Texas pulled itself out of a 3 game losing streak with a 3-2 win tonight over Houston in Cedar Park. Texas is now 6-1-0-1 against Houston this season and will face them tomorrow night at the Toyota Center.
Matt Climie made his first start in almost three weeks for Texas, coming off a viral infection that sidelined him for the team's roadtrip. Just 5 minutes into the game, Scott McCulloch was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for cross checking in the Texas zone. Texas killed off the 5 minute penalty and ultimately went 5-for-5 on the kill tonight. McCulloch's hit will surely be reviewed by the league.
With nine seconds left in the penalty, Nathan Smith took a goaltender interference call in the Texas crease. On the ensuing power play, Andrew Hutchinson ripped a shot from the point that bounced off Brust's pads to Mathoeu Beaudoin, who maneuvered around Brust to score his 15th of the season, a power play goal.
Just two minutes later, with Texas again on the power play for Peter Zingoni's slashing minor, Hutchinson again slapped one from the point that was collected on a bad rebound by Travis Morin and put in for his 15th of the season as well. Texas was up 2-0 on a pair of PP goals.
Texas's final goal of the night came eight minutes into the second with Sergei Korostin on garbage duty in front of the net. Brust was out of his net in the scrum and Korostin put it in for a 3-0 Texas advantage. It was Korostin's 2nd of the month in 6 games.
Just over a minute later, a tricky play robbed Climie of the shutout. Jamie Fraser poked at a puck against the post that Climie desperately tried to freeze. It came free and creeped along the goal line behind Matt. Ray Sawada tried to handle the puck to freeze it against Climie but ended up tapping it just over the goal line for a 3-1 mark.
The last goal of the game was scored just 5 minutes later with Cody Almond beating Climie from the low left-wing circle with a shot that never left the ice and crept under his right pad for a 3-2 score.
Texas shut it down in the third and left the near-sellout crowd happy with a W. Texas outshot Houston in all three period and managed 37 total shots on Barry Brust. Matt Climie saw 28 shots and saved 26. Warren Peters was highly penalized in the contest with interference, tripping and boarding calls all going against him. I think most of them were examples of good hockey plays that were executed with a little bit too much enthusiasm/attitude. I prefer that to the alternative, though.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Ludwig (day-to-day lower body)
Gazdic and Shelast (scratched)
Tonight's attendance was 6,510.
Stafford and Jancevski started together on defense and then broke into their respective pairings for the rest of each period. They have done this pretty consistently since the departure of Ivan Vishnevskiy.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - February 26 2010