A bad week got even worse for New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro on Friday night when he made his first AHL start of the season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. One week after being waived by the Islanders and sent down, the embattled netminder was pulled from the game after allowing five goals on 12 shots in the first period.
DiPietro was 0-3 with the Islanders this season, with a 4.09 goals against average and .855 save percentage. It didn’t take long for his first game with Bridgeport to go south, as he gave up a goal to Chris Kreider of the Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers) just minutes into the game. With Kevin Poulin taking DiPietro’s place in New York, the Sound Tigers turned to Kenny Reiter to take over for DiPietro for the second and third periods on Friday. Reiter is an undrafted goaltender who had just six games of AHL experience before last night. Connecticut went on to win the game by a 7-3 score.
For all of the things DiPietro already had stacked against him, he now appears to have lost his confidence as well. After years of being saddled with a contract he could never live up to, being beset by injuries on a yearly basis and for much of his career having a sub-par Islanders team in front of him, DiPietro now has a chance for a fresh start in the AHL. Hopefully Friday night’s performance was just the latest bump in the road and the former No.1 overall pick can rebound in his next start and begin a new chapter in his career.