Richard Bachman got his third straight start in net in four nights. Very early in the game, the Stars were even on shots but by the time the Marlies scored their first, the Stars had been doubled up at 6-3. Ben Ondrus put one past Bachman at 8:15 of the first. Ondrus's shot from the left circle beat Bachman over the right shoulder. From there, Texas was outshot 12-2 for a total of 18-5 in the period. It was like they had crawled into a shell. Luke Gazdic threw down with Phil Oreskovic with 29 seconds left in the first period to try and put more energy into the match.
Texas managed to outshoot the Marlies in the 2nd period but couldn't cash in on opportunities. Texas came up empty on 2 PP opportunites on the period. The Stars had some segments of the second where they maintained control as if they were on the power play, but the Marlies stayed strong and did not allow the goal or take a penalty from exhaustion. Toronto was given an early power play opportunity when McCulloch was called for high-sticking. It only took 18 seconds for Engel to score and put the Marlies up by two. That score would not change through the end of the 2nd. Coming into tonight's game, the Stars had a 0-14-1-1 record when trailing after two and the Marlies a 13-0-2-2 record when leading after two.
For most of the period, the game was relatively quiet. Through 16 minutes, there were only six shots between the two teams. On the Stars 2nd shot of the period, Perttu Lindgren buried one behind Joey MacDonald to end the shutout bid. Travis Morin skated down the left side and got a pass off to Lindgren, who was skating backwards across the tops of the circles from left to right. Texas had 4:17 to even it up.
Bachman was pulled with just under a minute left for the extra Texas skater but it wouldn't make a difference. Once again, Texas could not win a game they trailed after two. Being able to win a game that you trail after two might come in handy if you want to win a Calder Cup someday. After the Stars first goal of the night, they played fast and furious and had a lot of chances. Why not play that way for the entire 3rd period? Clearly the defensive style of play that the Stars execute can have its drawbacks and disadvantages. Trying to get back into a game where you're down is certainly one of them. Next time we're down going into the third, the d-men need to be more aggressive on offense and more willing to pinch and come down to help to play. I would be worried for the Stars chances at playoff glory if they can't muster a 3rd period comeback win even once in the season.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ludwig (undisclosed injury)
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Climie (day-to-day "strep-type" infection)
Korostin and Shelast (scratched)
Ethan Graham made his debut with the Stars tonight and wears #21. It appears that Trevor Ludwig has some sort of injury from Wednesday's game.
Brent Krahn joined Josh Fisher in the booth for the 1st and 2nd intermissions. Krahn said he has no projection on when he's going to return to the ice and right now he's taking it a day at a time.
The Stars were outshot 33-22 in the game.
Tonight's attendance was 3,742.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Toronto - February 19 2010