46-27-3-4, 99 pts
#2 West Division
52-17-3-8, 115 pts
#1 North Division
Bulldogs lead 2-1
May 21st at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
The Texas Stars, down 2-0 coming back to Austin, were faced with a must win on Wednesday to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole. Only two other two teams in the AHL have ever climbed out of such a hole and six in all of professional sports (only one outside of hockey). The difference between a 2-1 series lead and a 3-0 series lead is huge and Texas knows they have to make the most of Friday's Game 4 to make Game 3's effort worth it.
With a packed house expected, Texas needs to concentrate on playing their game much like Wednesday. The points for improvement would certainly include the number and timing of penalties. Texas took an early penalty in Game 3 that swung some momentum to Hamilton, who scored shortly after the penalty expired. Special teams for Texas were on the uptick over all though, with the Stars scoring on 3/4 PPs in the game. Overall in the series, they are now 5/12. Hamilton is 5/13 on their opportunities. Texas needs to concentrate on minimizing those opportunities.
Additionally, Texas will have to get a balanced scoring attack. This doesn't mean that Jamie Benn, Perttu Lindgren, and Aaron Gagnon won't show up on the scoresheet. It does mean that they can't be the only ones. Roleplayers, like Warren Peters, and others like Ethan Graham stepped up on Wednesday to balance the attack. The Stars have always worked best when they get scoring throughout the lineup. With the exception of Benn, this is not a team of superstars. They work best as a unit.
Krahn will likely be a gametime or gameday decision. It will remain to be seen if he takes morning skate. Even if he does, that doesn't mean he's playing tonight. Climie has performed well in his stead but has needed more offensive support (3.32 GAA and .897 SV%) on most nights than the Stars have been able to provide on a consistent basis.
Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (concussion, gametime decision)