Hurricanes rookie Brandon Sutter, sent to Albany on a two-week conditioning assignment, and Jerome Samson scored for the Rats.
In a classy move, Bridgeport named Albany acting captain Pat Dwyer the game's first star, in recognition of the team's return to the ice.
Defenseman Brett Carson, who was hurt in the crash and unable to play, filled in for injured radio analyst John Hennessy on the broadcast.
After the game, it was back on the road for a 3 1/2-hour overnight trip to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The River Rats play there Friday, in Syracuse on Saturday and return home on Sunday to face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
At that game, their first home game since the accident, the River Rats will honor the emergency personnel and hospital workers who helped them in the wake of the crash, arranging for their transportation and setting them up in a luxury suite — another classy move.