top of the left circle just 39 seconds in. Unfortunately, Gauthier suffered an upper-body injury early in the second period and did not return after a collision with Hartford goaltender Louis Domingue. Gauthier has 106 points (72 goals, 34 assists) in 189 AHL games between the Islanders, Wolf Pack, and Charlotte Checkers. He won the 2019 Calder Cup championship with the Checkers. 



Otto Koivula registered the secondary assist on Gauthier’s early tally last night, his 17th assist of the season and his 110th career helper with Bridgeport. His 110 assists tie him with Rob Collins (2003-06) for second place on the team’s all-time list, trailing Jeremy Colliton’s franchise record by 16. Koivula ranks second on the Islanders in assists this season behind Ruslan Iskhakov’s 21. Koivula is also second on the team in scoring with 25 points in 35 games.



The American Hockey League announced Wednesday that Cole Bardreau is the Howies Hockey Tape/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending February 4th. Bardreau had five points last week, recording three goals and two assists over three games. His five points came during the Islanders’ sweep of back-to-back games against the Springfield Thunderbirds.



Today is Daylan Kuefler’s 22nd birthday... Henrik Tikkanen, who could start in net tonight, has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last four starts, going 2-1-1 with a .957 save percentage over that span.



New York Islanders (22-17-12): Last: 6-2 W vs. Tampa Bay, Thursday -- Next: Today vs. Calgary, 1 p.m. ET

Worcester Railers (20-18-4-2): Last: 5-4 OTL vs. Maine, last night -- Next: Tonight vs. Maine, 7:05 p.m. ET

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