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So the lineup looked fairly straightforward this morning around 11. But apparently that’s when they found out that they’d be without Brett Gallant.

Shades of Jon Gleed going from Subway to standout, Sean Backman scored a couple tonight.

“It feels good to score goals, to help the team win,” Backman said. “A big part of my game is preventing the other team from scoring, working hard on the penalty kill.”

But he got a good pass from Mike Halmo and managed to sneak one past Martin Jones. He got a rebound playing with Chad Costello and Halmo after the centermen were swapped on the third and fourth lines.

It was his first two-goal game in three years as a pro. He had only three other two-point games: St. Patrick’s Day at Portland, and twice with Texas against Manitoba, Dec. 7, 2010, at home, and March 20, 2011, on the road.

By the end of the third, the game pretty much in hand, a bunch of kids in Section 106 or 107 were yelling “we want a hat trick!”

Backman smiled when the idea was floated. He noted that Scott Pellerin had double-shifted him in the last couple of minutes, giving him an extra shift with David Ullstrom and Johan Sundstrom. “It would’ve been great to get,” Backman said. “It didn’t happen. We got the win. That’s all that matters.”


Meanwhile, Anders Nilsson was good, and better when he had to be. Down the stretch, there was one flurry where — and I was a little blocked out, so I’m relying on an eyewitness, one hopefully better than the (different) one in the Gleed story — he slid across and knocked a shot away with his glove. “I kind of got out of track a little bit,” Nilsson said. “I had to put the glove out to be able to reach the puck. I don’t know if I saved it or the stick of our defenseman.” (The witness says it’s him, and it’s a better story that way, so we’ll go with it until proven otherwise.)

“He needed a game like that,” Scott Pellerin said. “Not just making saves, but making big saves. He’s usually pretty controlled. Manchester’s a skilled team. They’re one of the better teams we’ve seen this year in regards to making plays off the rush.” Nilsson stopped not only big shots, but rebounds, too, Pellerin said; Nilsson tipped his cap to the defense for blocking shots.

It’s at least the fifth time Bridgeport has had only two penalty minutes in a game. Pretty sure it’s the first time no skater has taken any. So the PK streak has run its way only to 21.

Had figured, given the morning-skate alignment, that the Gallant suspension was a bit of a surprise to Bridgeport. Scott Pellerin’s reaction is in the paper.

Nino Niederreiter said he got stronger as the game went, and he loved that game-clinching deflection he scored for more reasons than the obvious. “I’ve been working at it the last couple of months,” he said. “I was actually a little frustrated.”

Forgot to mention it yesterday, but Hartford sent Jyri Niemi (and Steven Delisle) to Greenville. With Dylan McIlrath suspended now, wonder if that sticks. Logan Pyett played tonight, where Jeff Smith was so close yet so far away. (Nice win for the ex-Pack. It’s ridiculously early to be worried about it, but Bridgeport is suddenly just two points behind Springfield, giving up two games in hand.)

Practice tomorrow, then they’re on to Glens Falls.

Michael Fornabaio