The Stars needed this game. After losing 8-5 in Rockford, Texas needed to jump back and that they did in the first period. They then capitulated in the second and third to make it close, a trend that they have to hope does not continue in Milwaukee. Texas could be as high as tied for third in the West after tonight's action is completed.
Texas came out in the first confidently. Six minutes in, Sean Backman continued his high flying offensive efforts with his 4th of the year. Brad Lukowich and Cody Chupp had the helpers on the first tally of the night. Mathieu Tousignant continued the goal scoring for Texas at 15:23, collecting a rebound from a Morin shot to make it 2-0. Morin, however, would get one of his own 3 minutes later after tipping Severin Blindenbacher's point shot. Texas closed the period up 3-0 but losing the shots battle 16-12. Surely Coach Gulutzan reminded the team of the last time they had a lead after twenty, in which they allowed 5 goals in the second period.
The Griffins came back a bit in the second but did not overcome the Stars lead. Greg Rallo got it started in the period with a bad angle shot along the goal line that beat Joey MacDonald to make it 4-0 Texas on the PP.
The Griffins got two back in the period though. On another Texas power play, it was rookie Brendan Smith getting his 7th of the year, scoring a shorthanded goal. The shorty was the 3rd against for Texas on the season. The Griffins collected another special teams tally with Jamie Johnson scoring with Texas' Cody Chupp in the box for holding with 84 seconds left in the period. Texas was outshot in the period 13-7 and 29-19 overall to that point.
Texas continued to be outshot on the third period, at one point down 11-2 on shots. With 88 seconds left in the game, Mathieu Tousignant took a delay of game penalty to put Grand Rapids on the power play. The Griffins took that opportunity to call a timeout, pull Joey MacDonald, and score their 3rd special teams goal on the evening. With 48 seconds left, Filppula notch the 3rd Grand Rapids goal of the night. Texas managed to shut it down for the rest of the game and emerge with a win.
Tyler Beskorowany got absolutely shelled in tonight's game. The rookie had 44 saves on 47 shots, including 18 shots in the third period alone. The Stars absolutely cannot allow that many shots against and expect Beskorowany to stand on his head every night. Commitment to shot blocking is important.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Benn, Stephenson and King (scratched)
McCulloch (upper body)
Krahn (lower body)
Bachman, Gagnon, Fortunus (call-up)
Tonight's attendance was 7,272.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Grand Rapids - December 10 2010