If you were looking for small signs of light -- for those little hints of the future that ousted NHL team's fans reach for this time of year -- you could do worse than this:
[Andrew] MacDonald scored on a five-on-three 34 seconds into the second period, with Matt Martin in front of goalie Braden Holtby. MacDonald made it 3-0 off Dylan Reese's drop pass at 12:03, with Jeremy Reich in front.
So A-Mac -- who had two goals in 21 Bridgeport games this season -- scored two powerplay goals in one period, one with a designated Islanders power forward-in-waiting in front of the net, the other off a pass from a surprisingly effective defenseman nabbed by Garth Snow late in the season. Add to that goalie-of-some-role-in-waiting Mikko Koskinen's 26 saves, 17 of which came in the third period, and Bridgeport avoids the sweep with a 4-1 win.
As relayed in the game story, the Sound Tigers were assisted by receiving the game's first six powerplays. But hey, they're facing the AHL's best team in two decades, so a little help is appreciated. Dee the "7th Woman" was also there, and gave her own human-interest angle to the Sunday afternoon game, including an exchange with Trevor Gillies (Peaceful, and off the ice -- what, you imagined a throw-down?).
Bridgeport's Game 5 is Wednesday in Hershey. ECHL Utah's Game 3 of their second-round series is Tuesday at home. Around here, our player-by-player Islanders report cards begin this week, so get your grade sheets ready.
Meanwhile, in the NHL last night, the most amusing sequence was San Jose outshooting Colorado 50-16 (wow, Craig Anderson) yet losing 1-0 in OT on a goal that was essentially created by a Dan Boyle backhand toward his own net. I have to check my Petulant Behavior Handbook, but I'm pretty sure that's enough adversity for Dan(n)y Heatley to demand a trade.