Recap: Islanders 5, Marlies 1Mar 26, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (26-25-6-4, .508), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored four times in the first period and rolled to a 5-1 win against the Toronto Marlies (30-23-3-1, .561) at Coca-Cola Coliseum on Saturday.
Arnaud Durandeau and Grant Hutton each scored once and added an assist, while Cory Schneider (10-10-3) was nearly perfect on 40 shots faced. Cole Bardreau had a game-high two assists.
With the win, the Islanders swept their two-game season series against the Marlies and pushed their overall record above AHL .500 for the first time since Oct. 30th. Bridgeport is 5-0-1-0 in its last six games, outscoring opponents 28-13 during that span. The Islanders are also unbeaten in regulation in their last five on the road (4-0-1-0) for the first time all season.
Bridgeport moved within .008 percentage points behind the sixth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. There are 11 games remaining in the Islanders’ 2021-22 regular season.
Hutton’s third goal in as many games was the catalyst to a strong start for the Islanders, which broke the dam early and led to a 4-0 advantage before the first intermission. Keene, Ontario native Erik Brown helped launch Kyle MacLean across the Marlies’ blue line and down the left wing, where he waited for a trailing player and found Hutton on the right wing. The third-year defenseman wristed a shot past Quinnipiac product Kevin Petruzzelli to extend his career-best goal-scoring streak.
Durandeau made it 2-0 just under two minutes later when he cleaned up a rebound on Hutton’s long shot from the point at the 14:50 mark. Bardreau also touched the puck for his first of two helpers in the contest, setting up Durandeau’s 14th goal of the season that became the game-winner.
Thirteen second later, Simon Holmstrom capitalized on a turnover and went top shelf for his ninth goal of the season. He settled a loose puck near the bottom of the left circle and ripped a snapshot over Petruzzelli’s left shoulder at 15:03. Holmstrom has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last six games.
Jeff Kubiak polished off the Islanders third four-goal period of the season with a highlight-reel move in the slot to make it 4-0. Kubiak and Bardreau teamed up on a sequence of quick passes in transition before Kubiak dragged the puck past one Marlies player and snapped home his seventh goal of the season at the 18:06 mark.
Petruzzelli did not return in the second period after allowing four goals on eight shots in the first, and backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson (no decision) was tested right away as the Islanders kept the pressure on. Kubiak nearly scored his second goal of the afternoon on a penalty shot at 2:24, but rang a forehand shot off the post after getting Hutchinson out of position. Kubiak created the opportunity after stealing the puck away from Alex Steeves shorthanded at the blue line and attempting to race ahead on a breakaway.
Pickering, Ontario native Andy Andreoff made it 5-0 with three minutes left in the second, scoring his 16th goal of the season for Hutchinson’s only blemish in relief.
Toronto’s Nick Robertson broke up Schneider’s shutout bid at 4:09 of the third period, connecting on a one-timer from the right side that was put on his tape from Joseph Duszak at even strength.
Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Islanders were outshot 40-30 in the contest and allowed at least 40 shots against for the third time in their last four games. Schneider improved to 6-1-1 in his last eight starts.
Next Time Out: The Islanders continue a four-game road trip tomorrow afternoon with their final game against the Rochester Americans this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. inside Blue Cross Arena. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 2:45 p.m.