In the first Calder Cup Playoff game in nearly three years, Arnaud Durandeau scored on a wraparound 9:56 into overtime as the Bridgeport Islanders defeated the Providence Bruins, 2-1, on Monday evening at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The Isles have a 1-0 lead in the first-ever playoff series between these clubs. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is set for Wednesday night in Bridgeport.
Cory Schneider made 46 saves for his first overtime win in 10 career tries during the Calder Cup Playoffs.
On the winning goal, Aatu Raty cleanly won an offensive-zone draw back to Robin Salo. Salo’s shot went wide of the net and caromed off the glass to Durandeau, who circled behind the net and tucked it behind Troy Grosenick while Bruins defenseman Aaron Ness tangled in the crease with Bridgeport winger Kyle MacLean.
Raty’s assist on the game-winner was his first North American point. The 19-year-old Finn, the New York Islanders’ second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, joined Bridgeport for their final two regular-season games.
Monday’s contest game was scoreless until the 13:43 mark of the second period, when Providence’s Jakub Lauko snapped home a shot from the left wing half-wall. It was Lauko’s first goal since Nov. 20, ending a drought of 40 games without finding the net.
The Islanders answered at 1:07 of the third period, as Otto Koivula took advantage of some open ice with the teams skating four-on-four and found defenseman Grant Hutton, whose shot from the bottom of the right-wing circle beat Grosenick. For Hutton, who scored a career-high nine goals during the regular season, it was his first career postseason marker.
Schneider’s 46 saves tied an AHL career high; the veteran netminder made 46 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss at Hamilton on Apr. 25, 2010 ― his last Calder Cup Playoff appearance before Monday.
Grosenick, who led the AHL with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage during the regular season, stopped 30 of 32 shots in the loss.
Atlantic Division First Round – Series “A” (best-of-3)
A3-Providence Bruins vs. A6-Bridgeport Islanders
Game 1 – Mon., May 2 – Bridgeport 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Wed., May 4 – Providence at Bridgeport, 7:00
*Game 3 – Fri., May 6 – Bridgeport at Providence, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern