BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Mar. 17, 2013) – Rick DiPietro made 33 saves for his first shutout since the 2010-11 season, Brock Nelson broke a scoreless tie with a shorthanded goal midway through the third period and Nino Niederreiter added an insurance tally as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers blanked the Albany Devils 2-0 at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Sound Tigers improve to 26-25-6-4. The Devils fall to 27-22-1-10.
Nelson’s game-winner came shorthanded after Scott Campbell’s strong effort along the boards in front of the benches in the neutral zone forced an abbreviated 2-on-1 for the Sound Tigers. Campbell found Nelson by the left circle, and the rookie center snapped a shot over Keith Kinkaid’s blocker to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead with 9:25 left in the third period, and their first goal in 118:25 of game time since Mike Halmo’s goal with 5:01 left in the third period of Friday’s game in Manchester.
Niederreiter provided an insurance goal with 1:57 left in regulation, batting a rebound out of mid-air past Kinkaid for his team-leading 26th goal of the season. Albany pulled Kinkaid in favor of the extra attacker, but DiPietro and the defense held the Devils off the scoreboard to preserve the shutout.
After a scoreless opening period that saw relatively few scoring chances for either side, Bridgeport outshot Albany 20-11 in the second frame and had numerous opportunities to break the scoreless tie. Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid came out into the slot to play a puck ahead of Nino Niederreiter and misplayed it, but Niederreiter had the puck hop over his stick with an open net in front of him. Soon after, Kinkaid made a save on a point shot but was out of position for the rebound. Johan Sundstrom recovered the rebound and found Niederreiter in the slot, but had his shot blocked as the game remained scoreless.
Sunday afternoon’s game began as a mirror image of the Sound Tigers game in Hershey less than 24 hours earlier, which was scoreless after two periods and remained scoreless through regulation before the Bears earned a 1-0 overtime victory.
Kinkaid made 41 saves in the loss for Albany, who went 0-for-3 on the power play, including a five-minute power play early in the first period after Kirill Kabanov was called for a major boarding penalty. The Sound Tigers were 0-for-4 on the man-advantage.
The Sound Tigers return to action next Friday night when they travel to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to face the Providence Bruins at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: DiPietro’s shutout was his first since a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 26, 2010; former Sound Tigers Jesse Joensuu and Rob Schremp scored for the Islanders in that game … It was DiPietro’s first AHL shutout since Dec. 4, 2002 at Arena at Harbor Yard, a 1-0 win over Providence; Trent Hunter had the goal for the Sound Tigers … There were three fights in the game; Marc Cantin vs. Chad Wiseman, Adam Huxley vs. Cam Janssen, and Matt Donovan vs. Steve Zalewski … The Sound Tigers have allowed eight goals in their last five games (3-1-1-0)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
14 Matt Watkins (C) – 29 Brock Nelson – 16 Sean Backman
22 Nino Niederreiter – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 77 Kirill Kabanov
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley
40 Mike Halmo – 25 Jordan Hill – 32 Adam Huxley
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness – 8 Nathan McIver (A)
15 Marc Cantin – 7 Jon Landry (A)
39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
30 Kenny Reiter