Texas, now without a game on the schedule for 6 more days, certainly has something to build on from tonight's game against Chicago. A power play that struggled mightily in the early season and was on an 0/25 streak coming into the game tallied two goals including the game winner off the stick of Francis Wathier. "Having a loss in the back of your head for seven days is not so good," said Wathier after the game. And now Texas can confidently move forward after tonight's win.
Texas and Chicago skated to a scoreless first period with shots even at seven a side. Goaltender Brent Krahn made a few sparkling saves, including one early in the period getting back across the crease to cover the back door with the tips of his leg pad.
With Noah Welch in the box for hooking in the second period, the scoring would get underway. Unfortunately, that was true for both teams. Texas had a lot of trouble getting through the neutral zone on their power play to get setup. That came back to haunt them as they allowed a shorthanded goal, their second on the year. Jason Krog and Angelo Esposito got a 2-on-1 opportunity against Dan Spang that Esposito buried up high after the pass from Krog.
Texas would score 37 seconds later on their power play to even the score. Colton Sceviour nudged the puck into the crease where a tumbling Francis Wathier knocked it in to the yawning net with the tip of his stick. The goal ended Texas's 0/25 skid on the power play. "My job on the power play is to get in front of the net and obstruct the D and make sure the goalie doesn't see anything," said Wathier of the goal. "It was a little luck and a little hard work."
Texas had a 84 second long 5-on-3 chance to end the second but could not score. Both penalties were drawn by Francis Wathier, who was the #1 star of the game.
Greg Rallo potted his second goal of the season early in the third period. With McCulloch and Morin both pounding away at the puck, the pill squirted out to the high slot where Rallo put it top shelf over the splayed out Pasquale.
Chicago tied it up at two with Philip Larsen in the box for his first professional penalty. Fredrik Pettersson scored from the slot stickside high on Krahn to even the score.
Texas's work on the PP this week paid off again as Francis Wathier scored Texas's second power play goal of the night and his second of the night as well with 4:25 remaining in the game. And that would be the ender. Texas fended off the 6-on-5 to get their first win since 10/28 at Chicago, ending a four game winless skid.
"That little skid we went on, we knew we weren't playing all that bad," said Greg Rallo, who had a goal on four shots in the contest. "We just had to stick to our game plan and get a couple of bounces to go our way."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Chupp, Stephenson, Benn, King (scratched)
All players on IR returned to the lineup tonight.
Tonight's attendance was 4,090.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - November 10 2010