BORN IN BRIDGEPORTThe New York Islanders have gotten contributions throughout their lineup after tying their best-of-seven series with Pittsburgh at two games apiece on Tuesday, and 10 of the 22 players that have played in the series for the Isles are former Sound Tigers. Here’s a look at some former Sound Tigers that have been difference-makers with the Islanders thus far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
KYLE OKPOSO – 2007-09 with Sound Tigers
The Islanders 2006 first round pick has been a thorn in the side of the Penguins all series long and has truly upped his game in the postseason. Okposo had just four goals on 24 points in 48 games this regular season, but has scored three times in four games against Pittsburgh, including a shorthanded tally in Game 3, and registered his first pro fight in Game 2 to spark the Islanders comeback before netting the game-winner late in the third period.
Kyle Okposo vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 4
CASEY CIZIKAS – 2011-13 with Sound Tigers
Casey Cizikas became a fan favorite with his hard-nosed style of play in Bridgeport over the past two seasons, and that same style of play has endeared him among the Coliseum faithful this season. Cizikas began the 2012-13 campaign with the Sound Tigers before joining the Islanders following the lockout, and the Toronto native posted 15 points (6g/9a) in 45 games with the Isles over his first full pro season. Cizikas is second on the club in postseason scoring (2g/2a) through four games, including his goal to put the exclamation mark on a resounding 6-4 Islanders victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Casey Cizikas vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 3
MATT MARTIN – 2009-11 with Sound Tigers
Martin led the NHL in hits last season, and he’s used his physicality to agitate opposition in this series. Martin also had the game-tying goal in Game 2 before Okposo’s eventual game-winner, and he’s found a chemistry with Cizikas and Michael Grabner to form a hard-working, consistent third line for Jack Capuano.
Matt Martin vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 2
COLIN MCDONALD – 2012-13 with Sound Tigers
McDonald joined the Islanders organization this offseason and became an immediate force with the Sound Tigers, eventually garnering the captaincy of Scott Pellerin’s squad before earning the call to Long Island following the lockout. Despite having just seven games of NHL experience before this season, McDonald flourished with the Islanders this season, posting 17 points (7g/10a) over 45 games. The sixth-year pro got the ball rolling in Game 2, scoring on a wrap-around against his former team to bring the Islanders within a goal, and his +2 rating is tied with Cizikas for best among Islanders forwards in this series.
Colin McDonald vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 2
Frans Nielsen (2006-08 with Sound Tigers, two assists in four games vs. PIT)
Josh Bailey (2010-11 with Sound Tigers, two assists in four games vs. PIT)
Travis Hamonic (2010-11, 2012-13 with Sound Tigers, one assist in four games vs. PIT)
David Ullstrom (2010-13 with Sound Tigers, one assist in three games vs. PIT)