Recap: Penguins 4, Islanders 3Jan 13, 2024
The Bridgeport Islanders (10-20-4-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, erased a three-goal deficit with a dramatic comeback effort on Saturday but allowed the game-winning goal in the final two minutes and suffered a 4-3 loss to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (19-12-5-0) at Total Mortgage Arena.
Trevor Cosgrove scored his first AHL goal in the final four minutes of regulation to make it 3-3, while William Dufour had a goal for the third straight game and Reece Newkirk scored his first in the AHL this season. Ruslan Iskhakov added two assists on the night to extend his point streak to a career-high 10 games (five goals, eight assists), tied for the longest active streak in the League.
Henrik Tikkanen (2-2-0) turned aside 23 shots in his fourth AHL start, as the Islanders outshot the Penguins 35-27. It was Bridgeport's league-leading 20th one-goal outcome this season.
The Penguins came out firing scoring each of the first three goals. They took the lead 7:21 into the game when Ty Smith’s rebound hopped right to Jagger Joshua, who beat Tikkanen from the bottom of the right circle. Smith’s blast from the point led to the rebound goal, receiving the primary assist for his team-leading 25th point.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton extended its lead just over three minutes later with a breakaway goal from Sam Poulin. An Islanders’ turnover in the neutral zone led to the rush, as Poulin found himself in alone before converting on a five-hole shot.
The Penguins continued their scoring 2:38 into the second period courtesy of Corey Andonovski. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward rifled a shot short side past Tikkanen that went off the inside bar and out. Joshua and Taylor Fedun were credited with the assists on tally.
However, the night was only just beginning. The Islanders scored three consecutive goals from Dufour, Newkirk and Cosgrove to make it 3-3. They cut their deficit to two with a power-play goal at 18:55 of the second period when Dufour snapped a shot past Magnus Hellberg from the top of the right circle. Robin Salo, who also had two assists in the game, helped set up the goal along with Iskhakov. Salo improved his point streak to a season-long four games.
Bridgeport pulled within one just 2:54 into the third period with Newkirk’s first AHL goal this season. The Islanders forward fired a shot up and over Hellberg’s glove from the top of the left circle to make it to 3-2. Jeff Kubiak and Salo were credited with the assists.
The Islanders recorded the game-tying goal 16:11 into the third period with Cosgrove’s first AHL goal. The 26-year-old directed a shot past Hellberg from the deep slot to tie the game for the first time since it was scoreless. Iskhakov and Kubiak recorded the assists on the tally.
Bridgeport’s comeback fell short however, as the Penguins scored with 1:42 left in the game to pull ahead. Jonathan Gruden recorded the game winner by deflecting a shot from the point that just squeaked through Tikkanen’s legs to secure the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Islanders finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to the road tomorrow afternoon for the middle game of their three-in-three series, facing the Providence Bruins at Amica Mutual Pavilion. The puck drops at 3:05 p.m. and the game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.