Islanders Face Thunderbirds Tonight
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Islanders conclude a four-game road trip to open the season and start their second straight three-in-three with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds tonight. The Islanders are looking for their first win of the season following back-to-back shootout losses to Providence and Springfield last weekend. Bridgeport faces Springfield tonight at the MassMutual Center and again tomorrow at Webster Bank Arena (7 p.m.) prior to Sunday's 3 p.m. matinee against the Laval Rocket at home.
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WATCH LIVE: www.watchtheahl.com
SERIES AT A GLANCE
Tonight's game is the third of 12 meetings between the Islanders (0-1-0-2) and Thunderbirds (2-0-0-0) this season, and the second of three in a row. It's also the second of six matchups in Massachusetts. Bridgeport did not face Springfield in 2020-21 as the T-Birds sat out the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
VIEW FROM SPRINGFIELD
Drew Bannister's team is 2-0-0-0 to begin the season following a couple of one-goal victories at home last weekend. On Sunday, Springfield never trailed in a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders, led by goals from Nikita Alexandrov, Tanner Kaspick and Logan Brown, and Hugh McGing's shootout winner. Alexandrov leads the team with two goals in two games (both on the power play), while rookie Scott Perunovich paces the club in points and assists (three). Goaltenders Charlie Lindgren and Joel Hofer have each played one game. Springfield is in its first season as the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate.
Tonight is expected to be Chris Terry's 800th pro game between the NHL, AHL and KHL. The five-time AHL All-Star has two goals in two games to lead the Islanders and also co-leads Bridgeport in points (three). A veteran of 12 professional seasons, Terry has played 628 AHL games with Grand Rapids, Laval, St. John's, Charlotte and Albany, recording 235 goals and 555 points (76th all-time). He won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the AHL scoring champion (71 points) in 2017-18 with Laval.
ANDREOFF'S STRONG START
Andy Andreoff recorded a point in all three games last weekend, Bridgeport's only player to do so. He notched an assist in his Islanders debut on Friday and scored his first goal with the team to eventually force overtime on Saturday. In addition, Andreoff dropped the gloves with Springfield's Tyler Tucker on Sunday and leads Bridgeport in penalty minutes (five). He has 150 points (70 goals, 80 assists) in 277 AHL games and another 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 179 NHL contests with LA and Philadelphia. The New York Islanders signed Andreoff in September to a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) deal.
NEWKIRK, THE NEW KID
Twenty-year-old forward Reece Newkirk made his pro debut last Friday in Hartford, Bridgeport's only player to do so. He ended the weekend with one shot and a minus-one rating in three games. Newkirk was selected by New York in the fifth round (#147 overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft and spent each of the last four seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Tomorrow's home opener will be Game #1,500 in franchise history... Cole Bardreau played his 300th professional game last Saturday... Bridgeport agreed to terms with forward Paul Thompson this week and loaned him to the Worcester Railers (ECHL)... Bridgeport recalled forward Erik Brown from the Railers on Tuesday.
ACROSS THE SOUND
New York Islanders (1-2-1): Last: 3-2 OTL at CBJ, last night -- Next: Tomorrow at ARI, 9:00 p.m. ET
Worcester Railers (0-0-0-0): Season opener is tonight at ME, 7:15 p.m. ET
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