Sound Tigers Visit Hartford to Close out Season
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, complete their 24-game schedule this afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest against the Hartford Wolf Pack (13-8-1-0) at the XL Center. Bridgeport (8-13-2-0) enters today's season finale looking to extend its six-game unbeaten in regulation streak (5-0-1) following a 4-3 shootout win against the Providence Bruins just 24 hours ago. Cole Bardreau scored his team-leading 10th goal just 91 seconds into the game and added an assist later, while Tom Kuhnhackl (one goal, one assist) and Felix Bibeau (two assists) also had a multi-point effort. Otto Koivula scored his second goal of the season in regulation and converted the shootout winner, and Jakub Skarek (3-8-1) earned the victory in net.
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SERIES AT A GLANCE
The Sound Tigers have points in three straight games against Hartford (2-0-1-0), outscoring the Wolf Pack 10-6 during that span. Bridgeport won two in a row before falling in overtime in their last tilt at Webster Bank Arena on Apr. 27, when Dmytro Timashov and Cole Bardreau scored 28 seconds apart in the third period to draw the game even. Tim Gettinger notched the overtime winner in a 3-2 final. Today's game is the 12th and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack this season and the sixth of six games at the XL Center. Hartford leads the series 7-3-1-0. Bardreau paces Bridgeport in the series with seven goals and two assists (nine points) in 11 outings.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
The Wolf Pack have won 10 of their last 12 games, with both losses during that span coming against the Sound Tigers. Hartford has gone to overtime in each of its last two contests, earning a 3-2 overtime victory against Providence in their last outing on Saturday. Patrick Newell beat Dan Vladar to score his fifth goal of the season 1:15 into the extra session at the XL Center, while Mason Geertsen and Ty Ronning each had a goal in regulation. Ronning is now tied for the team lead in goals (10) with Morgan Barron, who was recalled by the New York Rangers along with Tarmo Reunanen last Friday. Barron made his NHL debut against the Islanders on Saturday.
HEADS UP, SEVEN UP
Cole Bardreau's early goal on Monday afternoon extended his point streak to a career-best seven games (four goals, four assists), which is the longest scoring streak on the team this season. It's also the longest scoring streak of Bardreau's pro career, topping his five-game point streak in March, 2017 while he played with Lehigh Valley. Bardreau leads the Sound Tigers in scoring with 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 23 contests and has enjoyed his best offensive season since 2017-18, despite playing so few games. He has never led his team in scoring as a pro.
EATING GOOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Ken Appleby has started four of the Sound Tigers' last seven games and earned his third straight win last Thursday against Providence, the longest winning streak for a Bridgeport goalie this season. Overall, he is 4-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against-average, .924 save percentage and one shutout with the Sound Tigers. Appleby is also 3-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against-average and .953 save percentage in his last three outings.
START ME UP
Bridgeport has scored first in six of its last seven games including Cole Bardreau's tally just 1:31 into the contest on Monday. Blade Jenkins has opened the scoring twice during that span, while Bardreau, Jeff Kubiak, Arnaud Durandeau and Felix Bibeau have the others. The Sound Tigers are 5-4-1-0 when scoring first this year, but 4-1-0-0 when leading after 20 minutes and Bridgeport has outscored its opponents 6-2 in first periods over its last seven outings.
Tom Kuhnhackl is on a season-best four-game point streak (two goals, three assists) dating back to Apr. 24th... He earned his first multi-point game of the year on Monday with one goal and one assist... He has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last eight games... The Sound Tigers are searching for their third straight win in a regular-season finale after beating the Toronto Marlies 4-1 on Mar. 11, 2020 and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-2 on Apr. 13, 2019.
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