Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Texas Loses Fourth Straight Game, Falling 4-3 to Chicago

Travis Morin had three points in the Stars' loss Tuesday night (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
For only the second time this season and the first time since November, Texas has dropped four straight games after losing Tuesday night to the Chicago Wolves in regulation. The Stars came out of the first tied with the Wolves but then allowed three goals in just over four minutes in the second period to make it a 4-2 deficit. Despite a goal in the third period and a strong effort from Cristopher Nilstorp in relief, the Stars fell to the Wolves for the third time this season.

"We worked really hard but we left Campbell out to dry on a couple there," said Travis Morin, who had a goal and two assists on the night. "We had a lot of chances in the third."

Coach Desjardins harkened back to the first few games of the season, the last time this happened: "There isn't a big line between winning and losing in this league. We're just not finding ways to win."

Chicago opened the scoring in the first period with Jim Vandermeer's first of the year. The defenseman found a rebound off Campbell and slammed home the goal on just the second shot of the game. Texas's Morin would get his turn next, potting his fifth of the year and showing the chemistry with Matt Fraser that served him so well last season. Morin's deft tip of Fraser's shot tied things at one after twenty minutes.

Campbell was pulled in the second after three quick Chicago goals. A power play one-timer, two on one and breakaway in succession ended the rookie netminder's night. Tomas Vincour had his eleventh of the season to break up that scoring after the first tally, but the winning goal had already been scored by Davies on that last breakaway.

Texas mounted a strong comeback in the third, putting nearly as many shots on Climie in the single period (12) as they had in the preceding two (14). Chicago simply played a defensive 'away team' game.

"Chicago chipped pucks out and played it safe and smart [with the lead]," said Morin.

The Stars would earn a four minute power play early in the third to give them a chance to even things up. Matt Fraser scored his 14th power play goal of the year and 27th overall on a sharp angle backhander. Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour assisted on the play. That has continued to be a solid line for Texas.

In the end, Texas fell short of the comeback, putting themselves in too much of a hole in the second period to earn the win. Certain teams sometimes have another team's number despite what the on-paper statistics might say. Suffice it to say that Texas would likely not want to see Chicago in the playoffs.

With the loss, Texas stays at 75 points, tied with Syracuse and Springfield for best in the league. Charlotte earned two of four against OKC, moving them to 71 points. They will play tonight against Norfolk with a chance to move to 73 points with a win.

Tonight's lines:
Hedden-Vause-Chiasson
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Petersen-Vincour-Jones
Cameron-Wathier-Tousignant

Baldwin-Wrenn
Sneep-Johnston
Sloan-Labrie

Campbell
Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Fortunus, Gazdic, Dowling (injured)
Coyle, Wandell, Fyten (scratch)

Alex Chiasson and Tyler Sloan returned from injury tonight. Taylor Vause was lost in the first due to a puck to the face and did not return in the game.

Tonight's attendance was 2,837.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - March 5 2013

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