Todd Ford got the start in net tonight. Before many of the 5,279 at tonight's game had found their seats, Texas had put themselves on the scoreboard. Peter Mannino's failed attempt to play the puck behind his net left it on the stick of Greg Rallo who passed to Travis Morin for his team leading 14th of the season at 19 seconds.
From there on out, it was all Chicago. Stewart lit it up first on the power play at 10:31 of the first on a goal line pass for Crabb that was redirected in the crease. Chicago had tied it 1-1.
Texas had a lot of good chances in the 2nd period but the power play was mostly anemic and even strength attacking was hard to come by. A few great plays come to mind, like Andrew Hutchinson's miss on the practically empty net and Lindgren's breakaway near the end of the 2nd.
Jason Krog potted his 10th of the year and 52nd point at 16:56 on a deft backdoor pass by Anthony Stewart. The goal marked Krog's 500th point in the AHL. The Stars went to the 2nd intermission down 2-1. Coming into this game, the Stars were 0-12-1-1 when trailing after two periods. Chicago meanwhile was 18-0-0-0 when leading after two. Might as well have gone home after 40 minutes tonight.
Just 39 seconds into the third, Matt Anderson scored from the high slot. Assists on the goal were initially awarded to Chelios and Vishnevskiy but were later corrected to Crabb and Chelios.
Crabb collected his third point of the night 3 minutes later when he hounded puck carrier Matt Stephenson into a giveaway right in front of the Stars net and roofed it on Ford for a 4-1 score.
The Stars were outshot tonight by a whopping 35-16 margin. They managed 3 shots in the entirety of the third period. They were also silent on the PP and allowed 1 out of 4 opportunities on the PK. Passing was sloppy at best and 'interception' prone. I certainly don't think you can pin this loss on Todd Ford. It was a team loss because it was a lack of effort as a team. Come out angry and get results.
These head-to-head divisional matchups are going to wreak a bit of havoc on the standings. Texas came into the night at 65 points, tied with Rockford also at 65 but ahead by virtue of games played. The Chicago Wolves and Admirals were also tied at 64 points and the Wolves were ahead by games played as well. After tonight, the Wolves and the IceHogs both earned a full two points in regulation. That means we now have Rockford at 67; Chicago, 66; Texas, 65; and Milwaukee, 64.
With all four teams again playing each other tomorrow night, we could see another shuffle before the weekend's out. We do know the Aeros won't be jumping up into the mix this weekend though, dropping a 7-2 match to Grand Rapids at home tonight. The best they can do this weekend is 63 points now. The Wolves and Admirals both play on Sunday though giving them an opportunity for an extra two points on the weekend.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Korostin and Neal (scratched)
Wathier (call up)
Stars goaltender Matt Climie and Wolves goaltender Drew MacIntyre did not sit on their teams' benches during the game tonight. More information on what happened there when I get it.
The Cedar Park Center ice maintenance crew cleaned up the snow on the ice around the benches and the goals every five minutes tonight, as is usually done in the NHL.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - February 12 2010