Recap: Penguins 5, Islanders 3Feb 26, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (18-23-5-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (22-21-2-4) in a 5-3 final at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday.
A late rally was not enough for the Islanders to overcome a three-goal deficit in the first period and a two-goal shortfall early in the third. Parker Wotherspoon, Andy Andreoff, and Arnaud Durandeau all scored for Bridgeport, while Jakub Skarek (12-10-4) made 25 saves.
Filip Hallander recorded a hat trick for the Penguins and Tommy Nappier (8-6-2) stopped 28 shots.
Drew O’Connor opened the scoring for the Penguins just 3:01 into the game when he tapped the puck into an empty net after Mitch Reinke’s centering feed from the right circle. It was O’Connor’s fourth goal in his eighth AHL game this season after spending most of the year with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hallander doubled the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead at 7:30 of the first period when he took advantage of a rebound and converted from the doorstep. Juuso Riikola hammered a shot at Skarek from the left point that was turned back, but Hallander cashed in on the rebound for his first of three goals on the night. Anthony Angello made it 3-0 with a power-play tally at the 11:25 mark, stepping into a slap shot above the right circle and beating Skarek’s glove.
Wotherspoon got one back for the Islanders at 12:43 of the first period when he crashed the net on a 2-on-1 and redirected Simon Holmstrom’s cross-ice pass. His third goal of the season came at 4-on-4, less than a half minute after Otto Koivula and Kyle Olson were assessed matching penalties for roughing.
Hallander made it 4-1 Penguins with his second goal of the game at 7:13 of the second period. The 21-year-old intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and beat Skarek on a quick, uncontested wrist shot.
Down by three late in the second, Andreoff began what Bridgeport hoped would be a furious comeback with a power-play goal at 18:34. Chris Terry caught Robin Salo’s cross-ice pass at the blue line and lifted a shot towards the net that Andreoff redirected for his 11th goal of the season. The Islanders have now scored a power-play tally in three straight games.
Durandeau pulled the Islanders within one at 2:39 of the third period, scoring his eighth goal of the season and first since Feb. 11th. Felix Bibeau created the opportunity by driving the net and although he couldn’t beat Nappier, Durandeau collected a loose puck and fired it off the post and in.
Bridgeport fought hard to tie the game late, including consecutive shots from Paul LaDue and Salo that found the post in the final minutes. Salo narrowly missed on an open cage with his attempt, but Hallander completed the scoring, and his first North American hat trick, at 18:17 of the third period. He converted on a wrist shot between Skarek’s pads to make it 5-3.
The Islanders went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and outshot the Penguins 31-30.
The contest included 32 combined penalty minutes and one fight at 18:42 of the opening frame, when Andreoff and Jordy Bellerive dropped the gloves.
Next Time Out: The Islanders continue a four-game homestand with their final meeting of the season against the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is slated for 3 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV.