|Yann Danis stopped 26 of 29 shots tonight and kept his team in it until they could explode offensively late. (Credit: Steven Christy)|
Cristopher Nilstorp got positively shelled by the Barons as he stopped 39 of 45 shots against him. Coach Desjardins started with the same lineup and then began shuffling his centermen madly throughout the second and third periods. One of Texas' goals came with one of those shuffled lines on the ice as Dowling centered Reilly Smith and Brett Ritchie.
Texas was lucky to get out of the first period with a scoreless tie. They yielded two power plays to the Barons, ultimately fruitless, and were outshot 16-10 in the frame.
CJ Stretch opened the scoring in the second minute of the second period. His five-hole tally was the third of the season from the third line winger who spent much of the season in ECHL.
Brett Ritchie evened up the score five minutes later off a nice pass from Reilly Smith. That line, which saw its centerman shuffle a few times on the night, had Dowling at center for that play, and he picked up the secondary assist.
After surviving the power play onslaught in the first, Texas got some power play luck of their own. The Barons were on the power play and took two successive penalties to put the Stars on the 4-on-3 power play. On that man advantage, Jordie Benn's point shot was tapped home by Colton Sceviour for the 2-1 lead.
The Stars didn't have that lead for long as Philippe Cornet had a heads-up play to find Mark Arcobello out of the penalty box, giving one of OKC's top scorers a clean breakaway on Nilstorp. The resulting goal was Arcobello's 7th of the playoffs and came just seven seconds after his penalty expired.
Before the period ended, Joe Morrow regained the Stars' one goal lead with a delayed penalty underway. Travis Morin dished over to Joe Morrow, who snuck down from the point to beat Danis for the 3-2 lead.
Texas would outshoot the Barons 14-12 in the middle frame and take their one goal lead to the second intermission.
Oklahoma City erased that lead early in the third. As a Stars' penalty ended, a long shot on Nilstorp from Ben Eager generated a juicy rebound, which Antti Tyrvainen put home for the three all tie.
As time wound down in regulation, the Stars fell apart. Taylor Fedun got the go-ahead goal through traffic with just over five minutes left in the period. Cristopher Nilstorp never saw it coming. Texas had a golden chance on the power play with four minutes left, only down by one. When they needed it most, they couldn't get it done. As Arcobello came out of the box, he generated a fifth goal for the Barons with a two-on-one with Cheechoo.
Texas gave it one last go, pulling Cristopher Nilstorp and giving up an empty net goal. To add insult to injury, Garrett Stafford scored a power play goals in the dying seconds of the third period to make it 7-3.
Game 5 is tomorrow night. Texas must win to save their season.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sonne, Vause, McKenzie, Klingberg, Sloan, Wrenn, Jokipakka, Cameron, Faksa, Todd, Commodore (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 1,795.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Oklahoma City - May 15 2013