SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Everything they could do to disrupt the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Springfield Falcons did.
Both teams' mistakes made for a crazy first period, and the Falcons got out of it with enough of a cushion to beat Bridgeport 5-4 Friday at MassMutual Center.
"It was one of those games that seemed to go back and forth, back and forth," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "We needed to slow things down, play more of our systems, our style of play."
That happened eventually, but not soon enough to extend a four-game winning streak.
The Falcons took a 4-2 lead on a power-play goal with 2.9 seconds left in the first period. John Persson scored a goal in the second and another in the third, but those were two of only 10 shots the Sound Tigers got through to Curtis McElhinney's net in the last two periods.
Bridgeport still had a chance on a power play with just over four minutes to go (the Sound Tigers wanted a penalty shot after Theo Ruth dragged down Brandon DeFazio on a breakaway). Jon Landry, set up four or five times, fired shots that each found different ways not to get to the net. The Falcons held on.
Special teams was a difference: The Sound Tigers scored on their first power play, a Nino Niederreiter deflection, but didn't capitalize on four other chances. The Falcons went 2-for-3 against a Bridgeport penalty kill that had eliminated 26 chances in a row coming in.
"The penalty kill let us down (Friday)," Pellerin said.
"Sometimes you make a mistake, and somebody's there to back you up, to block a shot, to get a stick on the puck. They just capitalized on our mistakes."
Both teams committed enough of those in a burn-the-tape first period. Falcons turnovers led to a couple of golden early scoring chances for Bridgeport; Matt Donovan's shot through a screen at 2:25 opened the scoring.
"The strength of our team is down low, cycling pucks. We've got some big bodies," Bridgeport forward Matt Watkins said. "We have to prevent the other team from coming back at us and springing odd-man rushes."
Persson got one back in the second, finishing the rebound of Jordan Hill's point shot off the end boards, similar to the way Audy-Marchessault scored in the first. Nick Drazenovic's power-play goal in the third, with help from Greenwich's Cam Atkinson's second assist, made it 5-3.
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1. TIM ERIXON, SPRINGFIELD: Set up three Falcons goals.
2. JONATHAN AUDY-MARCHESSAULT, SPRINGFIELD: A goal and an assist in the wild first period.
3. JOHN PERSSON, BRIDGEPORT: Two goals in the comeback attempt.
UNSUNG HERO: Jordan Hill had two assists.
UP NEXT: Saturday at Portland, 7 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
BRIDGEPORT..........................................2 1 1--4
SPRINGFIELD.........................................4 0 1--5
First Period -- 1, Bridgeport, Donovan 5 (Sundstrom, Niederreiter), 2:25. 2, Springfield, Chaput 3 (Audy-Marchessault, Holden), 5:47. 3, Springfield, Audy-Marchessault 9 (Erixon, Holden), 8:20. 4, Bridgeport, Niederreiter 17 (Donovan, Wishart), 8:48 (pp). 5, Springfield, Russell 3 (Chaput), 11:02. 6, Springfield, Craig 9 (Atkinson, Erixon), 19:57 (pp). Penalties -- Audy-Marchessault, Spr (slashing), 8:43; McIver, Bpt (hooking), 19:32.
Second Period -- 7, Bridgeport, Persson 12 (Hill, Cizikas), 9:02. Penalties -- Hill, Bpt (interference), 14:58; Atkinson, Spr (tripping), 16:07.
Third Period -- 8, Springfield, Drazenovic 10 (Erixon, Atkinson), 2:49 (pp). 9, Bridgeport, Persson 13 (Hill, Landry), 15:27. Penalties -- Landry, Bpt (roughing), 2:13; Amadio, Spr (tripping), 3:38; Erixon, Spr (holding), 8:15; Ruth, Spr (tripping), 15:53.
Shots on goal -- Bridgeport 10-5-5--20. Springfield 15-4-13--32.
Power play opportunities -- Bridgeport 1 of 5, Springfield 2 of 3.
Goaltenders -- Bridgeport, Poulin 10-6-2 (32 shots-27 saves). Springfield, McElhinney 16-5-2 (20-16).
Attendance -- 3,801. Referees -- C. Brown, Hersey. Linesmen -- Cooke, Briggs.