Simon Holmstrom scored his first of two goals with 4:37 remaining in regulation as Bridgeport staved off elimination with a 3-2 win in Charlotte on Saturday afternoon.
The Checkers will take their 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Monday with another chance to close out the Islanders.
Holmstrom stole the puck at the Bridgeport blue line, sprung Chris Terry on an odd-man rush and then buried the return pass to give the Islanders their first lead of the night.
The 20-year-old Holmstrom, a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, then scored an empty-netter with less than 57 seconds remaining, his fourth point in the last two games.
Terry also scored for the Islanders, and Austin Czarnik recorded two assists as Bridgeport’s top line continued to produce; the trio of Czarnik (3-5-8), Terry (2-3-5) and Holmstrom (3-1-4) has combined for 17 points through three games of the series.
Cory Schneider (3-1) made 32 saves in the win for Bridgeport.
Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A6-Bridgeport Islanders
Game 1 – Tue., May 10 – Charlotte 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
Game 2 – Thu., May 12 – Charlotte 7, BRIDGEPORT 6 (2OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 14 – Bridgeport 3, CHARLOTTE 2
Game 4 – Mon., May 16 – Bridgeport at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 18 – Bridgeport at Charlotte, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern