Weekend Preview: Islanders Face T-Birds in Three StraightNov 20, 2021
The Bridgeport Islanders (5-7-1-2) complete their five-game road trip and open a three-game series against the Springfield Thunderbirds (10-2-2-0) tonight at the MassMutual Center (7:05 p.m.). The series shifts to Webster Bank Arena for a 3 p.m. rematch on Sunday. Bridgeport is 1-2-1-0 through its first four games of the trip, falling to the Hartford Wolf Pack in regulation on Wednesday, 4-3. The Islanders scored three times in the first period including two goals from Blade Jenkins, but Hartford responded with three tallies in the second. Otto Koivula also scored on the power play for the Islanders, who fell to 1-5-1-2 in road games this season. Jakub Skarek (5-2-2) made 28 saves.
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SERIES AT A GLANCE
Tonight’s game is the fifth of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Thunderbirds this season, and the third of six in Massachusetts. Bridgeport is 1-2-0-1 against Springfield, including a 4-3 overtime victory in the home opener on Oct. 23rd. Two of the first four matchups have gone past regulation, with the T-Birds recording a 4-3 shootout win at home on Oct. 17th. The two clubs last met 14 days ago when Springfield scored three times in the first period in a 4-1 victory at Webster Bank Arena on Nov. 6th. Andy Andreoff notched the Islanders’ only goal that night.
VIEW FROM SPRINGFIELD
The T-Birds have won back-to-back games beyond regulation following a 5-4 shootout victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night at home. They also beat Lehigh Valley in overtime, 2-1, last Saturday. Springfield rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first period to beat the Penguins last night, led by Hugh McGing’s winner in the three-round shootout. It was the first time this season the T-Birds played without star defenseman Scott Perunovich, who was recalled by St. Louis on Monday after leading all AHL players in points (20) and assists (18) through the first month of the season.
STREAKING INTO SATURDAY
Kyle MacLean enters the weekend on a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists), which is tied for the longest Islanders’ scoring streak this season. MacLean is one game shy of tying his career-long six-game point streak, which he accomplished as a rookie last year (Apr. 5, 2021 - Apr. 24, 2021). Blade Jenkins (two goals, two assists) and Arnaud Durandeau (two goals, one assist) have each recorded points in three straight games.
SALO GETS THE CALL
Former second-round draft pick Robin Salo (#46, 2017) was recalled by the New York Islanders for the first time in his career on Thursday and could make his NHL debut tonight in the inaugural game at UBS Arena. Salo had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 14 games with Bridgeport this season, tied for eighth among all AHL defensemen at the time of his recall. One of Salo’s two goals was the game-winner in overtime on Oct. 23rd in the Islanders’ 4-3 victory against Springfield during its home opener.
Otto Koivula leads the Islanders in scoring (13 points) and has at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games... He is tied for 15th in the AHL’s scoring race and tied for 10th in assists (10)... Chris Terry has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last four games... Arnaud Durandeau has three goals and six points in his last five games… He is fourth on the team in goals (four), third in shots (37), and second in points (12)… Bridgeport is 2-1-1-0 against North Division opponents and 3-6-0-2 against the Atlantic… Each of the next seven games will be within the Atlantic Division.
ACROSS THE SOUND
New York Islanders (5-6-2); Last: 6-1 L at Florida, Thursday -- Next: Tonight vs. Calgary, 7 p.m. ET
Worcester Railers (3-6-0-1): Last: 4-1 L vs. Trois Rivieres, Friday - Next: Tonight vs. Trois Rivieres, 7:05 p.m.