Jakub Skarek made 30 saves for his first North American shutout and Travis St. Denis scored twice on Saturday, leading the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-15-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 3-0 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (15-12-3-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Kieffer Bellows also collected his eighth goal in the last 11 games and his second game-winner in the last five, as the Sound Tigers moved above .500 at home for the first time all season (7-6-1-1). Bridgeport also earned its first win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year (1-1-0-1)
Bellows put Bridgeport out front just 1:11 into the contest with a perfectly-placed wrist shot following a Penguins’ turnover. The 21-year-old intercepted a pass and moved to the slot, where he released a missile that beat goaltender Dustin Tokarski for an unassisted tally. It was Bellows’ team-leading ninth goal of the season. The rest of the period was back and forth that showcased the calm and collected presence of Skarek and Tokarski.
Early in the second, Skarek bailed out his teammates with an incredible save on the penalty kill, sprawling out and into the splits to preserve the lead with Jeff Kubiak in the box for slashing. The physically intensified a few minutes later when Mike Cornell and Jamie Devane exchanged several cross-checks, then dropped the gloves for the first of two fights on the evening.
St. Denis made it 2-0 at 12:22 of the second period with a power-play goal for his fifth of the season. With Jon Lizotte in the box for hooking, St. Denis pounded home a chance from the slot following a handful of rebounds and chaos in front of the Penguins’ net. St. Denis notched his second goal into an empty cage at 13:52 of the third period, as Penguins head coach Mike Vellucci pulled Tokarski for an extra attacker with more than eight minutes left in regulation.
Josh Ho-Sang notched an assist on the empty-net tally in his season debut.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led the shot margin 30-29, while St. Denis ended his night at 16:42 of the third period with a fight against Graham Knott.