BRIDGEPORT -- After almost three months without a game, Anders Nilsson figured he would feel a little rusty.
"I felt good out there, actually," Nilsson said after the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' 3-0 loss Saturday to Providence, Nilsson's first game since Jan. 26.
"Obviously, I felt a little bit rusty in some situations. ... Other than that, I felt a lot better than I expected. I felt calm. I felt big. I felt I tracked the puck well."
Nilsson's second North American pro season detoured twice, once at the start and again at the all-star break, when he found he lacked energy, couldn't push himself physically.
Tests revealed nothing seriously wrong but left it a mystery. Treatment with vitamins helped.
He had backed up Rick DiPietro for the past 11 games. Saturday, in Bridgeport's first game since being eliminated from the playoff race, he got the call in front of a crowd of 4,298.
"Always, when it's been a while since you played, you feel rusty with some small things," Nilsson said. "It could be your game routine. You're used to, almost, a schedule. You warm up: You could feel rusty there."
He got into it with an early save on Colby Cohen from the left point, and he finished with 27 saves on 29 shots.
It was far from the most exciting game, but Nilsson made some solid saves and couldn't be faulted on the goals.
The Bruins scored on a back-door pass to Alexander Fallstrom -- Nilsson got a piece of the shot -- and on a three-on-two finished off with Jared Knight's first pro goal, as well as Kyle MacKinnon's empty-netter.
"They had a few scoring chances, but other than that, I think we played well in our zone," Nilsson said.
Coach Scott Pellerin said he was undecided on a goaltender for Sunday's season finale. If it's not Nilsson, at least he got a good start to take into the summer.
"That's kind of what we were thinking about," Pellerin said, "talking to staff, management, at this point, we thought it was good to get him back in. He's had a tough year, dealing with some adversity.
"He looked really good."
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1. MICHAEL HUTCHINSON, PROVIDENCE: Made 37 saves for his third shutout.
2. ANDERS NILSSON, BRIDGEPORT: Made 27 saves in his first game since Jan. 26.
3. MATT LINDBLAD, PROVIDENCE: Assisted on the first two goals.
UNSUNG HERO: Providence's Jared Knight scored his first pro goal.
UP NEXT: Sunday vs. Portland, 3 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Providence 1 0 2 --3
Bridgeport 0 0 0 -- 0
First Period -- 1, Providence, Fallstrom 4 (Lindblad, MacKinnon), 15:25 (pp). Penalties -- Donovan, Bpt (delay of game-closing hand on puck), 2:59; Kabanov, Bpt (boarding), 11:01; Cantin, Bpt (delay of game-closing hand on puck), 15:09; Fallstrom, Pro (interference), 16:00.
Second Period -- No scoring. Penalties -- Donovan, Bpt (interference), 6:48; Trotman, Pro (interference), 11:12; Providence bench, served Knight (too many men), 15:18.
Third Period -- 2, Providence, Knight 1 (Lindblad, Camper), 1:15. 3, Providence, MacKinnon 13 (Camper), 19:52 (en). Penalties -- Cantin, Bpt (interference), 4:17.
Shots on goal -- Providence 8-10-12--30. Bridgeport 11-10-16--37.
Power play opportunities -- Providence 1 of 5, Bridgeport 0 of 3.
Goaltenders -- Providence, Hutchinson 12-13-3 (37 shots-37 saves). Bridgeport, Nilsson 7-11-0 (29-27).
Attendance -- 4,298. Referees -- McIsaac, Ciamaga. Linesmen -- Simeon, Wahl.