Sound Tigers try to rediscover scoring touch
Updated 12:07 am, Thursday, January 31, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- After eight losses in 10 games, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers got three days off.
The all-star break, for all but the team's two representatives in Providence, meant a few days to recover from a rough weekend in Norfolk, Va.
"We haven't been playing as good," forward John Persson said. "It was good to get a break away from the rink."
The break ended at practice Wednesday night at Webster Bank Arena, where the Sound Tigers will play Providence on Thursday to begin three games in three nights.
"It all starts in practice. It's going to come in games," Persson said.
More InformationGame day
Providence Bruins at Bridgeport
WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Webster Bank Arena
RECORDS: Providence 22-16-0-3; Bridgeport 19-19-2-2
SEASON SERIES: Bridgeport leads 2-1.
LAST MEETING: The Bruins won 5-4 at home Jan. 11.
ABOUT THE BRUINS: Providence has won two in a row. ... RW Jamie Tardif leads the team at 20-9-29. C Ryan Spooner is 8-18-26. ... Veteran RW Graham Mink signed an AHL contract Monday. ... D Tommy Cross of Simsbury, who began the season in the ECHL, is 1-5-6, plus-3 in 23 games. He scored his first AHL goal Jan. 11 vs. Bridgeport. ... RW Bobby Robins leads the AHL with 206 penalty minutes, including 24 majors.
ABOUT THE SOUND TIGERS: Bridgeport lost eight of its last 10 before the all-star break and scored two goals in the last three games. ... F Matt Watkins (upper body) and RW Max MacKay (flu) appear ready to return to the lineup. C Johan Sundstrom (upper body) is day-to-day. ... RW Nino Niederreiter leads the team at 19-17-36. He doesn't have a point in four games, his longest stretch of the season. ... D Nathan McIver (191 penalty minutes, 15 majors) and LW Brett Gallant (169, 21) trail only Providence's Robins.
UP NEXT: Friday at Connecticut Whale, 7 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
After Bridgeport won five of six to end December, January hasn't been kind.
The team lost its first five after New Year's Day, dropping the last two despite playing with its full complement of players bound for the NHL. It won two but has lost the last three by a combined score of 11-2.
The Sound Tigers scored 73 seconds into Friday's 2-1 loss and lost 5-0 Saturday, so they're on a 118-minute, 47-second scoreless streak.
"It's funny. I'm still upset about the weekend," coach Scott Pellerin said. "I didn't want that to be the message.
"I wanted the guys to come back, regroup, refreshed and refocused," he said.
From afar, they at least looked loose Wednesday as they got back to the grind, trying to figure a way back to the success that ended last month.
"Probably just playing more like a team," Persson said. "The (defensemen) are there, the forwards are there. Play tighter, play harder."
One thing that will help: The Sound Tigers appear set to get Matt Watkins back from injury. He adds depth at center after missing four of the past five games.
Johan Sundstrom, another centerman, practiced Wednesday night but without taking contact after missing three games. Pellerin termed him day-to-day, but it's not likely they'll throw him back into action without a full-contact practice.
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