Nino Niederreiter scored again to continue his team scoring lead -- something that poses interesting questions if the NHL lockout ends later this month -- but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost a close one in overtime, 2-1 at Portland.
Niederreiter's powerplay goal, his twelfth overall, keeps his goal-every-other-game rate going and his points above 1.0 per game. He stands at 12-13-25 after 24 games.
Bridgeport has nine more games in December, probably the most Niederreiter could get in before NHL training camps if you subscribe to the "they're too close not to find a deal" theory of NHL CBA analysis. Despite the lofty production, if it were me I'd let him keep playing in the AHL -- it's not like he needs a "training" camp in December -- and then decide if he fits into the NHL roster.
But that's getting ahead of ourselves, way ahead of ourselves, in this most surreal of hockey seasons.
Anders Nilsson started his fifth consecutive game -- which itself poses interesting questions about a potential NHL camp, but again ... ahead of ourselves.
For the second game in a row, Bridgeport dodged its recent bad habit of a slow start. The Sound Tigers sounded on the radio, and according to Portland's coach, like they controlled play in the first period.
Things leveled off after that, even though no goals were scored until the third. It started with Portland on the powerplay, quickly answered by Nino's tally. David Rundblad scored the OT winner late in a powerplay through a screen. There were a few fights early, no surprise with two of the AHL's most penalized teams.
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 13 Colin McDonald
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 17 Max MacKay
20 Blair Riley – 11 Casey Cizikas (A) – 16 Sean Backman
44 Brett Gallant – 14 Matt Watkins (A) – 40 Mike Halmo