PROVIDENCE, RI - For the second time in less than a month, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (23-20-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, found themselves in the midst of a double shutout after 65 minutes, but Friday’s contest ended in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Providence Bruins (29-16-3-2) at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Christopher Gibson (17-11-3) made 30 saves for his career-best third shutout of the season, while Zane McIntyre (17-10-4) turned back 29 shots for his league-leading fifth of the year. Casey Bailey netted Bridgeport’s lone tally in a three-round shootout, and Kenny Agostino and Austin Czarnik both scored for the Bruins.
The Sound Tigers previously engaged in a double shutout on January 21 when Kristers Gudlevskis and Toronto Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks took a scoreless deadlock into a shootout, in which Bridgeport won at Webster Bank Arena.
Providence outshot Bridgeport 21-17 during the first 40 minutes, but Gibson and McIntyre each settled in and proved they were up for the challenge. The third period saw much of the same with both netminders holding down the fort throughout several odd-man rushes, scrambles in the slot and even a few breakaways.
The Sound Tigers and Bruins each went 0-for-4 on the power play in regulation, and Providence nearly scored after a slashing penalty to Agostino expired at 12:40 of the third. The fourth-year forward raced out of the penalty box and stripped Andre Benoit at the blue line, setting up a breakaway in the opposite direction. However, Gibson made a right-pad save to help force overtime.
The Sound Tigers earned two more power-play opportunities during the five-minute extra frame when Tommy Cross was given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor at the end of regulation and Emil Johansson was whistled for holding at the 2:55 mark. However, McIntyre wasn’t interested in giving in and kept it scoreless.
Czarnik notched the game-deciding goal as the final scorer in a three-round shootout.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Providence outshot Bridgeport 31-29, just the 12th time the club has been outshot this season, and dropped the Sound Tigers to 0-3-1-1 in their last five games.
The loss also extended Bridgeport's goal-scoring drought to a season-long 88:08.