For much of tonight's game, you could have simply replayed last night's game against Rockford. Every time Texas scored, Chicago had the answer. Luckily for Texas, just like last night the Stars came out on top. Except tonight only 60 minutes were required to get the win.
Texas and Chicago skated to a scoreless first period with Chicago leading on shots 13-8. The second period, however, was a seesaw battle of goals with the Stars never trailing.
Mathieu Tousignant, last night's shootout hero, broke open the scoring in the second period for Texas on a one-timer from Ondrej Roman. The goal from the high slot was Tousignant's first goal of the year. His goal was countered by a power play tally from Andre Deveaux to make it a 1-1 game.
Tristan King got his second goal in as many games at the 8:29 mark of the second. The fourth line got its 3rd goal in 3 games as well. Assists on the goal came from Gazdic and Backman. Again, Chicago answered with a power play goal, this time from Darren Haydar. Texas was tied at 2-2 at the 11 minute mark.
Texas collected a power play tally of their own next. Maxime Fortunus collected his first goal of the year down low on a rebound. Two more assists were doled out to fourth line guys, Luke Gazdic and Sean Backman again. You know what's coming next though. Riley Holzapfel scored off a nice passing play with Sifers, the former Aero. Texas got out of the frenetic second period with the score at 3-3.
To open the third period, Fabian Brunnstrom scored off a turnover by the Chicago defenseman Valabik. The unassisted tally was Brunnstrom's first of the year, which should help the much-touted forward continue to develop his scoring touch. Thanks to some sparkling saves by Richard Bachman on late Chicago power play opportunities, Texas emerged from Allstate Arena with the win. Bachman had 40 saves on 43 Chicago shots.
Again, special teams play could have been better. Texas could have made it a less-close game. The power play was 1/3 on the night, which is a more then decent clip. However, the penalty kill allowed 2 goals in 5 Chicago opportunities.
Also of note is the play of the fourth line. Tristan King collected a goal and an assist in the game to make 4 points on the year. King is the 3rd leading scorer on the team behind Morin and McCulloch. Luke Gazdic assisted on two goals, including a power play tally. This is a fourth line that can grit it out and score. That is a key for success on the season. If Texas can roll four lines that can all score, that will help to mop up any defensive issues in the early season.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Lukowich, Chupp (scratched)
Sawada, McCulloch (undisclosed injury)
Blindenbacher (concussion-like symptoms)
Tonight's attendance was 3,718.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - October 28 2010