For two periods -- well, most of two periods -- the Bruins outchanced the Sound Tigers, capitalized on turnovers at Dunkin' Donuts Center and built a 5-0 lead through two periods.
And then the Sound Tigers scored four goals in the third period.
"I mentioned in practice (Friday) morning about being consistent, being prepared, not taking anything for granted," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "For us to come out and not play our best, almost waiting for the game to happen to us?"
Yes, that was aggravating. And it was a little puzzling. Bridgeport got standouts Travis Hamonic and Brock Nelson back from injury and dressed its best lineup, which is not a given around the AHL as the NHL lockout comes to an end.
But it was Providence, the team that scratched six players who are bound for the Boston Bruins' training camp, that controlled the first period, that withstood a Bridgeport charge to start the second and that added two more goals in that period.
Former Sound Tigers forward Tyler McNeely, playing his first AHL game this season, sent the Bruins out on a three-on-one in the first that produced Christian Hanson's goal. Within four minutes, it was 3-0.
"We were just making lazy mistakes," Hamonic said. "Turnovers that shouldn't happen. Everyone was turning the puck over at the wrong times and at the wrong spots on the ice, and they ended up in our net."
Craig Cunningham's second goal made it 4-0. Simsbury's Tommy Cross scored his first AHL goal on a power play; he had six in 22 ECHL games this year.
Then Hamonic blasted one home from the right circle 5:42 into the third. Then Aaron Ness' left-circle shot deflected down and past Niklas Svedberg at 9:33. Then David Ullstrom poked home a rebound at 11:11. Then Johan Sundstrom was the last to touch a puck that bounced around the front of the net at 17:39.
They found that surge too late to find a fifth goal.
Most likely, before or after Saturday's home game against Portland, the roster will change. The New York Islanders, as Boston did to Providence, will call for a half-dozen or more Sound Tigers.
"There are distractions. There are what-ifs," Pellerin said. "Right now, we're here. We have to do it here, play it here. We have to do it the right way. We didn't do that for two periods."
email@example.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio
1. CRAIG CUNNINGHAM, PROVIDENCE: Scored two goals.
2. CARTER CAMPER, PROVIDENCE: Three assists.
3. DAVID ULLSTROM, BRIDGEPORT: Had a goal and an assist in the attempted comeback.
UNSUNG HERO: Former Sound Tiger Tyler McNeely's chip set up the first Providence goal.
UP NEXT: Saturday vs. Portland, 7 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Bridgeport...........................................0 0 4--4
Providence............................................3 2 0--5
First Period -- 1, Providence, Hanson 5 (McNeely), 11:43. 2, Providence. Krug 2 (Camper, Hirschfeld), 14:17. 3, Providence, Cunningham 5 (Sauve, Camper), 15:12. Penalties -- Hamonic, Bpt (boarding), 1:18; McNeely, Pro (tripping), 12:02; McIver, Bpt, major (fighting), 16:57; Robins, Pro, major (fighting), 16:57.
Second Period -- 4, Providence. Cunningham 6 (Sauve, Camper), 12:08. 5, Providence, Cross 1 (Miller, Whitfield), 16:36 (pp). Penalties -- Persson, Bpt (roughing), 12:42; Ness, Bpt (holding), 14:54.
Third Period -- 6, Bridgeport, Hamonic 4 (Landry, McDonald), 5:42. 7, Bridgeport, Ness 1 (DeFazio, Watkins), 9:33. 8, Bridgeport, Ullstrom 5 (Wishart, Donovan), 11:11. 9, Bridgeport, Sundstrom 11 (Ullstrom, Wishart), 17:39. Penalties -- Cross, Pro (holding), 3:25; Hamonic, Bpt (hooking), 18:51.
Shots on goal -- Bridgeport 7-10-13--30. Providence 15-9-4--28.
Power play opportunities -- Bridgeport 0 of 2, Providence 1 of 4.
Goaltenders -- Bridgeport, Nilsson 7-9-0 (28 shots-23 saves). Providence, Svedberg 14-6-1 (30-26).
Attendance -- 9,538. Referee -- Miller. Linesmen -- Paquette, MacDonald.