|Rob Madore tracks the puck on Alex Chiasson's stick (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)|
"They had a great goalie tonight," said Taylor Vause, the only Star who managed to beat Madore, scoring two goals in the game. "He deserved to win. I don't know if we matched well."
Vause opened the scoring, but Charlotte answered back with four straight to claim victory. The Stars would make it interesting in the final frame with Vause's second of the night to make it 4-2, but ultimately the Checkers earned the two points.
"We've got to go to their rink for two more and those will be tough games," said Coach Willie Desjardins. "I think we outchanced them, but we didn't outscore them."
Texas registered 45 shots on Madore to the Checkers's 27 on Campbell. Neither club scored a power play goal in the contest on their five combined chances.
Taylor Vause's third of the season opened the scoring. "The first one was off the forecheck. Wathier made a nice pick there that gave me a chance to walk the wall." Vause picked a corner from the left wing faceoff circle for the 1-0 lead. Scott Glennie got the only assist on the play. The Stars would finish the period with that lead but only after coming perilously close to giving up the tying goal. Captain Maxime Fortunus did his best goaltender impression and swiped a puck off the goal line that had trickled in behind Campbell to maintain the lead.
|Taylor Vause celebrates his third of the year. (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)|
Chris Terry and Brett Sutter teamed up next as Terry swooped around the net with two Texas defenseman and Jack Campbell between him and the net. He dished the puck out front to Sutter who was uncovered by any backchecking forward. Sutter scored on the shot all-alone in front to go ahead 2-1.
"Jack played a good game," said Vause. "But it's tough when we're giving [Charlotte] point-blank opportunities."
Charlotte extended their lead in the third period with Zach Boychuk and Riley Nash joining the action just under two minutes apart. Boychuk went five-hole on Campbell and Nash scored off a 2-on-1 with Matt Marquardt as the Stars' started to take more offensive opportunites and left their defensive stance a bit.
With 65 seconds left, Taylor Vause collected his second of the night and fourth of the year.
"The second one was a good shot from the point and I just buried the rebound."
The Stars would pull Campbell to no avail in the final minute.
Texas stays at 85 points with the loss, still leading the Western Conference. Charlotte has now caught up to the Stars in games played and has a worse win percentage. The Checkers will need to pick up their pace to have a shot at toppling Texas by the end of the season. The importance of Texas' two games in Charlotte in April cannot be overstated.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Vincour, Campbell (call up)
Nemeth, Nilstorp, Wandell (injured)
Fyten, Cameron, Commodore, Labrie (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 6,073.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Charlotte - March 23 2013