Recap: Bruins 2, Islanders 1 (OT)Jan 21, 2024
A defensive duel all afternoon long ended in overtime on Sunday, as the Bridgeport Islanders (11-22-5-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 2-1 loss to the Providence Bruins (23-13-3-2) at Amica Mutual Pavilion.
William Dufour scored his 10th goal of the season on the Islanders’ initial shot early in the first period, while John Beecher tied the contest 44 seconds into the second and Mason Lohrei’s first AHL goal ended the contest in overtime.
Henrik Tikkanen (3-2-1) made 30 saves. It was the second time in three games, and the fifth time in the last eight, that Bridgeport has gone past regulation. Sunday’s result was the Islanders’ league-leading 22nd outcome that was decided by a single goal.
The Islanders were outshot 3-0 within the first three minutes, but Dufour beat 2023 AHL All-Star Brandon Bussi at 3:48 of the first period to give Bridgeport the lead. Ruslan Iskhakov skated to the right side and fired a wrist shot directly off a Bruin, producing a rebound that Dufour waved at and blew past Bussi from the circle. Iskhakov was credited with his team-leading 20th assist and 33rd point, while Jeff Kubiak also received a helper.
The 1-0 advantage lasted through the first intermission, but Beecher tied the game from the deep slot 44 seconds into the second. The Bruins’ forward, who was loaned from Boston on Saturday, flicked his wrist, and snapped a distant shot underneath Tikkanen. Tikkanen recovered with two critical stops on breakaways for both Georgii Merkulov and Jayson Megna later in the frame.
Bridgeport outshot Providence 11-10 in the third, but overtime was needed in the first of three straight meetings between the division rivals. The Islanders also outshot the Bruins 2-1 in the sudden-death session, but Lohrei spun away from two Islanders at the 2:21 mark and found an opening on Tikkanen for the 2-1 final.
Bridgeport went 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Islanders fell to 1-6-1-0 against the Bruins this season.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to Amica Mutual Pavilion next Friday night for a 7:05 p.m. rematch against the Bruins, their second of three straight meetings against Boston’s affiliate. The game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 6:45 p.m.